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Winter is upon us, and with it, scant daylight and often gloomy weather. What better way to brighten up your mood than making a vibrant DIY Christmas wreath for your front door? And if you’re trying to make the season as zero waste as possible, a foraged wreath is an easy, affordable, and highly satisfying project. You don’t have to be a gardening expert or florist—all you need is some sprigs of foliage, a few materials, a cosy work area, and your favourite festive playlist! Hot drinks are optional.

Materials you’ll need to make your DIY Christmas wreath:

Materials you need for a DIY Christmas wreath

For your foraged winter wreath, you’ll need the following materials:

Step 1: Forage for your foliage

For your foraged materials, explore your own garden for foliage or ask a friend, family member, or neighbour if you can take clippings from theirs. Another great way to forage is to scan the local landscape while you’re out walking the dog or going for a run. Look for evergreen foliage in a range of colours and textures for your wreath. 

Be mindful when foraging. Never cut from private property unless given permission. To ensure your wreath is environmentally-friendly, only take one cutting from each plant or bush you see. It’s also important to shake, rinse, and examine your cuttings to avoid kidnapping hidden insects or molluscs.

After collecting your foraged materials, you can condition them by placing them in water for a few hours or overnight. This will help keep your wreath from drying out too quickly.

If you have ivy or other vines taking over your garden, you can use them to make your wreath frame. Length and quantity are up to you, but test your vines to see if they bend into a circle without breaking. Remove the leaves and any scraps for the compost. 

Next, experiment with the size of wreath you want, tying the vines together with your hobby wire or even some smaller vines. You can also purchase a frame made from wire or willow branches.

Step 2: Make your foliage bundles

There are many different ways to make a wreath, but this tutorial uses the “bundle” method. You will be making small bundles of foliage—like a small bouquet or nosegay—that you will attach to your frame.

To make your bundles, set your clippings out in front of you, grouping them by type. Play around with groupings of the same foliage and combinations to see what looks best. The length and thickness of each bundle depend on your foraged elements, the size of your wreath frame, and whether you prefer minimalist or fuller wreaths.

Next, take a piece of floristry or hobby wire and wrap the wire around the lower part of your bundle—around one-third—until it is secure. Once you’ve finished wrapping the wire, twist the two ends of the wire together to secure it. Don’t go overboard with the wire, as it will be difficult to remove for composting when it’s time to take down your wreath.

Repeat this step to build all of your bundles.

Step 3: Tie your bundles to the wreath frame

Now it’s time to put your wreath together! You may find that all your bundles fit perfectly, or you may need to experiment as you go along, trimming back or adding here and there. Just remember to keep wire and foliage scraps separate so you can recycle and compost waste materials from your project.

Cut a suitable length of wire and tie your first bundle onto your frame, wrapping the wire a few times until it’s securely attached. 

The idea is to overlap your bundles around the circle, covering the stems and wires of previous bundles. 

After your first bundle is securely on the frame, tie another one underneath, being sure to cover the stem and wire of the first one. Spin the wreath in a counter-clockwise direction as you add on more bundles and cover your frame.

While adding your bundles, you can try out different combinations and make adjustments as needed. Some people like to leave portions of the frame open for a more rustic or minimalist look. For a full wreath, keep adding bundles until you have fully covered your frame.

DIY christmas wreath

Step 4: Display your DIY Christmas wreath

When winter sets in, there’s nothing like a burst of colour on the front door. But how you hang your wreath depends on the type of door you have. 

If your door already has a suitable doorknob, nail, or hook in a central position, you can try hanging it as is. If you want to adjust it vertically, you can tie some ribbon on the top and play around with different lengths before tying a knot or bow. If your door is metal or glass—or if you don’t want to do damage with a nail or hook—a metal or plastic door hanger will allow you to hang your wreath safely. 

DIY Christmas wreath can be hung on the door

You may wish to display your wreath indoors. If this is the case, it will likely dry out after two weeks due to indoor heating. To keep it fresh longer, spray it with water every couple of days. Outdoor wreaths, on the other hand, can last as long as four to six weeks, depending on various factors such as conditioning, type of foliage, and weather.

