Make a willow wreath
Start off your DIY Christmas with this easy-to-make willow wreath. Elegant and gorgeous when personalised, willow wreaths look stunning hanging from the front door, on a mantle or as a centrepiece at the dinner table.
A willow wreath can be used in many ways. It offers a sustainable natural structure to which you can add many different styles of foliage for as many different occasions. Although great for the entire year, holly, ivy and mistletoe are popular choices at Christmas time. For a unique touch, why not take a walk through your local green area and forage for the adornments that best suits your home?
This project was taken from Jenny Crisp's book Willow: A Guide to Growing and Harvesting - Plus 20 Beautiful Woven Projects with kind permission of Quarto Books.
What you need to make a Christmas willow wreath
Step 1: Prepare each rod
To start, prepare each rod by wrapping it around a bottle or large piece of cylindrical wood to encourage the fibres into shape. This helps to avoid kinks in your rods as you wrap the willow. With a firm grip, hold the butt end very tightly against the mould as you wrap the remaining rod away from you until you reach the tip. It will spring off in a spiral and will be easier to weave. Starting with 1 willow rod, curve half of it to make a circle of 20cm (8in) diameter.
Step 2: Making the circle
It may take a few goes to achieve a smooth circle without a kink, as with the first wrap with the first rod you will find there is a lot of disparity between the strength of the butt end and the part of the rod that wraps over it. Encouraging a good, generous curve at the butt end with your left hand and holding it there firmly with your thumb will help to retain a consistent circle.