summer wreath – a tutorial

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I shared this simple summer wreath on Instagram and got a few requests for a tutorial, so here it is. It’s really easy to make; something about weaving the flowers through is really quite soothing, and it gives me a valid excuse to go out and gather up a basket of wildflowers.
The Instagram wreath used cow parsely; that’s out of season now, so I’ve used this gorgeous Alchemilla Mollis (thanks Twitter folk!). I find flowers with this sort of big, open spray are easiest to work with, but you can use anything really.

image.jpgEquipment:

  • Instagram-worthy scissors

  • Floristry wire or twine

  • around 10 long bendy twigs (see note below)

  • a large bunch of freshly gathered flowers

A note on twigs:

You need live, bendy twigs to work with; anything that’s been dead a while will be too brittle & just snap. The very best time to gather and make these wreath bases is in the middle of winter when every plant has sleeping leafless stems, but it’s still possible to find the right kind in summer if you hunt around. I find the long, twisty stems of climbers work best – things like honeysuckle or clematis, with their overlapping tangled branches.
You need at least one twig long enough to bend into a nice full circle the size of your wreath. The rest can be a little shorter, if necessary.

 

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{one}

Curve round a twig to form the frame of your wreath. Overlap the ends slightly and secure tightly with wire or twine. Don’t worry if it isn’t a perfect circle – just a rough shape is fine at this point.

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{two}

Tie the end of another twig onto the wreath, and begin to weave this around the frame in a loose spiral. Tie the end down when done.

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{three}

Continue adding more twigs in this fashion. Once you have a few on, you’ll find it’s not necessary to tie them in, as you can just tuck the end into the existing weaving. Try to spread your twigs evenly; I find adding one or two stems wrapped in the opposite direction to the rest helps to create a fuller wreath.

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{four}

As you weave the stems in, stop periodically to assess the shape. Lightly bend and flex any stems that seem to be pulling away from the circle, and pull the wreath into the shape you want. Evaluate where you want to place your flowers – ie, which is the worst bit you want to cover up!

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{five}

Add the flowers. Snip the blooms down so there’s around 2-3″ of stem left for each flowerhead or cluster; it’s fine if these vary in size. Feed the stem through the twigs on your wreath, then gently pull through until the flowers catch against the wreath. Weave in the stem, so that it’s hidden ’round the back & fairly secure.

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{six}

Gradually build up the flowers in this way, keeping an eye on the overall spread and coverage.

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{seven}

Take 65000 photographs from slightly different angles, then instagram one, & tag me so I can see. (optional)

I tend to let the flowers dry out and hang around until they get dusty or begin to shed, when I’ll take the wreath outside and pull them all free. The twig wreath will dry out and become hard and light, and can be used again and again. 

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Does that make sense? Any questions? Comments are below.

You can see some of my other wreath attempts here and here