When the time comes, dispose of your wreath by composting the foraged elements and recycling the wire. To do this, first pull off any bundles you can. You may find the stems have gotten smaller as they’ve dried out. For the rest, cut off the wire, being careful not to mix recyclable and compostable materials. And if you used a pre-made wire or vine frame, keep it for your next DIY wreath project. 

Did you enjoy this article on a DIY Christmas wreath? Why not read our tutorial on a DIY Christmas Tree made from wood or even our guide on how to hang a Christmas wreath!

Are you making your own DIY Christmas wreath from foilage too? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

Are you an early Christmas decoration planner, or do you prefer to put everything up on Christmas Eve? If you’re one or the other, or somewhere in the middle, you won’t want to miss this step-by-step tutorial on how to make a DIY Christmas tree out of wood. It is so sweet that you won’t want to take it down when the holidays are over!

We all want a beautiful Christmas tree to decorate our home during the holidays. There is always the option of getting an artificial Christmas tree, but why not make your own unique wooden Christmas tree this year? The main advantage of making the tree yourself is that you can make it the size and colour that you want, to make it perfectly fit your home decor.

In this tutorial we will show you how to create a DIY Christmas tree with a very original and minimalist design.

DIY Christmas tree: Tools and Materials

Tools you need for the DIY Christmas tree

DIY Christmas tree out of wood: Step by step tutorial

The main advantage of this wooden DIY Christmas tree is its original design. It is not just for Christmas, and will be a fabulous decorative addition to your home all year round. The best part about it is that you don’t need to start looking for a place to store the tree after the holidays.

The level of difficulty is medium, since it requires a bit of practice with the use of the table saw and the mitre saw. Remember that you can also use hand tools for this. You won’t regret making it! It could also be a fun and interesting family activity. The little ones will enjoy helping by painting it and hanging the ornaments.

To carry out this project, you will need about 8 hours. Most of that time will be spent cutting the wooden pieces and waiting for the mounting adhesive to harden. These are the steps to follow.

Step 1 – Cut the wooden pieces that will make up the structure

The external structure of this Christmas tree is made up of a white wooden triangle. Cut the board with a table saw or a circular saw, and use a mitre saw for the angled ends. You will need three boards in total, with the following measurements:

  • 91 x 9 x 1.9 cm and a 45° angle at one end, and a 22.5° angle at the other end 
  • 89 x 9 x 1.9 cm and a 45° angle at one end and a 22.5° angle at the other
  • 71.5 x 9 x 1.9 cm and both ends at an angle of 22.5°

Next, apply mounting adhesive to the ends to fix the wooden boards. Begin with the top of the tree by joining the two ends cut at an angle of 45°. Don’t join the ends themselves, glue the end of one board to the other board, making sure that one end follows the other in a straight line. For the base of the tree, use the board with both ends cut at an angle of 22.5°.

Lastly, cover the sides of the triangle with self-adhesive edging tape.

Step 2 – Make the tree branches

Cut the branches of the DIY Christmas tree

The internal structure of the tree consists of several wooden strips, each measuring 1 metre long and 21 mm thick. The widths of each strip will be 58, 44, 34 and 21 mm.

For the central part or trunk, use a strip of wood measuring 79.5 x 4.4 cm. You can then arrange the rest of the wooden strips randomly until you are happy with the design of the internal part of the tree. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Trace with a pencil the inner space of the triangle on kraft paper.
  2. Place the slats on the paper and mark the angles with the help of a carpenter angle ruler. You can also use a protractor for this.
  3.  Cut the pieces with the mitre saw or with a handsaw.
  4. Join the strips with mounting adhesive.
  5. Apply woodstain in an oak tone to highlight the wood grain and to protect the wood.

Step 3 – Fix the DIY Christmas tree together

After following these steps, all you have to do is fix the internal part of the tree to the outer wooden structure. To this end, apply mounting adhesive to the upper and lower parts of the tree trunk and on the ends of the branches.

