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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!

Those of us garden lovers look after our plants in all seasons, but most especially just before the arrival of the harsh winter. We know from experience that wind, rain, snow and frost can wipe out all the work that we have previously done in the garden, and for this reason it is very important to start preparing the garden for winter.

Preparing the garden for winter

Preventing damage to plants

Prepare the garden and protect plants
Prepare the garden and protect plants

Plants grown in pots usually appreciate a change of location in winter to get more sunshine and enjoy warmer temperatures. Group them together so that they can protect each other. Don’t forget about their roots: protect the pot with newspaper, bubble wrap or straw mulch to slightly increase the temperature of the soil in the pots. Your plants’ roots will thank you for it.
It never hurts to buy a few metres or bags of garden fleece frost cover to cover trees, shrubs and other types of plants. Unlike plastic, this material allows the plant to breathe and the light to reach it. It can also be used to cover cultivation tunnels in your vegetable garden.

Preparing the garden for winter: lawn care

Lawn really benefits from a good scarification in the autumn, which will help drainage and reduce the appearance of moss. This is also a good time to reseed those unsightly bold areas in the lawn.

If the weather gets very humid, the best option is to apply an anti-moss product. It will provide the lawn with two essential nutrients for the winter: iron and sulfur. After applying the product and waiting for it to act, you will be able to simply remove both moss and thatch with a rake. 

Do not mow the lawn, let it grow so it can cope better with the low winter temperatures. In late autumn, apply a fertiliser rich in phosphorus and potassium, which will also help it survive the winter. And as much as it is possible, avoid stepping on it when frozen.

Pruning trees and shrubs

Preparing the garden for winter: pruning
Preparing the garden for winter: pruning

Another way of preparing the garden for winter is pruning trees and shrubs, as most plants are dormant during the cold season. The absence of foliage will allow you to better see the trees’ branches in order to prune them, as well as to apply preventive treatments to eliminate pests that hide in their bark during the winter.

This is also the time to prune rose bushes, wisteria, and apple and pear trees: they will really benefit from it, and you will see the results in the spring with new and more productive shoots.

Winter gardening: fine-tune your greenhouse

If you have a greenhouse, remove any structure that you have put in place to provide shade during the summer. In the winter you have to make the most of the sunshine and the heat that it provides. If this is your first year with a greenhouse, keep an eye on it for a few days to figure out which areas get more hours of sunshine during the day, and put your plants there. 

Check the condition of the polycarbonate sheets for possible tears and breaks. Make sure the paraffin burners are up and ready, just in case you need to turn them on. Also, check that the ground anchoring system is in good condition.

Add mulch and compost to your flower beds

Both compost and mulch will protect your flower beds from low temperatures. Compost will also provide important nutrients to the soil, which your plants will greatly benefit from next spring.

The autumn season generates a lot of organic waste: make good use of it by adding it to your compost pile. Cover your compost bins with plastic to avoid them filling with water, as this would contribute to the appearance of microorganisms that could alter the composting process.

Preparing the garden for winter: protect your garden furniture

Protect your garden furniture during the winter months
Protect your garden furniture during the winter months

If you have a shed in your garden, use it to store all the garden furniture that you won’t use during the colder months. If you don’t have a shed, protect the furniture with waterproof covers

Wooden benches, tables, loungers and chairs all benefit from regular maintenance. Use protective oils to waterproof them and make them last longer. If you have metal garden furniture, make sure that the paint is in good condition to prevent the furniture from rusting with moisture.

Get your garden tools ready

Cold and humid winter days are perfect for carrying out DIY and maintenance jobs inside the house, where it’s nice and warm. Take this opportunity to tune up your tools: sharpen and lubricate your pruning shears to have them ready when you need them, change the broken or chipped handles of hand tools, check the mower and buy spare parts which you may need in the spring.

Use this time to clean and tidy up your shed before storing anything in there. Make sure you store boxes and other belongings making them easy to access according to when you might need them in the future. Always wash your seedling trays and transplanting pots with a bleach and water solution, in order to leave them ready for spring.

