The last couple of years at school we’ve had a craft swap morning in the last week of term before Christmas. Each teacher prepares a different Christmassy craft and the children choose which two they would like to do during the course of the morning. It’s always lots of fun, and the older children are fantastic at helping the younger ones. This year I stole an idea from another teacher (one who’s on maternity leave at the moment, so I didn’t feel too bad about it!) and decided to make Christmas wreath decorations from puzzle pieces.
They’re very simple to make (even with lots of children!) and there are several tutorials around if you want to see a step by step version. Basically start with a circle of card and tie a length of wool/string/ribbon to hang it with later. Stick puzzle pieces to the card then add a second round of puzzle pieces on the top, preferably to cover the joins as it makes the wreath stronger. At this point you could paint it if your puzzle pieces are not green on the back as mine were. Then add any decorations – we used sequins for holly berries and added a bow (I just googled Christmas bow and found lots of suitable options).
The ones we made weren’t very big, but were just the right size for the children to complete in an hour. The puzzle I used was kindly donated by a local charity shop – I asked if they had any incomplete ones and they came up with a 3000 piece puzzle that had 2 pieces missing! I offered to pay for it, but she said that I could have it because I was using it in school – so kind!
The other wreath I made was one for the back door. In previous years I’ve reused a willow wreath, changing decorations according to the seasons. But this year I decided to keep the flowery wreath (which has been up since the spring!) intact and make an entirely new one for Christmas.
It was fairly simple to make – I used an embroidery hoop as a base and wrapped the ribbon around it, securing the ends in the hoop. I added a bow at the top and stitched baubles, bells and decorations around the edge. The bottom of the wreath gave me the most stress as I wanted to add a cluster of baubles, but they didn’t hang right no matter what I tried. In the end I gave up and used a big bell instead! It makes a very pleasant jingling sound whenever the door opens or closes.