Making a Christmas wreath is easier than you might think - particularly if you follow our experts' tips.

There’s no shame in buying a Christmas wreath, just as there is none in making your own Christmas pudding.

But if you’ve the time, it’s a surprisingly straightforward and enormously rewarding thing to do.

We’ve collected tips from artisan florist Georgie Newbery, author of The Flower Farmer’s Year: How to grow cut flowers for pleasure and profit, and Gillian Wheeler, founder of The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers.

– – –

  • Start off with several lengths of willow, each of them 10ft if you want your final wreath to be 20 inches across. You’ll also want three shorter, thinner willow whips for binding once your wreath is made – garden string will do if that’s easier.

Weeping Willow

  • Work the willow through your hands, pressing and softening it with your thumbs, before you start things off. This will make it far easier to make into a circle, and lessen the chances of it cracking as you work.
  •  Take the first piece of willow and bend it into a circle, twisting it around on itself over and over to weave it into a circle. Then, repeat the process with the remaining willow. As this is the central part of the technique, we’ll let this very nice lady on Youtube – artist Annabel Stanley – demonstrate:
  • Don’t worry if it starts off looking egg-shaped – each subsequent length of willow that you weave in will create tension, and pull the wreath into a more even circle.
  • Once the circle is complete, bind it with the shorter willow whips as tight as you can. When that’s done, it’s time to start decorating by tucking things in – good quality pine spruce is the standard starter, but you can go way beyond that.
A wreath from The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

A wreath from The Covent Garden Academy of Flowers

  • Variety is key: make sure you use a range of different foliage to give your wreath contrast. You can also use some herbs – they’ll look pretty, but also add an element of fragrance – and even fruit. Yes, fruit, as demonstrated here by Gillian Wheeler:
Gillian Wheeler

Gillian Wheeler

  • Rose hips and Ilex berries from the garden give a festive and organic feel, while hydrangeas – fresh or dried – give a contemporary touch.
Killerton garden

Plunder the garden for anything that might work

  • A light spray of hairspray and a pinch or iridescent glitter gives a beautiful frosted look, and helps preserve the wreath.
  • Finally, always back your wreath with plastic florist wrap to protect the door or surface which you hang it on.

Reporting by Felicity Carter

john-lewis-wreath.jpg