Have yourself a merry DIY Christmas
Clare Coulson presents her pick of the seasonal workshops and masterclasses around the country
Festive workshops are not only an indulgent way to get into the Christmas mood, they are also an opportunity to learn new skills and create beautiful flowers and decorations that you can take home to enjoy over the holidays.
And it’s not just about a traditional door wreath – willow tree decorations, elegant garlands, centrepieces and stunning tablescapes are all on offer at classes across the country.
Christmas Flowers, Wreaths and Decorations, Warwickshire
Learn what to grow, cut from the garden and which flowers to buy as well as how to condition them before being taken through Sarah Raven’s top tips for decorating the home and Christmas table, 10.30am-2.30pm (£150, sarahraven.com).
All Day Christmas Decor, Edinburgh Narcissus Flowers is hosting numerous festive workshops throughout December but these weekend courses, from 9am-3pm, will cover all the key types of decoration from making a wreath from scratch to crafting a garland, all using aromatic spruce, cinnamon, dried clementines and other decorations (£175, narcissusflowers.co.uk).
Wreath Workshop, Cheshire
Chloe Robinson worked in interior design for Soane Britain before retraining as a floral designer and setting up in Altrincham Market. In these short workshops you will learn how to make a chic wreath of your own, Dec 2 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm, Dec 6 10.30am-12.30pm and Dec 15 5.30pm-7.30pm (£45, chloerobinsondesigns.com).
Wreath Making, London
Forest London’s cavernous store in south-east London, tucked under the railway arches of Deptford Market Yard, will make a suitably verdant backdrop for this evening class, 7.30pm-9.30pm, in which you will make a long-lasting wreath using seasonal foliage as well as berries and dried flowers and fruits (£70, freshflower. co.uk).
Doing The Winter Flowers, West Yorkshire For anyone serious about mastering beautiful arrangements year-round, this day-long course will be an indulgent, illuminating experience. Hosted by Hedgerow’s Rachael Scott and Sarah Statham of Simply By Arrangement at her home and studio in Hebden Bridge, the small class will work through centrepieces, garlands and wreaths with a cosy fireside lunch (£395, simplybyarrangement.co.uk).
DECEMBER 4 AND 5
Wreath Making Courses, Wiltshire Make a beautiful Christmas wreath with Rachel Wilson at The Rectory Hotel, Crudwell. Each course includes a welcome glass of champagne, a two-course lunch with a glass of wine and afternoon tea and coffee. 10.30am3.30pm (approx £95; rachelwilsoneventflowers.com).
DECEMBER 4, 12 AND 18
Christmas Table Styling Masterclass, London
If you want to create a contemporary take on dressing a table for the festive season then this one-day course, 10am-4pm, will help you channel all the symbolic colours, scents and textures of Christmas, creating two different arrangements (£275, londonflowerschool.com).
DECEMBER 2 AND 9
Wreath School, Sheffield
Channel Anna Potter’s exquisite romantic style in one of Swallows & Damson’s wreath-making classes which are being held in a beautiful Georgian chapel in Sheffield over two Sundays. There’ll be more than the usual evergreen foliage – seedpods, grasses, seasonal fruits, dried flowers and leaves as well as mulled wine and heated floors are included in these cosy, fun classes. 10-12; 1-3pm; 4-6pm (£55, swallowsanddamsons.com)
DECEMBER 6 AND 10
Christmas Wreath-making Workshop, Suffolk
Denise Johnson is an artisan grower and florist based in Southwold and will host these intimate workshops, 9am-noon or 1pm-4pm, in the quirky summerhouse at Darsham Nurseries, where you will use natural and foraged materials to create a wreath (£55, darshamnurseries.co.uk).
Centrepiece Masterclass and the Art of Festive Tablescaping, Surrey There won’t be a poinsettia in sight at Tom Broome-Hughes’s afternoon workshop, 2.30pm-5.30pm, focusing on flowers and foliage for the Christmas table. After working on your own centrepiece, Broome-Hughes will demonstrate how to create a magical table using plants, decorations, candlelight and garden-gathered foliage (£145, thomasbloom.biz). Join garden designer Annie Guilfoyle for this 9am-5pm workshop and you will learn how to transform twigs, branches, foliage and other foraged woodland and garden materials into contemporary, natural decorations. You’ll perfect twig stars, pine-cone gardens, wild wreaths and tree decorations as well as pretty place settings and get novel gift-wrapping ideas (£140, westdean.org.uk).
Festive Flowers, Norfolk
Head to the beautiful Holkham estate for this workshop, 10am-12.30pm and 2pm-4.30pm, with Jo Thomas of Constance Rose Florists. Using foliage from the surrounding parkland, you will create your own centrepiece while munching mince pies (£50, holkham.co.uk).
DECEMBER 20 AND 22
Seasonal Table Arrangements, Gloucestershire
Daylesford’s beautiful HQ, with its own cutting garden, is hosting numerous festive floral workshops (including classes for children on Dec 8 and 22) but this morning course, 9.30am-1pm, with the in-house floristry team will start with collecting materials and then focus on lush centrepieces for the Christmas table (£125, daylesford.com).
Christmas Garland Making, Gloucestershire
Learn how to make a festive garland for a table, mantlepiece or banister using evergreen foliage, conifers, pine cones, berries, seeds and cinnamon, 6pm9.30pm (£50, cotswoldposypatch.com).
YULETIDE DECORATION Wreathes can be as large as your imagination, main; festive centrepieces to make your dinner parties suitably jolly celebrations, above and right