Get your wreath on
Get creative with a Christmas wreath workshop at Blackthorpe Barn, Suffolk
Christmas is a time for crafting. Even if you’re not the artsy type there’s nothing more special than adding a few personal touches at Christmas, and where better to start than with your own wreath?
Nestled in the woodlands of the Rougham Estate, Blackthorpe Barn has been spreading the magic of Christmas for years and has established itself as one of the go to places for festive fun in the East of England.
The surrounding fir trees, wooden barns, twinkling lights and happy faces set the perfect festive atmosphere. Blackthorpe Barns opens the doors to its Christmas shop as early as October. Here you’ll find a multitude of colours; gold, silver, white, green, purple and more. The walls are stacked floor to ceiling with a rainbow of beautiful baubles and divine decorations. However, it’s not just about the decorations and trees, Blackthorpe Barn has a choice of festive workshops including wreath making, felt baubles, garlands and more.
Located in the newly built Meadow Room, I sat down for a morning of creativity at the wreath workshop hosted by Trudi Edmunds; an interdisciplinary artist who does everything from glass gilding to furniture design – she’s a great teacher too. In no less than three hours, Trudi had helped me, and a room full of others, create beautiful handmade wreaths that would rival those found in stores across the country!
The morning started with introductions before heading out into the estate to cut and forage our own foliage. With direction from Trudi, the group carefully chopped six branches each from the tall Norway Spruce trees, followed by ivy and holly. Back in the cabin like classroom we watched Trudi demonstrate how to evenly place the branches into the wreath ring. It was then our turn. Myself and the group busily concentrated, twisting and turning the foliage into the wreath ring to create an impressive and bushy design.
Once pleased with our creations, it was on to decoration. Everyone had their own ideas and creativity filled the room. In addition to the cinnamon sticks, dried fruit, stars, pine cones berries, robin and ribbon provided, my friend and I had bought along a few extra decorations of our own to create the look we wanted. I had envisioned a white and hessian wreath to suit my newly painted grey front door.
Trudi was a pro at helping with décor placement and offering tips on how to attach accessories and tie bows. I’ll admit I completely cheated and let her tie mine for me – my bow skills were abysmal!
The finished products were truly stunning and so much bigger and fuller than you’d buy from a store and probably less costly too! The hands-on experience of foraging was a nice touch to the workshop and made the homemade wreath feel extra special. The wreath workshop is a wonderful festive event and one I will definitely be repeating next year.
If you’re looking to get crafty and into the Christmas spirit this month, there’s still a few spaces remaining for the wreath workshop at Blackthorpe Barn on 5, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 20 and 21 December, priced £45.
If you can’t make it this year, it’s certainly one to put on the list for 2020!
For more details visit www.blackthorpebarn.com/christmas/