Christmas Wreath Making with Bex Partridge of Botanical Tales
Ever wondered how to make a Christmas wreath? Ever wanted to embrace nature and use your creativity for your DIY decorations?
In November we launched our brand new tutorial, Wreath Making, with Bex Partridge of Botanical Tales to teach you how to do just that.
Who is Botanical Tales?
Bex Partridge is a grower, dryer, and maker of everlasting dried flowers. She's passionate about working closely with nature throughout the seasons, making the best of all that the natural world has to offer us.
Forever the forager, her small studio in a corner of her house in South England is full to the brim with drying flowers, seedheads, and foliage collected from her garden, allotment or surrounding countryside.
Having quit her job a year ago to work on Botanical Tales, Bex now creates these beautiful floral displays using all-natural materials full-time.
Christmas wreath making
In this tutorial, Bex allows you into her studio (and around her allotment) for a day of foraging, drying, cutting and designing to show us how she goes about making a seasonal botanical wreath. Bex takes you through every stage of the process, giving you the skills for you to create your own bespoke piece to suit any home or personality.
Christmas wreath ideas
Bex enjoys putting together natural Christmas wreath kits, containing most of what you need to create your own wreath this festive season. She will always use fresh foliage that has been selected to ensure it dries perfectly, with all other ingredients also carefully chosen to ensure they have longevity.
Bex really encourages you to step outside and select a few additional elements for your wreath. Nature is a wonderful place to be in the Winter and taking just a short walk amongst it will reveal many natural materials to be added to your design.
Below she shares some of her ideas on what to include in your wreath, taken from her website.
Bex Partridge's Guide to Wreath Making
I’ve been making wreaths for many years now and through trial and error have pretty much nailed the best technique and materials to use, in my humble opinion.
As we are now entering wreath season proper (although for me, wreath season is all year!) I thought I would share with you some of my top tips so you can go forth and wreath with confidence!
Let's start at the beginning. Making your own wreath bases is sustainable, cost-effective and if you use the right material, very easy. My style is asymmetrical which means I leave some of the base exposed, for this reason, I love to use vines that have natural twists and turns to them as it really matches my wild style. Here are the materials I find the best to make bases with:
- Honeysuckle - either from a loved ones garden or the woods - please do take care when foraging, to only take what you need)
- Hop vine - my current favourite, supple enough to wind easily which then firms up perfectly to be robust enough to last the distance
- Birch - the long tendrils look stunning wrapped around en masse
- Virginia creeper - I use this for my smaller wreaths, it's not as strong as hop vine for example but the tiny twisty tendrils are to die for!
Next up is what I consider the best technique with which to secure the materials you use to the wreath base. What you use for this is entirely up to you – be it string, raffia or wire, I always use the same technique. Working with a long length of your chosen material, secure it at a certain point on your wreath base, keeping the length attached at all times, simple wind around and around the wreath base to secure the material you use to your base. Keep going until you are happy with your creation and simply cut and secure the wreath base. Simples!
Now for the best part: what materials to use. I use both fresh and dried materials when I make my wreaths, making sure that any fresh materials I do use will dry well. Its a bit of “see what happens” with regards to finding out what will dry well and as with all things in nature, nothing is guaranteed so you have to expect some failures. I grow and dry my own flowers, that last me for most of the winter months and for anything else I try to forage or at the very least buy materials that are homegrown here in the UK. Here are a few ideas to get you going, this is list is by no means exhaustive, however:
- Seed heads: nigella, rose hips, teasel, thistle, poppy, fir-cones
- Grasses: quaker grass, bunny tails, barley, grasses from the meadows
- Foliage: holme oak, bracken, eucalyptus, pistache (the late two, I buy from my local florist)
- Flowers: strawflowers, delphinium, ox-eye daisy, crespedia, clover, hydrangea
So there you have it, a few of my top tips for wreath making! I hope this has inspired to go forth and get wreathing, I’ll be doing just that for most of December.