Posted in Christmas Activites

Christmas Wreath Making

Making my own Christmas wreath has been on the list of things I want to do for a long time. At weekend I finally got myself on a wreath making afternoon and now proudly hanging on my door is a home made wreath.

Whilst I could of had a go at home going on a course was nice as it definitely gets you in that Christmas spirit. Woolly Willow Creations ran my course… if your in Cheshire I could definitely recommend them. They supplied everything you needed, super friendly tuition, Christmas music and refreshments. It was £20 which was very competitively priced in comparison to other wreath courses I sourced.

The afternoon began with a clear demonstration. We were to make our wreaths in two parts… building up the greenery and then embellishing.

You see on the tables here moss rings which we started with for ease. However you could get your own wreath ring and build up adding the moss as you go securing with reel wire.

One of the benefits of coming on a course is everything is supplied (not to mention the mega mess wreath making creates… not having to clean up is an added bonus!) The right greenery can be tricky to find and quite expensive to buy. But here’s a list of what to look out for –

  • Ivy
  • Holly
  • Conifer
  • Hebe
  • Spruce
  • Cedar
  • Eleagnus
  • Yew
  • Cornush twigs
  • Just make sure whatever you use it’s ever green. Once the demonstration was over we set to on our own wreaths. First off you use some stubb wire to create a ring to hang your wreath eventually.
  • With the ring in place this will be the top of your wreath. Adding foliage to it will now build it up. Choose a good mixed selection to create what you call a unit. It’s several of these that cover round your ring eventually.

    Secure the reel wire to your moss ring and then hold the unit in position. Wrap around the reel wire twice to secure the unit to the wreath… you must pull it tight. It is essentially this technique you use all the way around. Each time you place the next unit overlapping the last to hide your wire work.

    It was easy to build it up. The thing that took longest was selecting which foliage would go in each unit.

    Once you think your wreath is complete hold it up as you may have areas now as full. But this is no problem… you simply use the stub wire to make an anchor and and then wrap it around the bunch of foliage you want to add in. Poke the wire into the area of the wreath that’s lacking.

    The second demonstration showed us how to embellish our wreath. This is where you can get creative! Again using the stubb wire you can attach embellishments such as baubles, berry’s, pine cones, dried fruit, dog wood sticks and bows.

    I wanted quiet a traditional looking one so I added a more rustic style bow, pine cones, berries and cedar wood sticks which are a lovely red colour.

    A few tweaks here and there and we were finished! It was lovely to see although we all started out with the same stuff everybody’s wreaths came out different.

    I was pretty pleased with how mine turned out, I think maybe it could of see a little more embellishments though. The whole afternoon was really lovely and I will definitely be doing a wreath next year. I might even attempt drying some fruit to add. It got me thinking though that maybe I could do an Easter one next!

    Why not have a go at wreath making? I’m obviously no expert but I thought this post may help to guide you a bit and inspire you.

    Rachael 🙂 x

    Woolly Willow creations do many other crafty courses, go check them out here –

    Posted in Christmas Activites

    Making a Simple Advent Calendar…

    A couple of weeks ago I decided to make an advent calendar this year for my son. He’s 10 years old and has just asked the dreaded ‘Santa’ question. Keen to still make the run up to Christmas a special time for him I started thinking of ideas.

    I decided to go for a fairly simple design as it’s the first one I have attempted. The thing that appealed most to me was being able to fill it with his favourite treats. I considered little envelopes and then decided pillow boxes would be better to fit stuff in so opted for those. I thought the best way to do it was to fasten them to some kind of board.

    Hobby Craft is my first stop when doing a project like this. Whilst in there I decided that a notice board would make a good base. It eliminated the need for decorating as it looked nice as it was. I picked up a glue gun for only £2 – essential for this project. Some little wooden numbers and decided to also add my sons name too. I went to the works (cheaper shop for craft supplies) to get ribbon, washi tape and embellishments.

    Most the stuff I used can be seen above but here’s a list of what you need:

    • 40 x 60 cm notice board
    • Glue gun and glue sticks
    • Ribbon – at least 2m to do the edge
    • Wooden numbers
    • Christmas embellishments
    • Washi tape
    • Pillow boxes
    • Scissors
    • Name letters
    • PVA glue
    • Glitter
    • Treats or tiny toys

    The glue gun is your friend in this project! I have to laugh because although I have always loved crafting a hot glue gun I was never allowed. Today at 35 years old I am nursing a blister on my finger from using it! Not a bad one but still my mum was right to not give me one ha ha!

    Start by edging your advent calendar in ribbon. Use the glue gun to put blobs along the edge and stick the ribbon down and cut to size.

    Next make up your pillow boxes by folding in the ends. Arrange them on your board so you can see how they look… you should have five rows of five. Once arranged on the board look at your embellishments. I chose a total of seven different ones. This gave me enough so none were next to each other in any direction.

    Use your glue gun to attach your embellishments and ribbon. Make sure you think about where your numbers are going at this point. Then glue the bottom of the boxes too.

    Once all your boxes are assembled check your happy with the order on the board. At this point you can switch them round if your not.

    Once satisfied it’s time to attach your numbers. Using the glue gun I put mine in the top left corner.

    Now you are ready to put in the treats. I thought when I came up with this idea that I would fit little toys in too but it was very difficult to find anything. The beauty of this project is you can fill it with your child’s favourite sweets and chocolate and of course some more Christmas themed treats.

    Someone also suggested Lego men so I bought a set of 8 of these for £10 off eBay. I thought it would be nice to mix it up. They fit perfectly and came part unassembled in little packets which I liked.

    So now it’s time to fill your boxes. Larger items like the freddo I only put one in but things like the maoms I put in four or five.

    Once filled it’s time to attach the boxes. I did worry if they would hold but given the things in them are light they did. Just put a line of glue down the centre of the back of each one and press into place.

    I then stuck on the numbers into the corner of each box alternating between red and white for effect.

    Finally it was time to do the letters to finish off the top of the board. First I tried painting them but the paint wasn’t strong enough and the card showed through. I decided glitter was the way to go keeping with the sparkly theme of the ribbon. I used PVA glue to coat the letters and then just simply sprinkled the glitter all over.

    Finally I attached the letters to the board – again with the glue gun and added some little bells in the top corners to fill the gaps. It’s important to leave your board flat for at least an hour whilst everything dries and sets properly.

    So here is the finished product…

    The only thing I don’t like is the ‘L’ is larger but I wanted a capital and it just came bigger! I’m made up with it and I’m sure my son will love it too, I can’t wait to give it to him. Start to finish it was probably a 2 hour project. It was easy and enjoyable!

    Have you ever made an advent calendar? How did it turn out? Let me know if you give this one a go in the comments 🙂

    Rachael x