From a show-stopping tree to a welcoming wreath, put an elegant spin on your Christmas display by using nature’s decorating kit – fresh-cut foliage. Head to your garden, flower market or your local nursery then get making. Here’s how.
1. Set the scene
Create a stunning seasonal vignette on your dining table, atop a credenza or along your hallway table with a mix of decorative objects, as pictured above.
Here’s how to make it: Arrange a mix of sculptural dried tree branches and fresh-cut foliage in a heavy-based glass vase. Position your arrangement with miniature light-up houses, a candelabra and a scattering of hanging decorations on the branches and around the scene.
2. O Christmas tree
Wondering how to decorate this year’s tree? Take your inspiration from this sweet scene, where a paper chain takes a starring role on a tree displayed within a wicker basket.
Here’s how to make it: Using scissors, cut 40mm-wide strips of silver paper or thin cardboard into 200mm lengths. Make a loop with one length and use a stapler to secure the ends together. Thread the next length through the first loop; close up the ends to form a link and use stapler to secure the ends together, as before. Repeat to make a chain to the desired length.
3. Branch out
A fabulous idea for small space living – or to extend Christmas cheer into more rooms than one – create a miniature Christmas ‘tree’ by placing a branch or two of pine in a glass vase.
Here’s how to make it: Arrange the vase on a table, in a striking vignette with other decorative vessels and tea candles, and then place lightweight hanging decorations on each branch.
4. Simple centrepiece
A trip to your backyard, secateurs in-hand, can reveal a whole host of Christmas decorating loot for your merry table.
Here’s how to make it: Snip branches of pine, fir or spruce (hardy Australian natives are also terrific) and place them down the centre of your table. Scatter the odd candle among the foliage to complete the simple yet effective scene. Overhead, suspend geometric decorations with upturned tree branches for a striking effect.
5. Sweet greetings
Welcome guests to your Christmas table with elegant place settings and eye-catching centre displays.
Here’s how to make it: Fold white linen napkins into cone shapes and tie a length of brown twine around the waist of each cone, about 1/3 of the way up from the pointy end. Tuck a small cutting of foliage under the twine for a finishing touch. Down the centre of your table, position arrangements of similar foliage in metallic vessels, push white taper candles into clear glass bottles and weave lengths of battery-powered twinkle lights around pine cones.
6. Step it up
Take the look of your staircase to the next level with a cheery garland wrapped around the handrail. And don’t forget a festive bow for your furry friend!
Here’s how to make it: Wrap an artificial pine garland around the handrail of your staircase. Weave in fresh-cut foliage, dried nuts, pine cones and artificial berries, fixing them into position with florist’s wire. Up the twinkle factor by adding fairy lights to the display, too. Our tip? Choose battery-powered lights and hide the battery pack to avoid wires trailing across walkways at either end of the staircase.
7. In the round
Give your guests a jolly greeting right from the front door with a handmade wreath – starring garden-fresh cuttings. For a long-lasting display, choose hardy foliage that will see out the season and dry beautifully.
Here’s how to make it: Buy a wreath frame or embroidery hoop from your local craft store. Weave greenery around the hoop, fixing it into place with florist’s wire. You can allow the tips of branches to stray from the hoop to give the wreath an organic look. Anchored to the bottom left-hand side of the wreath, attach an arrangement of blooms, again fixing each branch to the hoop with wire. Hang the wreath using a purpose-made wreath hanger or tap a nail into the top of your solid-core door and suspend the wreath with twine.
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