Once the autumn leaves are falling it’s time to prune trees and shrubs. You can use some of the materials to make nice rustic decorations, like wreaths or grow supports for your garden. This tutorial shows you how to make a basic willow wreath.
Willow stems are ideal for crafting, because they are very flexible and easily available.
Willow Wreath Tutorial:
1. Use thin and long willow stems for your wreath. The stems should not be thicker than your little finger. If the stems are freshly cut, you can start to work with them directly. If the stems are dried, you need to soak them in water for a couple of days. Otherwise they will break once you try to bend them.
2. Start with 3 long stems and twist or braid them together loosely. Arrange the stems in a way that the ends are staggered lightly.
3. Bend your stems to form a circle and cross over the ends. Be gentle and bend as you go along. Otherwise you’ll just get sharp bends and kinks. You could bend the stems around a tree trunk, or – as I like to do it – around your knee.
4. Once your stems form a rough circle, hold them together with one hand, and intertwine the ends with your other hand. This step can be a bit tricky. I always work with my hand and feet to pull this off. You could also tie the stems together with some jute string until everything stays in place.
5. Add new willow stems as you go along. Try to distribute them evenly and balance out weak spots. Twist the stems in different directions, and weave the ends through the wreath.
6. Weave in the protruding ends of the stems and work on the shape of your wreath. Try to take your time to round the willow wreath. Some stems will need more bending than others until they keep the desired shape. Once you are satisfied with the shape of your wreath, simply cut of the ends that are still sticking out with some pruning shears.
This basic willow wreath tutorial shows you how to create a nice wreath foundation for your seasonal decorations. In my next entry I’m going to show you how to make a beautiful wreath with colorful autumn leaves. Click on the picture if you want to know how it’s done: