Friday, 22 November 2013

Decorating your home for Christmas. Garlands

With just over a month to go, and Christmas fairs popping up in barns and village halls across the country, light bedecking the high streets and the John Lewis ad in full flow, it is hard not to start feeling a little Christmassy.
So over the next couple of weeks I thought I would dedicate my blog to some of the ideas we have been exploring in our Christmas workshops.
All the ideas are easy and hopefully involve materials found in your home and garden, or failing that the local shop.
In a time when it is so easy to buy almost anything from the comfort of your sofa I think people really appreciate it when a little time and effort has gone into making something, whether it be Christmas decorations or presents, in the first blog I wanted to showcase garlands.
I love garlands, if nothing else for their versatility, whether wrapped around bannister's and beams, hung from a mantelpiece, as chair backs,as a table centre, they can be used in some many ways.

The first type of garland is the traditional one. While being the most time consuming, there is something very therapeutic about sitting down with a piece of string, some wire and a heap of foliage and creating something beautiful.

Step 1.
Measure a piece of string the lenght of your mantelpiece or table and tie a loop at the end. This will make it easier to hang when you have finished it.

Step 2.
Start by cutting lots of different types of foliage to about 4"or 5". To my mind the more different varieties you can find the better. All types of fir work well, blue spruce, pine, copressus, also berried ivy, eucalyptus, rosemary, lauristinus and bay are lovely and small wonderful.

Step 3.
Using a fine reel wire start by wrapping a bunch of foliage around the top of the string.

Step 4.
Continue twisting your garland and adding foliage as you go, making sure you cover the wire and keep moving down the string.

Step 5.
Once your garland is of the length you require, finish off by wrapping a bunch of foliage in the opposite direction to cover the end of the string. If you have a join you can always cover this with a bow or pine cone.

Step 6.
Which brings me to the last step. You may wish to leave your garland 'au natural', however if you wish you can add wired pine cones, satsumas, ribbons, dried apple slices, in fact anything that takes your fancy!

In America it is very popular to make pop corn garlands, simple to make, just thread pop corn and if you wish beads or berries onto a fine reel wire. They look lovely on a tree, or hung with baubles, or sprayed gold and silver.

  Lastly, inspiration taken from natures own garland, old mans beard.

Take a piece of fine ribbon and wrap a pretty gold or silver wire down the lenght of it adding berries, old man's beard, hydrangeas and spindle berry to create a beautiful delicate garland that will last for ages.
                                          For the next blog candles and candlelight.

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