Homemade Christmas decorations

Posted in All Floristry and Crafts, Christmas, on

These homemade Christmas decorations will transform your home and you can grow the flowers and foliage yourself or forage for them.

The essential ingredients for all flower based homemade Christmas decorations are foam rings, which come with a plastic base with a rim (also known as Oasis rings). These you can stuff full of flowers and foliage. Use lots of them scattered around with taper candles in contrasting colour to the flowers, or rest them on the shoulder or lip of a vase.

For each decoration, use a standard-sized ring (usually 12in). Add the foliage first, making sure that you leave no plastic or foam visible, even when you lift the ring on to the vase. Next add the flowers.

Leave sitting flat on the table, or lift and rest it on the shoulders of a vase.

Table centrepiece

  • Foam ring 12in
  • Vase 14in tall x 8in wide at the top, with shoulders or a decent lip
  • Decorations to go inside vase (if using a clear glass container)
  • Candle 4in tall, wide enough to fit tightly in neck of vase
  • Waterproof glue tack (Florafix), to fix candle into vase
  • First foliage 20-25 stems of any evergreen (I used drimys - pepperleaf - but viburnum or hebe are good)
  • Second foliage 20-25 stems of another evergreen (I used pittosporum, but almost any will do)
  • Upper storey 20-25 stems of rosemary
  • Main flower 15 stems of a bright show stopper (I used Nerine bowdenii)
  • Second flower 20 stems of a flower the same colour as the first but smaller (I used Anemone coronaria ‘Sylphide’)
  • Colour contrast 15 stems of something bright and clashing with the other flowers (I used orange chillies)

Soak the foam ring in water for five minutes, leaving it floating (foam down) to absorb the water. If you’re using a clear glass vase, you can fill it with whatever you fancy — Christmas decorations, walnuts, cranberries, apples, pine cones, lemons or limes (cut in half), kumquats or Quality Street chocolates in their multi-coloured wrappers.

Cover the foam ring with the foliage and flowers in the numbers given.

Place the ring over the shoulders of the vase. Add the candle, securing it in the neck of the vase with glue tack to hold it firm.

Submerged flowers

For a quick, simple display, find a tall, narrow glass vase, or a round goldfish bowl, and submerge whole flowers and stems in the water. This has good party impact and you can put a candle on top.

  • Two stems of gloriosa lily (with five flowers between the two stems). Hydrangea heads (divided up a bit) also work well
  • Anodised florists’ wire (so it doesn’t rust in water)
  • Tulip vase 10in tall with top flaring to 12in wide x 3¼in deep
  • Crimson candle 3¼in diameter
  • Waterproof glue tack (Florafix) 8in long

Cut the gloriosa lilies off their stems, leaving at least 2-2½in of stem on each to make wiring easier. Cut a 2ft length of florists’ wire and bind each flower stem onto the wire at intervals.

Fill the vase with water and feed the flowers and wire into it. If your container is narrow, use a stick to push the end down right to the bottom of the vase.

Then rest the candle in the mouth of the vase where the flowers would normally stand. To ensure this is stable and secure, attach it to the vase with a circle of waterproof glue tack.