Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Wreath making with buddies + a dried Hydrangea heart

Remember how earlier in the summer I showed you how to dry Hydrangeas? well here they are in all their glory. This weekend, I spent the day with my lovely friends, in a quaint, picturesque cottage in the English countryside. My ladies and I were getting together to make Christmas wreaths, while our menfolk stood around the fire pit in the garden, supping ale whilst cooking us a scrumptious paella ... I think we got the better end of the deal, don't you? ;-)


How to make a dried Hydrangea wreath



My girlies made traditional wreaths, each with their own individual style. As I already had a wreath up I decided to try a different take on the classic Christmas and create a dried floral wreath I could hang all year round. Whichever wreath you choose to make, the process is always the same, you simply change the ingredients ... and the rules are, there are no rules! If you'd like to make one I've included some instructions below - followed by some piccies of our lovely day spent together.



A dried Hydrangea, eucalyptus and rosemary wreath



To make a dried Hydrangea wreath you will need:

A wreath of some sort 
(I had this wicker heart left over from our wedding)
Thin florist wire 
(not too thick, it needs to be very bendy) 
Glue gun 
(optional - though I'd really recommend one, 
they're cheap and dried hydrangeas can be very brittle.)

Floral ingredients:

A few dried Hydrangeas
Eucalyptus (small leaves work better)
Lichen-covered twigs 
Cinnamon sticks
Sprig of Cotton 
Pine cones
Rosemary


How to make a a dried Hydrangea wreath


Method:

Step 1

Start by placing your greener at regular intervals around the wreath (don't attach just yet.)  For a neat look have them all facing the same direction.  I began with the Eucalyptus, and then the rosemary.
TIP: Keeping all the elements even is the key to a balance-looking wreath.

Step 2

Decide what length you want your greenery to be, and cut them all roughly the same length. then cut the end at an angle and strip the bottom third of the sprig clear of leaves. 

Step 3

When you're happy with your layout, start wedging them into the wreath. If they won't hold, wrap some wire around the sprig, secure it to the wreath that way OR use a glue gun.



A eucalyptus and rosemary wicker heart


Step 4

Then simply repeat the above with all the other elements - ending with the the most delicate. I attached mine in the following order.
Eucalyptus - rosemary - twig - cinnamon sticks - cotton balls - Hydrangeas.

Step 5 

When it comes to floral arrangement - the rule of thumb in floristry is to work in odd numbers - so once all your greenery is in place (depending on your size of wreath) aim to use 3 or 5 of each component. That said, due to the shape of my heart, I found three cotton balls looked plain weird - two seemed to create more of a balance, so go with your instinct. 



A seasonal hydrangea christmas wreath


Step 6

When it came to the cinnamon sticks I secured two together with wire first and then attached them. For the pine cones I wound wire about the bottom and then weaved it through the wreath to secure. TIP: When it comes to securing the cotton balls and hydrangeas you will need to be gentle and take your time as they can break easily.  

Step 7

My Hydrangeas were to big for the wreath at they were, so I gently halved them and glued them evenly around the wreath. I tried just stick them in at first but this led to breakages and lots of 'Grrrrrrs' so I glued them instead. Glue guns are fabulous, and cost as little as £5.



Dried hydrangea heart + an ideal project for girfts or weddings



Tada!

Finish it off with string or ribbon and you're ready to hang. As this is not in water the wreath will dry out, but all these elements should dry nicely so it will still look pretty. Here are some more snaps of our lovely day of wreath-making, including some of the girlies making their traditional wreaths ... and of course, the menfolk being 'hunter gatherers' in the garden .... enough chatting, where's our dinner boys??



Menfolk in a cottage winter garden



Nic's house was the perfect setting for our christmassy day - we drank wine, had a good catch up and nibbled on toasted almonds while we worked ....



Lovely friends crafting together


How to make a traditional Christmas wreath

For the traditional wreaths the girls picked Holly, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Lichen-covered twigs and greenery all from the garden - all of which dry out well. They then added pine cones and dried oranges to the mix. To make the dried oranges, Nic sliced the oranges thinly and put them in the oven at the lowest heat to dry them out for around three hours - keep an eye on them though. If you have some left over you could always make dried oranges and cinnamon stick decorations!



How to make a Christmas wreath - you will need ...



We laid out our foraged goods, and using the method above the girls added greenery at regular intervals. As you can see below, Michelle attached her holly using floral wire, as it was too bulky and heavy to stay put without.



How to make a Christmas wreath - place greenery at regular intervals


Tada

Lovely ladies with their lovely wreaths! Crafting with friends is one of my favourite fings ... and so good for the soul. Grab your besties and get foraging! 
Thanks for a lovely day girlies.

JM x


My lovely friends
From left to right - Michelle, me, Miriam and Nic x

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3 comments:

  1. Very pretty :0) I like that it is so natural. Very organic :0) ~mari~

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lovely idea to use the wicker heart as a base. Beautiful wreaths. X

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jodie, girlie! I want to come and join the crafty fun! The wreaths are so sweet in their simplicity. Not too fooofy…Just Right! Love the elements.

    ReplyDelete