For our last Craft Project blog of the year, we’ll be focusing on Festive table decoration!
This is a lovely way to decorate your home over Christmas – you can use it on your dining table or anywhere else in the house, or it makes a lovely gift.
The things you’ll need are quite easy to come by – some kind of shallow container, a piece of oasis (from florists or Wilkinson’s), a tall candle, pine cone, and maybe something glittery just for fun! You will also need a variety of fresh foliage – holly is ideal, and there is plenty of other seasonal foliage around at the moment which would also look good. Aim for a variety of shapes and colours. You’ll also need a pair of secateurs or kitchen scissors.
The process is simple but take your time to get a really nice effect.
First, cut the oasis to cover the base of the container and about three-quarters of the way up its height (if we were making a larger arrangement we would tape the oasis in place but for something this size it should be ok not to – the weight of the oasis once water has been added should keep things stable.) Pour some water over the oasis until it is thoroughly soaked in – you may need a little more than you think, but don’t worry if you add too much water, you can just pour away any excess.
Once the oasis is thoroughly wet, push the candle in the middle so that it reaches the bottom of the container. Make sure it’s secure – you don’t want to risk it tipping over!
Now take your foliage and arrange it as attractively as you can around the candle. Strip off any excess leaves to give a clear inch or so at the ends of the stalks and push them into the oasis at a slight angle so that they spread out almost horizontally. It’s easiest to start at the outer edges with the bigger/longer pieces of foliage – not too big, as they will look out of proportion – and work towards the centre with smaller, more upright pieces. Think about balance and variety of colours and shapes – the arrangement doesn’t have to be exactly symmetrical, but it will look better if there is a hint of “design”. Try to keep the foliage no higher than halfway up the candle – foliage and candle should work together, without one dominating the other.
As you work you will get a feel for this and the arrangement will start to come together. Don’t hesitate to take some pieces out and re-arrange them if you want to – it should be easy with the wet oasis.
When you’re happy with what you’ve done, take the pine cone and place it somewhere that “fits”. If you’re not averse to a bit of tinsel or similar, pop it somewhere on the arrangement – it will catch the light when the candle is lit and look pretty. If you have other Christmassy bits – small baubles or other decorative items – you can add these as well.
Here’s my festive table centrepiece as an example:
These little arrangements are a winner – they are easy, fun, and the results are always better than you expect. They make lovely gifts. The materials are easy to obtain – any kind of container that holds water will do, oasis can be bought easily and candles are available everywhere – then you just need to add your choice of seasonal foliage. Beautiful!
Don’t forget to share pictures of your creations with us so we can admire them! If you’re happy for MFT to share them on social media too to inspire others to take part, email them to Connie Ridout, Communications Lead at MFT, at email@example.com