Making a Solstice Wreath
Wear a solstice wreath and commune with nature as you celebrate
this special time of the year - Summer or Winter solstice
- they look good too!
It doesn't take long or cost much to put a beautiful wreath
Any wreath firstly needs a secure base as this is the framework
for any decorative material, such as flowers, berries, ribbons
If you plan on making a delicate, ethereal, faery type solstice
wreath you need to use a fine base to get the best effect
- thin gauge wire is very effective.
The main materials used for bases in wreath making are: wire,
straw or vines. If you want to make a fast wreath you can
buy ready-made bases in wire, foam or straw.
of the Wreath
The wreath was originally worn during
religious rites in ancient Persia. The Greeks called
them a 'diadem', meaning bound around. Wreath
comes from the old English 'writhen', meaning to
twist or writhe. Wreathes were first made by
twisting evergreen branches into a circlets, and
the Greeks and Romans placed laurel leaf wreathes
on the heads of Olympic athletes, and olive branches
on brave warriors.
In Germany wreathes were lit with candles during
the dark winter days as a symbol of hope for the
sunny days of Spring. In Scandinavia lighted candles
were placed around a wheel, to ask the god of light
to turn the circle of nature back towards the sun
so the days would lengthen and bring warmth back
to earth. A holly wreath was considered a protection
from the winter spirits and if you received a wreath
of birch it held the message that somebody loved
Wreath making materials
Wire - thin florist's wire is generally
the best option as it's not too heavy to wear and can be
covered up easily with flowers, leaves and ribbons.
It is also easy to shape by hand without using special tools.
Florist's green or brown tape, or coloured pipe cleaners
can be useful for securing and attaching purposes.
You can use the florist's wire to attach your materials to
the wire base, then further secure and cover up any sharp
ends with tape. It is best to attach your flowers and foliage
in small clusters, working your way along your wire circle,
wrapping the fine wire round your wreath as you progress.
If you are covering the whole wreath in order to make a complete
circlet of flowers (I think this looks the best) you will
need to carefully tuck your final bunch's stems under the
first cluster. If you cannot manage to cover all the wire,
it can be easily disguised with ribbons and bows which should
be in a colour and thickness to compliment your chosen flowers.
Gaps can also be conveniently covered with bunches of berries!
Straw - make a natural wreath by shaping
straw into a circle and then tying it along sections with
string or long flexible pieces of straw
(try damping it to make it easier). Or if you want an easier
wreath you can buy ready-made straw wreaths at many craft
shops. You can make an attractive straw wreath by plaiting
three long sections of straw, but this is more difficult
for the novice wreath maker (I failed miserably with this
technique first time, and ended up with a wreath more suitable
for Worzel Gummidge than a fair faery! ) Straw does has an
advantage over wire in that you can push the stems right
into the base. You can also glue them in for added strength.
Vines - a really natural looking wreath
can be made by making a circlet with honeysuckle, ivy or
grapevines, but you need to plan ahead with this wreath,
as it makes it much easier to shape if you soak the woody
stems overnight in water. Entwine the damp vines into a circle
and then leave to dry. If you have made the wreath dense
enough, then you should be able to just push your flowers
and foliage into the gaps of the vines. To secure the materials
further you can carefully tie the materials onto the vines
with a fine green twine and then further secure with green
tape. I find big flower heads or secured bunches will generally
stay in the vines by themselves.
With all the wreaths you will need to keep them sprayed with
water for as long as possible before the solstice celebrations,
otherwise you risk a wilted wreath! As part of the celebration
it is traditional to cast your wreath upon a solstice bonfire
for good luck, however, it is not advisable with the wire
based one. Happy Solstice!
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Making a solstice wreath
- Always think safety and don't let unsupervised children
try this. Wear eye protection and insure any wires are
tucked in/taped safely.
|If you want a light ethereal solstice
wreath - Titania, Queen of the Fairies style - get some narrow
gauge wire (22) - from a florist or hardware store. Measure a
circlet on your head and then just keep winding the wire round
into further circles, finishing by winding the wire in and around
the circles. Tuck any sharp ends into the base.
|Take long lengths of ivy (previously soaked in
water -makes them more malleable) and wind them in and out of
the wire circlet, covering as much of the base as possible, tucking
ends in between the wire strands.
||If there are any obvious gaps you can push smaller
pieces of ivy into the base and secure with wire.
Secure the bunches of flowers with wire, tags or tape.
Attach the flower bunches with green tape along the wreath.
The tape won't be visible if you secure it underneath the ivy
As you progress cover the previous bunch of flowers' stems
with the heads of the new ones.
Any gaps can easily be filled by adding extra flowers or by
winding ribbon around.
Once your flowers are all in place give your solstice wreath
a spray of water to make sure it stays fresh and doesn't wilt
To finish off wind a length of ribbon around, curling the
ends to complete the effect.
Place on head and then you can celebrate the summer
solstice in style - a Midsummer night's dream!
How to make a Christmas
You need: a wicker base, ivy, holly(with berries), fir,
pine-cones, ribbon, wire, glue
Start by wrapping lengths of ivy around the front of the base, securing with
wire ties and sticking stems into the base as you go.
(Don't worry about the back of the wreath 'cos it will be against
Now slip pieces of fir into the base, behind the ivy right around the circlet.
Next add the sprigs of holly evenly around the wreath.
In Victorian times wreaths hung on the front door were known as ' Welcome
Using a glue gun carefully stick the pine-cones to the arrangement.
Finish by tying a big ribbon bow at the bottom and add a
loop at the top of the wreath to hang it up with.
To make your Christmas wreath even more festive you can add
baubles. Hang your creation proudly on your front door and
be filled with festive feelings every time you go thro' your
door! Happy Christmas!