Today truly is a SUNday, with the most glorious bright, crisp and wind still, frosty morning. What better morning than to unzip door number four and make that most popular of advent decorations, the wreath. The added challenge today though was to make the wreath outside, using only items from around the property we’re currently camped up on. An outdoor upcycled wreath if you like.
Firstly the base.
Two weeks ago, thanks to the arrival of storm Angus we had a serious case of ‘Wind in the Willows’, and I collected a lot of the branches that came down in the storm with an idea of ‘doing something’ at a later date.
Willow is such a great material to work with, as it is so easily malleable. With this in mind I took some of the thinner pieces and cut off any branches until I had a nice handful of straight willow. I tied this together with some bailing twine, and then began to roughly wind the twine round until the willow resembled a circle. I tucked in the ends of the willow, and chopped off any pieces that were really long. I found my wreath was more of an oval so I pushed it into a circle shape and re-wound the twine so that it was tight.
Once I was happy with the shape I began with the decoration. Traditionally, wreaths use evergreen species in celebration of their endurance through the winter months (a tradition adopted into Christian celebrations). Following this tradition, and because there is an abundance of it here, I collected a load of ivy. This is easily pulled off walls (the walls will probably thank you for it too). I tucked pieces of ivy into the twine and weaved it around the willow, being careful not to force it too tightly or it will snap. When it did snap I just tucked it in and started again. I kept weaving pieces until I felt the wreath looked full enough, yet you could still see the willow.
For the finishing touch I used some bright red haws (hawthorn berries) – striking and festive in colour.
I tucked these in under the twine and the ivy for that final bit of flourish. And voila, a simple festive outdoor adornment for the tipi!