Remember that the main advantage of this tree is that you don’t have to put it away once the holidays are over, since it can be easily integrated it into your home’s decor.

Place the tree on top of a few boxes that have been decorated with Christmas patterns, which you can also use to store gifts inside.

Step 4 – Light it up!

DIY Christmas tree

Last but not least, hang LED garland lights around the tree branches inside the tree, and show off your fabulous handmade Christmas tree!

Did you enjoy making this DIY Christmas tree? If you did and you like original and unconventional Christmas trees for your home, you can find more inspiration in this post on 10 alternative Christmas trees!

It’s getting darker earlier each evening and we’re reaching for the scarves and gloves. This can only mean one thing… The Christmas countdown is on! To start gently preparing for the season’s festivities, we wanted to give you a special idea in the form of a personalised DIY advent calendar. It is an easy DIY project which can be done with the help of the kids, and can be upcycled after for tool storage, once Christmas is over. Made from an organisational wall panel, it will delight young and old alike who will have their resolution for the new year all figured out: in 2022, I’m going to finally get around to organising my tools!

Materials needed to make a DIY Advent Calendar

For this DIY advent calendar you will need:

How to make your advent calendar

Step 1: Paint time

Paint to the panel
Paint the panel

Simply apply two coats of paint (using the colour of your choice) with a roller.

Step 2: Fix the panel

DIY advent calendar

Locate the desired position for the panel and mark the locations of the fixings: at the 4 corners and in the middle of the longest length.

Drill holes to fit the correct fixings to your wall.

Fix by inserting the dividers between the wall and the panel and adding a washer between the screw head and the panel.

Step 3: Prepare your advent calendar doors

DIY advent calendar

Design a template for each door; an example of the template used for this article can be seen above. You can use paper, card, cardboard – whatever takes your fancy! Then glue the back and sides of the door so it creates an envelope to put the surprises in.

Step 4: Decoration station

You can draw, create winter motifs or paint: it’s up to you! For the envelope of the door, you can add little treats to them – or alternatively, you could write jokes, riddles, or even start a treasure hunt to find the surprise somewhere around the house. 

DIY advent calendar template for the doors

Step 5: Insert the doors

Insert the hooks on your panel and fix the doors with a clip. You can either arrange them in a regular pattern or arrange them randomly as in our black model. 

DIY advent calendar
DIY advent calendar

Did you enjoy this DIY advent calendar tutorial? Why not read our tutorial on a DIY Christmas snowman game or even our Christmas tree buying guide

Are you creating your own DIY advent calendar? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

Christmas is a time of love – no matter where we find ourselves this extraordinary year, we will still hope to have a special time. You can make it extra memorable by creating a DIY Christmas present that is handy and unexpected, with the help of The Handy Mano.

This Christmas, we set a challenge to plan and create a handy and unexpected present which was #MadeWithLove for a special someone. The idea was for the present to take pride of place in a loved one’s home, as a way to ‘be there’ even when physically we may not all be together.

We’ve shared one of the #MadeWithLove creations below, alongside some insight into the creative process. We have also shared links to the video below so you can see each part step by step. 

Dan Lovatt – A wall-mounted cabinet for his mum

Back in March, my mum got Covid and was quite ill which wasn’t a nice experience as we couldn’t see her. So, this Christmas I want to make her something special. As she is obsessed with cosmetics, I wanted to make her a wall mounted cabinet that she can use to house all her lotions and potions and keep them all contained. Excited to get started on this! 

DIY Christmas present #MadeWithLove
A DIY Christmas present #MadeWithLove

DIY Christmas present: Materials you’ll need

Birch Plywood

Makita 6 piece

Router

Tool box trolley

Hard wax oil

Corner clamp

Pen and paper

Ruler

Table/surface for cutting wood on

Sanding paper

Hammer & nails

DIY Christmas present: Steps

Step 1 – Make a plan

Work out all the parts you will need to make (sides, the back, and shelving) and the size of the cabinet (the cabinet I made was 518mm x 518mm x 120mm). I opted to use 18mm birch ply which has the most beautiful soft grain.  

