25th November 2015

Blog - festive garland

How to make a Christmas Garland

How to make a Christmas Garland as seen on Episode One of Kirstie's Handmade Christmas

What you need:                                                                                            

Oasis raquette

Artifical garland

Scissors / shears / pen knife

Light gold spray paint

Wire

Wire cutting scissors

You can use any flowers and foliage you like.  In Episode One of Kirstie's Handmade Christmas, Kirstie and Florist Anne Verborg used: a variety of conifer greenery, such as fir, blue spruce and soft pine cypress, Asparagus fern, Magnolia leaves, Artichokes, Pine cones and Grevillea to decorate.

The process:

Start off with an oasis raquette – a block of oasis fixed on a solid base with a wire cage.  These are readily available, but you can easily make your own using floral foam and chicken wire.  The wire helps keep heavy greens in place without destroying the floral foam.

Attach an artificial garland to the front of the block of oasis with a thin wire roll. The artificial garland should hide the front of the oasis block.  If you don’t want to use an artificial garland, make lots of bunches of greenery, holding them together using wire or cable ties, and then attach these bunches onto your base.

Once the base is ready and the artificial garland is secure, you can begin to add natural materials.  Starting with the greenery, place various types of foliage into the foam and artificial garland working from back to front.  Create a frame with the longest pieces of of foliage at the back of the design.You want the tallest pieces in the middle, to give the garland a nice shape. Using a variety of foliage will help the piece to look really natural, rich and full.

Because the garland has wire in it, the foliage will attach easily and won’t fall out or move.  Any greenery that is placed vertically must be placed into the oasis rather than the artificial garland.   

Use florist shears or scissors to cut the foliage, if required.  Always sharpen the end of your branches so you can place them into the oasis foam smoothly.

Once the garland is full, wild and green and covers all of the oasis raquette, it’s time to add the accents. This is when you can really make the garland your own, adding in whatever touches you like. You can use anything in your garland – such as pinecones, artichokes, apples, twigs, flowers, cloved oranges, Christmas baubles... anything!

If you wish to add some Christmassy shine or glitter, why not spray paint your accessories gold or silver?

While twigs and flowers will hold if they are pushed into the garland, things like pinecones and berries will need to be threaded with wire.  Cut the wire with wire cutting scissors and feed them through the item, making sure there is enough wire sticking out of them to be pushed into the garland. For small, delicate materials like berries, make sure you use thin wire so they don’t break!

Your garland is now complete, so just make sure everything is secure, you haven’t missed any gaps and hang wherever you please.