Feed the birds in winter

Feeding the birds during winter

If winter is hard for us, imagine how challenging it is for birds to find food. You can put feeders and water bowls or dispensers not only in the garden, but also the porch, the terrace and even the balcony. If you place them close to the house windows, you will be able to enjoy watching the birds come and go, and you will learn about the different bird species in your area and their habits and behaviour.

You can buy seed mixtures rich in fats and oils, which will provide birds with maximum energy. Don’t forget to regularly add water to the water dispensers and bowls, since it is very likely that they will not be able to find it in liquid form during the coldest months.

Did you enjoy this article on how to prepare the garden for winter? Why not read our tutorial on a DIY outdoor storage bench or even our guide on how to feed birds in the winter!

Are you preparing the garden for winter? Let us know how you get on via Instagram using the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

Would you like to set up your own bar on your terrace or in your garden? A DIY Tiki Bar or outdoor bar is the perfect place to enjoy an aperitif with the family or have a refreshing drink with friends. This tutorial will show you how to build a tiki bar step by step so you can enjoy it in the nice weather.

The sun and warm days are conducive to spending more time outdoors. Being able to do so while enjoying refreshing drinks makes it even better! So, we have put together this tutorial to show you step by step how to build a tiki bar to be your family meeting point after work, or to enjoy it with friends on weekends.

DIY Tiki Bar: tools and materials

Materials for the DIY tiki bar project

Cost, time & difficulty

The approximate cost of the materials is £80, whilst the execution time is a full day and its level of difficulty is medium, as you need to have experience in handling power tools. 

DIY Tiki Bar step-by-step

To build this tiki bar or outdoor bar, we have mainly used wood and reed. This way, we get a very natural and warm result, which goes with most outdoor environments.

Its dimensions are ideal for 2 to 4 people, but if more space is needed, several can be built and joined together.

In addition, it has a tropical style design that will bring freshness to your terrace or garden. The steps for this DIY tiki bar are detailed below.

Step 1 – Cutting the pieces

First of all, cut the wooden strips and boards with a mitre saw or a jigsaw. The pieces we will need are:

  • 3.2 cm x 3.2 cm pine laths: 2 x 200 cm long for the rear vertical posts, 2 x 180 cm long for the front vertical posts, 4 x 120 cm, 1 x 113 cm and 4 x 39 cm long to join the posts horizontally.
  • Pine wood strips 2.2 cm x 1.8 cm: 6 x 120 cm long and 12 x 39 cm long.
  • Pine boards: 11 x 11 x 45 x 1 cm for the roof, 10 x 12 x 40 x 1.8 cm for the bar top and 2 x 15 x 46 x 1.8 cm cut at an angle of 33º to join the top of the posts.

Step 2 – Building the Tiki Bar structure


To build the structure, the vertical slats of 200 and 180 cm will be screwed to the horizontal slats of 120, 113 and 39 cm long, so that the vertical slats of 180 cm will be placed at the front and the vertical slats of 200 cm at the back:

  • The 180 cm vertical slats will be placed at the front and the 200 cm vertical slats at the back.
  • One 120 cm horizontal batten at the front and two 39 cm horizontal battens at the sides shall be screwed flush with the floor.
  • At a height of 90 cm, a 120 cm front horizontal batten, a 113 cm rear horizontal batten and two 39 cm side battens shall be screwed to the front and two 39 cm side battens shall be screwed to the rear.
  • The top of the vertical front battens shall be connected to 2 horizontal battens of 120 cm. 
  • The next step is to nail the 2.2 x 1.8 cm battens horizontally, leaving a distance of 10 cm between them. Then, the 15 x 46 x 1.8 cm boards cut at an angle of 33° are screwed to the inside of the upper battens.
  • Finally, the 11 x 45 x 1.8 cm boards are nailed to the upper horizontal battens to form the roof and the 12 x 40 x 1.8 cm boards are nailed to the battens at 90 cm high.

Step 3 – Varnish it up

Next, apply a stained varnish for exteriors. It is recommended to apply a couple of coats to achieve a better protection of the wood, leaving the drying time recommended by the manufacturer between coats. This will create a weather-resistant construction.

Varnish the tiki bar so it lasts longer

Step 4 – Stapling the cane

The last step is to staple the cane around the bottom of the Tiki Bar so that it is securely attached to the slats and can withstand wind and rain.

The reed is not only decorative and gives a tropical look, but also allows you to hide a small fridge or whatever you want to store behind the tiki bar.

Finally, after you have followed all the above steps, your DIY Tiki Bar is ready for use.

Hang some outdoor LED lanterns to set the ambiance and personalise your Tiki Bar with a sign or some bunting.

Add some accessories to your DIY tiki bar

Of course, don’t forget to celebrate with a few refreshing drinks and a toast that you have succeeded in making this beautiful and functional DIY Tiki Bar for your terrace or garden.

DIY tiki bar

Did you enjoy this article on how to DIY a Tiki Bar for your garden or terrace in 4 key steps? Why not read our tutorial on a DIY solar lamp made from pallets or even our fairy light buying guide to deck out your new tiki bar!

Are you making your own Tiki Bar too? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

Outdoor dining furniture guide by @rona_renovation

Like most renovators, the garden was a low priority for a very long time. But with dreams of holidaying abroad fading by the hour, my partner and I knew it was time to roll our sleeves up and get the garden sorted pronto. We have relandscaped which we are incredibly proud of, however there’s lots more work to do. Our current patio is a pretty depressing cracked-concrete situation which we hope to change one day. However, this summer we are working with what we’ve got, and using showstopping garden furniture from ManoMano was crucial as a way to spruce things up.

Outdoor dining furniture guide
Outdoor dining furniture guide

ManoMano has a huge garden furniture selection, so the options are endless. It was overwhelming trying to decide but ultimately it felt right to stay true to our interior style which includes a love of wood and natural materials. Selecting ManoMano’s acacia garden set felt like the right decision due to it’s classic yet warm feel. Matching reclining chairs are a massive bonus as it gives us the flexibility of having seating that can be used for comfort and relaxation post-meal also. 

We have a lot of wooden furniture inside our house, so we liked the idea of continuing this theme in the garden. Not only does wood suit our personal taste and style, but it’s also durable. We wouldn’t recommend plastic as it doesn’t age as well, and metal rusts over time – so wood felt like the common sense choice!

Though forest green is a traditional parasol colour, off-white felt like the perfect choice to give us Mediterranean-in-the UK vibes to transport us away when spending time outside. We also like that the white fabric is light reflecting, so it really helps to brighten up the area. 

Off-white parasol for a Mediterranean style
Off-white parasol for a Mediterranean style

In the future, the plan will be to tile the patio and repaint the render. What’s great about this outdoor dining furniture set is that it’s neutral enough in style so it will go with whichever creative direction we choose for the rest of the patio. 

Upon arrival, the table and chairs were well flat packed and I couldn’t wait to set them up! However some elbow grease and patience was required with the help of an Allen key and a few evening hours, but it was worth the wait. Once finally in situ on the patio (and a few strategically placed potted plants) the space instantly felt transformed. As I love Mediterranean gardens, I wanted this theme to run through the finishing touches of our outdoor dining set up, with blue and white seat pads, nautical linens and rustic feeling tableware. 

Pick a colour scheme for your outdoor dining furniture
Pick a colour scheme for your outdoor dining furniture

You could elevate your space even more by including a few decorative pieces:

Outdoor chair cushions

Statement garden plant pots

Table vase set

Floor lanterns

Solar powered lights 

We can’t wait to host in the garden and enjoy our new outdoor dining furniture while the summer lasts. Getting longevity out of the furniture for years to come will require a bit of TLC as wooden furniture is porous and can be damage-prone. Being vigilant and covering on rainy days plus occasionally rubbing in with wood oil will be part of the aftercare process, but to keep our garden gorgeous every summer, I think it’s worth it!

