a. A good pair of clippers
b. A wreath form: We used wire forms for the class, but I have used small grapevine wreaths successfully as well. The benefit of the wire forms is their sturdiness -- they can hold a lot of lavender.
c. Florist’s wire
d. A lavender field: Try to time it so that the buds haven’t yet opened. As our instructor Leslie noted, if many of the buds have already opened, the wreath will look a little browner and be more “sheddy” as the flowers die and fall off. Better to cut the lavender before the buds open so that the wreath retains it color.
e. Snacks, preferably lavender themed: This will take a few hours -- you will want to make sure that you keep your strength up. I would suggest some lavender lemonade, lavender cream cheese with crackers or bread and maybe some lavender lemon shortbread cookies.
Every time I fill my basket to overflowing with freshly cut lavender, I walk back to the table full of confidence, thinking this time, this time, I have cut just the right amount of lavender for my wreath. In fact, I think, maybe this time I cut too much! So I start envisioning the lovely bundles I will dry with all of the left overs. And every single time, I have to go back into the field to get more lavender. Every. Single. Time. So cut more than you think you will need X 3.
Some people like to go through the gigantic pile of lavender and then make fist-sized bundles of lavender. Some do not. I am in the former group -- and I am right. Or maybe I’m not. Who knows. I like to pre-make and line up all of my bundles because I find it a little easier to grab an already made bundle once I start assembling and not have to stop every minute or so to make a new bundle. Note: If you want a bigger wreath, your bundles should have longer stems -- for more compact wreaths the bundles should have shorter stems
- Wrap the wire around the wreath form and secure it so that you can pull the wire tight and it won’t come off.
- Grab a bundle of lavender and lay it right where the wire is secured to the form. Wrap the wire around the bundle 2-3 times, pulling fairly tightly. Try not to let the wire unwind too much. It is much easier to control the wire if it is wound.
- Grab another bundle and lay it over the exposed stems of the previous bundle. Now wrap the wire around the stems of this bundle. Trim the stems if they are too long. Continue working your way around the wreath form. If you want a larger wreath, you will angle the bundles out a bit.
- You might notice that as you get more comfortable with the bundle wrapping, that your wreath starts to get a little lopsided. That’s OK. Because once you are done, you will hold your wreath up to decide how best to display it, perhaps positioning it so that the weaker part of your wreath is at the bottom (at least that’s what I do). Plus, a little burlap bow can hide a multitude of wreath-making sins
- The last bundle is the most difficult. This is where you get to wrestle with your wreath for a little bit, pushing stems up, over, and down and then squeeeezing that last bundle into place before pulling that wire over the last stems. This might take a few tries.
- Hold your wreath up proudly for all around you to see. Perhaps even seek out a neighbor or stranger walking down your street to take a photo of you with your wreath.
In the meantime, get out there with your shears, grab some snacks and start making those bundles!