Plan out your wall cabinet
Plan out your wall cabinet

Step 2 – Seamless edges

I planned for all of the joins to have mitered edges to create a seamless effect. To do this, I used the Makita circular saw for extra precision, which means you get the sharpest of cuts. The saw is great as it’s precise, lightweight and packed full of power!

Create a seamless edge
Create a seamless edge

Step 3 – Groove it

Clamp the pieces of wood down, then using the router, press it gently down to create grooves for the shelves to slot in. The cabinet I designed had 3 shelves but you can adapt this according to how big you want it to be.

DIY Christmas present: create grooves for the shelving
DIY Christmas present: create grooves for the shelving

Step 4 – Glue it up

Put each of the parts together and check it all fits. To attach each piece, I used Gorilla wood glue and clamped each piece together to help it stick nicely.

Glue the shelving pieces together
Glue the shelving pieces together

Step 5 – Smooth it over

Sand over the pieces in 120 grit to smooth over the surface, which also prepares the wood to be treated.

Smooth over the surface
Smooth over the surface

Step 6 – Bringing it together

Attach the backpiece to the shelving using Gorilla wood glue, then clamp together. I then hammered in some nails around the frame to make it extra secure. Handy tip – when you are driving nails into something, use grips to keep the nail in place whilst you protect your fingers! Your cabinet will now be taking real shape.

Add the back piece to the shelving
Add the back piece to the shelving

Step 7 – Treat it

To emphasise the natural grain of the 18mm Birch Ply, use light coats of Oslo Oil Clear Mat to protect the wood and give it a warmer finish.

Protect the wood with a lick of Oslo Oil Clear Matt
Protect the wood with a lick of Oslo Oil Clear Matt

And voilà! A wall mounted cabinet which was #MadeWithLove for Dan’s mum! A great idea for a DIY Christmas present and easy to make. You can take a look at Dan’s Instagram Reel to see the tutorial in action.

DIY Christmas present #MadeWithLove
A DIY Christmas present #MadeWithLove

Did you enjoy this article on a DIY Christmas present #MadeWithLove? Why not read our article on making your own snowman game out of pallets or even our guide on how to recycle your Christmas tree!

Are you creating your own Christmas presents? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #madewithlove, #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

DIY Christmas Game project created by My Thrifty Life by Cassiefairy with photography by Andy-Greenacre.co.uk

Family DIY Christmas Game by Cassie Fairy (C) Andy Greenacre
Family DIY Christmas Game by Cassie Fairy (C) Andy Greenacre

If you’ve got family visiting your garden this winter, why not build this snowman target game to entertain them outdoors? This fabulously festive family Christmas game makes use of an unwanted pallet rescued from a skip and turns the wood into a DIY snowman decoration for the garden. The snowman is freestanding thanks to the stakes attached to the back, so always take care to ensure that the snowman is solidly fixed into the ground and can’t fall over, no matter how hard you throw snowballs at him! 

If you add holes of various sizes to the front of the snowman, he doubles-up as a family game. The aim of the game is to throw snowballs through his ‘buttons’ and mouth to score points. It’s quite a skill to form the snow into a suitably-sized snowball to fit through the holes! If it’s not snowing, you can use homemade pom-poms, faux snowballs or tennis balls instead. Family members can take it turn turns to throw their ‘snowballs’ and most points scored with five balls wins the game. Check out the DIY Christmas game guide with step-by-step photos to make this snowman target game here. Enjoy!

Family DIY Christmas Game by Cassie Fairy (C) Andy Greenacre
Family Christmas Game by Cassie Fairy (C) Andy Greenacre

Did you enjoy this DIY Christmas game guide for the family? Why not read our article on 30 Christmas decorations using wine corks or even our December home and garden checklist!

Are you creating your own family Christmas games this winter? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!