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christmas wreath

12 days of plastic free Christmas: day 3

The festive period brings with it a huge rise in the amount of single-use plastics. Everything from decorations, to wrapping and even some of the food on your Christmas table.

Here at the University of Hull we are asking everyone to take a pledge about reducing their plastic waste at Christmas by providing simple, easy and affordable ways to help minimise plastic waste in the home. Our 12 Days of Plastic-Free Christmas will run from December 1-12 and include, fun and easy to do swaps this Christmas.

Christmas wreaths

What could be more Christmassy than a beautiful wreath adorning a front door as snowflakes tumble onto a carpet of white. When selecting a wreath, the choice is often between a pre-made plastic one or a fresh one, and both can leave lasting effects on our environment. Especially as fresh wreaths are commonly decorated with plastic items such as baubles and glitter.

A hidden plastic menace with Christmas Wreaths, faux or real, is the floral foam used as a backing to hold them together. Floral foam is made of one of the oldest forms of plastic and crumbles into small microplastic pieces1 which are a particular problem in the environment. Many professional florists have washed excess floral foam directly down the sink.

Some alternatives to floral foam include natural moss and chicken wire. However, if you want to make one that you can use for years to come it is possible make your own beautiful Christmas wreath with left over fabrics and materials or from wool.  And when it’s time to replace it is fully recyclable. 

christmas wreath you will need

You will need

  • A wire ring (from a craft shop)
  • Material (either left over old clothes or find your nearest charity shop or scrap store)
  • Wool (find a local wool shop or craft shop)
  • Fabric scissors


Method for the small wreath using pompoms

Making a pompom

  • Draw around the bottom of a cup onto some card.
  • Do this twice and cut out the circle.
  • Put a pencil in the middle, watching your fingers at the back.  Then cut a smaller circle making it look like a ring doughnut.
  • Get some wool and tie it to the circle.
  • Then start to wrap around the circle going in and out of the inside.
  • Carry on this process until the circle is full and tie off the wool to the strand.
  • Then get your scissors and start to cut down the middle of your pompom and through the centre of the 2 pieces of cardboard.  Do this all the way around until you can see all the card.
  • Get a strand of wool and tie it round the centre of the pompom tightly.  You can then release the cardboard.
  • Fluff your pompom and trim until you are happy.

christmas wreath making pompom

Making the pompom wreath

  • Get the string of the pompom and start place it where you want it on the wreath wire.
  • Tie the pompom to the wreath.
  • Continue this to build up your wreath in the design that you want.
  • Once all pompoms are attached.  Put a cardboard backing to the back to make the wreath more secure.
  • Make a loop from left over wool and attach to the back via tying around the wire.
  • Hang it up and look in delight at your handy work!

Method for the large wreath using fabric

  • Once you have found your fabrics cut them into even length strips.
  • Take one strip of the fabric and tie it around the wire ring into a knot.
  • Continue to do this until you have gone around the whole ring.
  • Make a loop from left over wool and attach to the back via tying around the wire.
  • Hang it up and look in delight at your handy work!

christmas wreath final

Sources: Sydney Morning Herald

Authors: Katie Parsons and Chris Skinner

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