DIY: How to make a willow wreath
Craft a pretty spring wreath from bendy stems.
Words: Extract from Nadia: A Seasonal Journal
willow stems (as many as needed to get the width of wreath you want – we used a dozen or so)
flowers (fresh or dried) for decoration
string (for hanging)
Step 1. Choose long, thin willow stems, not thicker than your little finger. Use freshly cut stems immediately, but if they are dried, soak them in water for a couple of days to ensure they are pliable.
Step 2. To start, twist or braid three stems together, arranging the stems so that the ends are slightly staggered.
Step 3. Bend the stems into a circle, crossing over the ends. Be gentle; you don’t want sharp bends and kinks. (It might help to mould the willow around your knee.)
Step 4. Once the stems are formed into a circle, hold them together and intertwine the ends (you might need two pairs of hands for this).
Step 5. Add new stems as you go, aiming to distribute them evenly and balance out any weak spots. The wreath will become more solid as you wrap more stems into it.
Step 6. Taking your time, weave in any protruding stems. Some stems will also need more bending until they are moulded into shape. Once satisfied, snip off the sharp, sticky-outy ends with pruning shears.
Step 7. Prettify the wreath using florists’ wire to attach decorations.
A willow wreath should last for many years if kept dry.
WAYS TO USE A WILLOW WREATH
– Wind fresh flowers into a thin willow wreath to make a fairy crown for children’s dress-ups.
– Use homemade Christmas decorations to turn it festive.
– Use small wreaths as candle-holder centrepieces.
– Your imagination is your limit when it comes to decorations – try flowers, fresh or dried foliage, ribbons, tiny pinecones, berries, string, shells, fabric scraps, beads and battery-operated seed lights…
– Grapevines and clematis stems make great substitutes for willow.