The plastic skeletons and carved pumpkins have barely been taken down, yet people up and down the country are getting ready to deck the halls for Christmas.
For many, the desire to fast-track the Christmas spirit will no doubt be to make up for lost time. After restrictions kept people indoors and families apart in 2020, this year we’re pulling out all the stops to make this festive season one to remember.
And when it comes to home decorations, many are taking a DIY approach and throwing themselves into crafty projects. Not only is this a great way to learn new skills but it is also better for the environment by minimising plastic waste. This is certainly the ethos for Shilpa Reddy Flower Design, a London-based florist who has this year designed the stunning festive floral installation at The Royal Exchange. For those who would like to recreate Shilpa’s beautiful designs at home (and on a smaller scale), the company is running two wreath-making classes at The Royal Exchange in late November and early December, listed in ‘the best Christmas wreath-making classes in London’ by the Evening Standard.
‘Our wreath makers are typically City workers who very rarely get time to make something for themselves,’ Shilpa commented on the upcoming workshops. ‘We’re focusing on using natural materials with all those typical Christmas scents to help to connect with nature and the inner craft genius. The workshop is for complete beginners and, especially, those who don’t think that they have a creative streak. They’ll soon find that they do!’
If you’re keen to have a go at making your own wreath this Christmas or think it would make the perfect present for a creative friend, the step-by-step workshops are taking place at The Royal Exchange on 25 November and 2 December. No experience is necessary and all materials will be provided with the cost of the class. Shilpa Reddy will also provide packaging to take your finished masterpiece home. What’s more, we’ll be ramping up the Christmas spirit with festive tunes played throughout and a complimentary glass of prosecco and mince pies served during the class!
Although renowned for her sleek and modern designs, Shilpa admits that this year she is going ‘unashamedly traditional’ when it comes to the wreaths in order to ‘make up for the Christmas we missed last year’.
The wreaths are made with compostable or reusable natural ingredients, including a moss base and real berries, dried fruit, cinnamon and spruce. Not only do these ingredients imbue the quintessential Christmas scent and aesthetic but it means that the decoration will last well beyond the festive season.
‘I think there’s a real move towards mindfulness craft practices,’ says Shilpa, ‘as well as the gifting of experiences, and a focus on sustainability which reflects our changing attitudes and increasing awareness of well-being, connectedness and the environment.’
The two workshops will take place on Thursday 25 November and Thursday 2 December at The Royal Exchange. The workshops last 90 minutes and cost £60 per person, which include all materials and the demonstration. Click here to book November’s class and here for December.
Discover more about Shilpa Reddy Flower Design at www.shilpa-reddy.com or on Instagram @shilpareddyflowers