Wreaths are a beautiful way to mark the change of the seasons, in spring and autumn as well as Christmas. Here’s how to make your own autumn wreath, plus tips and ideas on decorating it.
What you need to make an autumn wreath
The first thing you’ll need when making a wreath is a base. These are readily available in craft shops and online, but you can also make your own. You don’t have to stick to a round wreath base either – make your wreath square, heart-shaped or star-shaped if you prefer.
You’ll also need florists wire, ribbon, glue (a hot glue gun is very handy for all sorts of craft projects) and decorations of your choice, such as berries, leaves and pine cones.
3 ways to make a wreath base
- A cardboard wreath base is very easy to make. Find some sturdy cardboard (great use for those online delivery boxes!) Draw two concentric circles (i.e. one smaller circle inside a bigger one) to form the base, then cut it out. Wrap it in ribbon, and it’s ready to decorate.
- Shrubs like willow or dogwood have long whippy stems that make superb wreaths. Cut several long stems and twist them to form a strand, then bend this into a circle to create a wreath base.
- Use wire to create a wreath base in whatever shape you prefer – a circle, a heart, a star or whatever takes your fancy. If you don’t have any wire in the DIY cupboard, why not unwind an old wire coat hanger and repurpose it?
Decorating your autumn wreath
When decorating your autumn wreath, start with the bigger items such as pinecones, using the florist’s wire to attach them securely to the wreath base. Next, fill in the gaps with foliage and berries, using glue or wire to attach them. You can buy sprays of artificial berries and autumn leaves, but it’s also fun to gather your own from your garden. Here are a few ideas for natural autumn wreath decorations:
Pinecones are plentiful at this time of year. To clean them up ready for use, soak them for 30 minutes in a solution of 2 parts warm water to 1 part white vinegar, then let them air-dry for 2-3 days or bake them in an oven for approximately 1.5 hrs at 200°F (95°C), checking regularly to prevent them burning.
Conkers (horse chestnuts) look greatly threaded on wire or glued onto a wreath base. Soak them in vinegar or paint them with nail varnish before using them to make them last longer on your wreath.
Bright autumn leaves add the perfect seasonal touch to your wreath. Collect fallen leaves, place them between sheets of paper and press them under a couple of heavy books for a day or two, then spray them with hairspray to preserve them.
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