At this time of year - as the leaves fall from the willow - I make a few foraged rings. Some stay as bare willow, hung amongst pictures on a wall, others will get a decoration of dried flowers, cones and leaves.
I like to keep them simple - they are a visual reminder of the circle of the seasons, of the months, or the years. This is an idea that is particularly important to me over the next six weeks, waiting for the daylight to increase again from mid December. My own preference is for full circles - possibly because I associate them with a cycle - but you can use exactly this method to make a partial ring with all the decoration at the bottom.
If you are doing that I would suggest hanging the ring up while you work, and stepping back from it to check that it looks balanced and not as though everything has slid to the bottom.
A simple willow wreath, with foraged additions
3 or 4 stems of very bendy willow - about four to six feet long.
Dried leaves, flowers or seedheads.
Fine silver rose wire (if your foraged finds don’t have stems)
Bend your willow into a circle shape. You need about 1/3 of the top of the stem to twist around and secure the shape, but the willow itself will determine the size of the ring.
Wrap the top of the stem round and round the ring to hold the circle in place.
Add in another willow stem, beginning in a different place and twisting it round and round the existing circle.
Add in the rest of your willow stems. You can take off leaves and cut the stem ends off neatly if you like. make sure that you leave some of the stem to hold the ring steady.
If you like you can leave the wreath simple like this - a selection of different sized ones hung together on a plain wall look great, or you can continue reading and add in some extras
Cut any stems to a diagonal to make it easier to poke them through the willow.
Carefully slide the stems between the willow.
If your foraged material doesn’t have long enough stems, use fine wire to wrap round them and then attach to the willow.
Add in the rest of the leaves and flowers, making the wreath balanced. You can chose to make a full circle or to just do an area.
Tie doubled up string to the willow to make a hanger.
You can either add flowers and foliage all round the ring for a traditional circular wreath (symbolic of the circle of life) or you can keep the decorations to a particular part.
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