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How to create an alternative Christmas wreath

You will need

Dried fruits



13mm-gauge chicken wire

Cream emulsion tester pot

Galvanised garden wire


Fuse wire

Wire cutters


Paint brush

Do it: December
At its best: December
Takes just: one hour


Christmas wreaths don’t have to be mass-produced or shop-bought. You can easily find all you need to create your own festive wreath in the garden, a park or out and about in the countryside. Fir cones, bark, seedheads, dried fruits and strands of ivy are all perfect materials to inspire you.

This heart-shaped wire frame, stuffed with foraged pine cones, echium seed heads and crab apples, is a fresh twist on the traditional Christmas door wreath. To shape it, use an off-cut of 13mm-gauge chicken wire. It’s possible to make any shape you like, so if a heart isn’t for you, choose a star or a circle. If you're looking for some finishing touches, why not complement your wreath with some homemade tin can garden lights.

Follow our six easy steps to create your own alternative Christmas wreath, with materials from the garden.

How to do it


Cut an 80cm length of galvanised wire, and bend it into a heart shape, joining the ends at the bottom. Make another to match.


Using the wire heart as a template, cut two larger heart shapes out of the chicken wire (roughly 15mm wider all the way round).


Use short twists of fuse wire to tie the heart-shaped outline to the chicken wire, moulding it into a shallow frame. Take time to bend the chicken wire (you may want to wear gloves for this), tucking any sharp edges out of the way with pliers.


Give both hearts two coats of paint, allowing them to dry in between. When the second coat is dry, bind the hearts at one side with fuse wire.


Fill the open heart with foraged materials, putting the most delicate objects at the top. They should stay fresh through the festive season.


Close and secure the frame with fuse wire. Attach a bunch of dried chillies or seedheads to the front with raffia. Use raffia to tie it to your door.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to create an alternative Christmas wreath
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Alarmed Nut 15/12/2011 at 18:34

You are kidding, right? This looks like someone was trawling for tuna and picked up some floating debris. Are there dolphins in there, or is it just flotsam and jetsam. One sees chain mail which is less obtrusive. Did Sir Bedevere wear pantyhose. Crows in Japan make prettier nests out of wire coat hangers.
On a more positive note, this heart shaped wire basket might look quite fetching stuffed with something fluffy that would obscure the wire, perhaps moss or seaweed or a pheasant.