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How to make an alternative Christmas wreath

You will need

  • Dried fruits
  • Flowers
  • Seedheads
  • 13mm-gauge chicken wire
  • Cream emulsion tester pot
  • Galvanised garden wire
  • Raffia
  • Fuse wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers
  • Paint brush
Do it: December
At its best: December
Takes just: one hour

Overview

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

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.


How to do it

Cutting the wire to shape

1

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


Cutting the chicken wire to shape

2

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


Attaching the chicken wire to the wire frame

3

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.


Painting the heart-shaped chicken wire

4

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.


Filling the heart with decorations

5

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


Close a secure the hearts with fuse wire

6

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.


Hang the heart in a prominent place

7

Hang the heart in a prominent place, such as a door or wall.




Discuss this project

Talkback: How to make 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.