I love a craft project! Not only can you create something so unique and beautiful, a display like this often costs a lot of money readymade. By crafting it yourself you could save £50 or more and have lots of fun in the process.
I've used florists Oasis to hold my garland together. It's the only thing that's really essential to the display, but it's not expensive and you can often find various options on eBay. The size you go for will depend upon where you want to display your centrepiece.
Besides this, you can forage for pretty much everything else for free! I've chosen to add some florist bought blooms to make my display extra striking, but pine branches can easily be found in parks and forests. You could also add foraged pine cones, cinnamon sticks and dried orange rounds if you'd like to create an inexpensive design.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
- Block of Oasis and plastic tray (I bought 2 of these)
- Fresh flowers - I chose roses, eucalyptus and gypsophila
- Foraged botanicals - pine branches, rosehip berries
This beautiful display creates a striking Christmas centerpiece. Whether you're looking for a beautiful table decoration or elaborate fireplace garland, it looks absolutely stunning and is much simpler to make than it looks!
You can create it entirely out of foraged pines and berries, or mix and match with shop bought botanicals. I opted for forest pines which grow abundantly here in Derbyshire, some beautiful bright red rose hips which are also plentiful in the hedgerows this year and a mixture of fresh roses and beautifully scented eucalyptus from my local florist.
When foraging for anything, it's important to be respectful to nature and your surroundings. I cut pine branches from the trees which grow tall and thick in my local forest. Just a few sprigs from each. I also picked up fallen fir cones and bright red berries which you can add to this garland or use in other Christmas craft projects.
If you'd prefer a reusable selection of flowers, there are some very realistic artificial stems available at a pretty decent price.
My local florist is a lovely little village shop. Not the cheapest, but incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to flowers. If budget is a consideration, go for in-season botanicals and inexpensive filler flowers. Just picking a few bright sprigs can add a really striking look to this garland.
Eucalyptus is super expensive this month. At £8 a bunch it does not come cheap. But I really love the scent, and mixed with fresh pine it reminds me of the mountain air in Cyprus - so fresh. The roses on the other hand were on offer and significantly cheaper than usual. At £5 for three I decided to make these the centerpiece of my garland. I picked six, but even three of these blooms would look beautiful. The gypsophila adds pretty white flowers for just £1.50 per stem. For less than £20, these shop bought florals make the garland extra striking.
My favourite thing to simplify this stunning centrepiece is using florists oasis. Oasis is a funny foam block that retains water brilliantly. It allows you to poke sharp stems straight into it and holds them upright whilst hydrating the flower. You can buy small square blocks, rectangular blocks or long oblong blocks. They sometimes come with a tray, or you can buy the tray separately. A small square block is ideal for a table decoration. I wanted to run my garland across the length of my fireplace. It's a long, narrow ledge .. so two of these end to end fit perfectly!
Begin by soaking the oasis foam blocks with plenty of water. Remember, your florals are most probably going to be placed indoors. The warm temperatures inside will mean your tray requires regular topping up to keep flowers well hydrated.
Now start sticking stems into the foam. You can either begin by placing your most prominent florals in their positions ie: the roses spaced out in a line down the centre, or by working from the back to the front. If your garland is going to be positioned against a wall, remember you'll want the back florals to be upright so that the block can sit flush. If you're going to place your garland in the centre of the table, you might want a more 3D look. I also angled in the stems at the front to bend forward slightly, this will help to cover the plastic tray so that it can't be seen beneath the display.
Don't panic too much or overthink the position of your botanicals, just keep gradually filling the block with a combination of foraged and florist stems. If there are some gaps you can always work on those at the end.
When the garland is complete, give it a final spray with cool water and add any final stems to fill out the display.
Now carefully carry your display indoors and put it in its place. Once in situ you might want to make some final changes or gently bow stems to finalise the look.
You could add some LED fairy lights or spray a little light snow on top. Remember to water your display regularly to keep your blooms looking bright until Christmas! As with all flowers, they might begin to wilt a little after a fortnight or so. Remember, you don't have to replace your entire garland, just pick out the dead florals and replace with fresh.
For between £15 - £50 you can create something so striking, it's bound to be the talk of your Christmas table this festive season.