Deck the Halls: Wonderful wreath-making workshops
Crackers about Christmas crafting? Here’s our pick of some of the best fabulously festive workshops around Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Did you know that the tradition of wreaths dates back to ancient Egypt and Greece? No, neither did we before researching this article. The wonders of Google, eh? Let’s hope it comes up on that inevitable Christmas Zoom quiz with the extended family.
Speaking of which, if you fancy impressing your nearest and dearest with a festive arrangement made by your own fair hands this year, online and offline, there’s some great workshops happening in Hants and IoW. Better book now though as they’re going fast. Go on – YULE love it (sorry).
Stanstead Park Wreath Making Workshop, Rowland’s Castle
Create a wreath worthy of Rowlands Castle’s grand house itself (above) with fresh foliage and expert tuition from Stanstead Park. Collect a pack of materials, including foliage, ribbon, fir cones, orange slices and a willow wreath base then join Rebecca on Zoom as she walks you through the assembly live from Stansted’s grand Main Hall.
£25. 13 December at 10.30am, 90 minutes. Collect materials from Stansted House on 12 December.
Field Farm Project Wreath Making Workshop, Colemore, near Alton
Set in the South Downs National Park, the Field Farm Project is essentially a nature school for all ages, teaching woodland craft, field studies, farm life, horticulture and ancient crafts. This wreath-making workshop makes the most of local willow and hedgerow materials. Pick out your own greenery, pinecones, seed heads, berries, teasels and ribbons and – with a bit of help from instructor Mollie Butters – combine them into your own bespoke design while you quaff a glass of mulled wine and a warm mince pie.
£40, 10 and 11 December, 6pm – 9pm.
Plotting a way to escape the kids/partner for a bit after Lockdown 2? Me too… Make an afternoon of it at this luxury Chewton Glen Christmas Flowers Afternoon Workshop. Tuck into a festive lunch and a mince pie (or two) then learn how to create a 5-star Christmas door wreath and fresh-flower table arrangement with hotel florists Sarah Wilkins and Nicole Rowe.
£115. 14 December. Lunch from 12.30pm, workshop 2pm – 5.45pm.
Florists Catkin & Pussywillow are known for their super-stylish displays. Shops in Winchester and Four Marks deliver creative bouquets and centrepieces that live up to their tagline ‘blooms done beautifully’. In place of founder Ellie Marlow’s usual annual wreath making ‘mega workshops’, this year, Catkin & Pussywillow have created a wreath making kit that’s delivered to your door and assembled by following the florist’s YouTube and IGTV Home Flower School tutorials. Good news though, eh? No-one will know how many times you have to replay the instructions!
£50, available now.
Workshops at this archaeological outdoor museum are always authentically ancient and this crafty exploration of the winter solstice celebration is no different. Once you’ve exited the A3 and left the car behind, it’s easy to imagine yourself as an ancient pagan here, far away from crazy modern life. Bring home a bone-fide, authentically ancient-style decoration as tutor Victoria Melluish demonstrates all while discussing symbolism, magic and the turning of the cycle of the year.
£25. 15, 17 and 21 December, 10am to 12.30pm.
Join Southampton florists Belles in the Wood (aka Annabell and Isobel) at this Christmas wreath workshop at Wonderberrys café at the Burseldon Brickworks museum. As well as everything you need to make a traditional festive door wreath, they’ll also have a glass of Prosecco and a festive treat waiting for you. Chin, chin!
£60. 3 December, 6pm.
Chawton House Willow Workshop, Chawton, near Alton
Wrap-up warm and spend a morning or afternoon in the historic Dyers Barn (above) on the Chawton House estate creating a twinkly festive star at this outdoor winter workshop led by Farnham-based willow weaver and basket-maker, Judith Needham.
£45. 13 December, 10am – 1pm; 1.30pm – 4.30pm. Includes a hot drink.
Tiny Homes is an offbeat boutique retreat with four tiny eco-homes and a cosy studio with woodburning stove created for workshops. Inside, guest tutor Sharon Rhind will provide materials sourced from her nearby farmland and show you how to make them into a gorgeous natural wreath. Don’t live locally? Make a night of it and relax in your own comfy eco cabin (above).
£28pp or £135 for an overnight stay and wreath-making workshop for two. 3 December, 6pm – 8pm.