Garden entertaining
Garden entertaining

Outdoor dining furniture guide written by @rona_renovation

Rona Renovation
Rona Renovation

Did you enjoy this article from @rona_renovation on an outdoor furniture guide? Why not read our 5 outdoor living design ideas or even our guide on how to maintain your outdoor dining set!

Are you looking to style your garden with some outdoor dining furniture? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

Whether you’ve just bought a new shed or have an old summer house that needs some love, painting it is a simple, effective and budget friendly way to turn something mundane or tired into a beautiful new feature in your garden. In this tutorial we will share how to paint your summer house in 7 simple steps. 

First up, you need to think about the type of finish you would like. Paint gives you a bright deep colour but it can cause issues as it doesn’t let the wood breathe. Varnish is great if you like a more natural look, however, like paint, it also traps moisture in and can cause problems going forward if it cracks or bubbles.

Using a stain ensures some of the grain can still be seen, however it is available in many colours these days, and most importantly, it lets the wood breathe, giving it the best longevity out of the different methods. On average, manufacturing companies tend to suggest you paint a stained shed or summerhouse every six years.

What you’ll need to paint your summer house or shed:

Paint / Stain

Sand paper

Sander

Jet washer (or a bucket and soapy water with plenty of elbow grease)

Wire brush

Wide paint brush for wood

Detail paint brushes

Decorator’s Tape

Paint your summer house or garden shed

Step 1: Prepare the woodwork

Clean the woodwork as best you can. Scrub away any mould or mildew, cobwebs or dirt that has splashed up over the years. You may want to use a wire brush to lightly remove any loose flakey paint.

Step 2: Sand it out

Once clean, inspect the paintwork and if it is still flakey, lightly sand your boards with 80 or 120 grit for a smoother finish. However, there is no need to do this if the previous paintwork isn’t flakey. Clean away any dust before painting.

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Step 3: Don’t forget the tape!

Use decorators tape to line the edges of your window panes so you can paint your frames more easily without getting paint on the glass.

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Step 4: Protect the surroundings

Protect surrounding areas with dust sheets, especially if you have a patio or decking. I found this stain to be slightly thinner than regular paint so it is quite drippy!

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Step 5: Time to paint!

Using a detail brush for the finer areas like corners and window frames, and a wider brush for the boards, paint the wood in the same direction as the grain. Try not to overload your paint brush and ensure you brush away any drips before they begin to dry. If you have any end pieces of wood, these will soak up paint profusely, so ensure to dab a generous amount of paint on these using the tip of your brush.

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Step 6: Timing is key

Make sure you adhere to the drying times as stated on your tin of paint.  Because the paint I used is an exterior paint, it cures and hardens overtime (to protect your summerhouse or shed against the elements,) so you may find you get a better finish if you don’t leave it too long before coats.  

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Step 7: Layer, layer, layer

Depending on the finish you desire, and the colour you are painting over, you may find that two coats isn’t sufficient. For instance, we were painting over dark orange and wanted a deep black colour, so we found in the end, three coats gave a better finish.  

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Top tip when you paint your summer house:

Make sure you check the weather before you start your project! Obviously you need plenty of drying time after you have painted, but it’s worth waiting for a few dry days before you paint too. If you paint on damp or wet wood, the paint may blister or flake as it dries out.  This is an ideal project for the warmer weather, your paint will last long and look better if it is left to dry in temperatures above 10C (both during the day and overnight.)

Now you’re done, you can move on to the fun part – styling it up!  

You could upcycle some old crates to use as window boxes, plant a climber in a pot to grow up a trellis or add some hanging baskets for instant colour. You could add pretty curtains inside (which also help with security if you’re storing tools inside) and solar lights to the entrance so you can admire all your hardwork in the evenings too.


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How to paint your summer house or garden shed written by Hannah Otto from @theottohouse
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Did you enjoy this article from @theottohouse on how to paint your summer house in 7 easy steps? Why not read our tutorial on a DIY solar lamp made from pallets or even our guide on how to repair your garden shed!

Are you painting your summer house too? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!