December 21, 2010
How to make: the prettiest eucalyptus Christmas garland
I've been desperate for a stretch of mantel to decorate at Christmas for a very long time, so there was no way the wee fireplace in our new flat was going to go unadorned this season. So, amidst a sea of unpacked boxes, bubble wrap, tissue paper and stuff that has no home (we only moved in three weeks ago), I set about decorating our Christmas tree and fireplace.
I wanted a modern Australian look, with different textures and hints of pink to complement our rather girlie candy-coloured white Christmas tree (poor husband), so I picked up a bunch of eucalyptus leaves from the florist, and mum brought a basket full of fresh rosemary and lavender foliage from her garden. The scent in the kitchen as we selected the choicest sprigs was heavenly!
If you want to make your own garland, you'll need:
- bunches of complementary foliage (we used eucalyptus leaves, fresh rosemary and lavendar foliage)
- flowers for colour (we used a pink flowering gum blossom)
- 1/2 inch sisal rope (we picked up a roll at Bunnings)
- fine floristry wire
- green floristry tape
- gardening pliers to cut foliage and wire
And follow these steps to make the garland:
- Cut rope to fit your mantel, leaving some room either side for it to hang down.
- Starting at the top of the rope, take a few sprigs of eucalyptus leaves (choose ones that drape nicely) and strip the leaves from the bottom of the stems.
- Holding stems against rope, tightly wrap wire around rope and stems several times.
- Next, moving slightly down the rope, do the same thing with rosemary, ensuring it overlaps the eucalyptus but doesn't cover it.
- Do the same with the lavendar, and continue down the rope, wrapping the sprigs in the same direction and alternating the foliage.
- When you get about half-way, you'll need to change direction of the sprigs, so that it drapes from the other side.
- We only covered one side of the rope, as my fireplace is small and we already had quite a thick garland going.
- When you're finished, secure to your mantel with temporary hooks, or just drape it across the top, leaving the sides to hang down.
- If you have some flowers (like our gum blossom), poke the sprigs into even intervals along the garland.
- Finish with a misting of water.
- Mist your garland at least once a day to keep it looking fresh (important during humid Australian summers).
So how did we do? Have you made a fresh garland or wreath for your house?
(My snow angel candle is from Caravan in London, and my kozyndan 'Bunny Blossom' print is from Outre Gallery in Sydney/Melbourne. The white Christmas tree was a vintage find on eBay. And I'm still waiting for our stockings to arrive from Toast in the UK!)
Thanks to mum for all the help!