Making Edible Wreathes. How to make Christmas Wreathes from Sprouts, Fruit, Nuts and Garlic.
I made this edible Christmas wreath for lovely Mandy who works for me. Mandy has a bit of a sprout fetish and starts eating them obsessively from the moment they hit the shops in November so this was her idea of heaven.
Fortunately we work in quite a large field!
If you’d like to make one you will need the following:
1 x 12 inch wire wreath ring
1 roll of florist binding wire
approx 50 florist stub wires
(all the above available online)
a few good handfuls of straw or hay
(but damp scrunched up newspaper would do!)
a large bag of chillies
approximately 4 kilos of sprouts
Start by peeling the outer layers from the sprouts and then loop them onto the stub wires approximately 4 at a time so they look like mini kebabs.
Wrap a good layer of straw or hay around your wire wreath base and secure by wrapping around and around with the florist’s wire. Secure the florist wire to the metal base at the start and finish to stop it coming undone.
Then start to wrap your stub wires around the wreath base so that the sprouts form a solid mass at the front of the wreath and twist the two ends of the wire at the back to secure in place.
Continue all the way around the wreath until it is completely covered. You might need to include the odd wire with just two on here and there to ensure an even coverage as the outside of the ring is obviously wider than the inside but they are quite malleable. Using the smaller sprouts on the inside of the wreath and the larger ones on the outside also helps with this.
At this point pick up the wreath with the sprouts facing you and turn it slowly around clockwise to see which way is up. There will definitely be a point at which it looks right. Feel free to gently squish and squeeze it to get the shape correct. This is very important. When you are happy with which way is the top then turn it over and attach a hanging wire by looping a triple strand of wire across from one side of the metal wreath frame to the other about 1/3rd down. Keep it slightly slack just like with a picture wire so that when it is hung the wire doesn’t show across the central hole.
Next pair up chillies and hook them either individually or in pairs through the end of a stub wire. Poke the other end of the wire down between the gaps between the sprouts so that it goes all the way through the wreath to the reverse side and then just fold over.
Attach a ready made bow either at the top or bottom of the wreath (as takes your fancy), or make a nice bow from some wired florist ribbon. Attach the bow to a hooked stub wire, just like with the chillies and poke through the base before folding around the back to secure.
Hang on a hook and enjoy!
Varitations on a theme.
ROSEMARY, ORANGE AND APPLE WREATH
You can also make this wreath with rosemary, oranges and apples using exactly the same method except that you just wire on the rosemary to the base and then use individual stub wires to attach the oranges and apples. String the apples and oranges individually about 1/3 of the way through on a stub wire and fold the wire over tight to secure (remember they are heavy when they hang so they need to be secure). Push the other end of the wire through the wreath and fold back on itself to secure.
When all the fruit is secure hold up to see which way up looks best and then add your bow.
Making a wreath from nuts is time consuming but worthwhile as it will last for years if it is kept dry – i.e. in a protected porch.
Follow the method above up to the stage of having your wire base covered in straw. Wrap around with cling film to secure the straw in place and then cover with black industrial tape so the the background is black.
Choose whatever nuts you prefer and secure them to the base with a glue gun. The overall finish is neater if you complete the outside edge and the inside edge with a ring of identical nuts (we used walnuts as a friend brings them back from their house in France for me) and infill with a selection of others. Alternatively you could use all the same variety of nuts.
GARLIC CHRISTMAS WREATH
Either of the above methods can be used to make a garlic wreath but the latter, using the glue gun, is better as piecing the bulbs with the stubbing wires (the first method) makes for a very smelly wreath – perhaps better suited for halloween than Christmas. Using a glue gun to secure them means that after Christmas you can carefully remove the inner cloves and make some lovely pickled garlic or even just hang the wreath in the kitchen for use.
Which is your favourite?
Edible Christmas Wreath