There's a lot of blank walls staring me in the face at the moment and so I've been thinking of ways to break them up a bit and bring some of the outdoors in. I decided to try my hand with a little natural decor and whatever I had to hand in my kit and, ta da! a festive fir tree garland is what sprung to mind.
I ought to start by saying that my floristry skills are somewhat basic so please don't let this put you off-it's really basic and easy to do, I promise. Aside from collecting the fir tree clippings from my local woods (I took only what I needed I might add) and bumping them up with trimmings from the Christmas tree this garland took me about two hours to put together with a demanding toddler and baby for company. You could also use evergreen cuttings as an alternative which will smell gorgeous and it'll last around a week before it starts to droop.
Make sure you assemble all your necessary tools before you begin, which includes 4m of hemp rope (I trimmed this once I'd measured the depth of the swag across my chimney breast) 2mm gauge copper wire, green florists tape, fishing line, star shaped cookie cutters (bear with me on that) copper coloured thread, wire cutters and pliers, clear pin board pins and plenty of greenery.
1. Start by cutting up your clippings into smaller pieces before building up bunches and securing them with florists tape wrapped around the base of each. To attach them to your rope, wind each bunch on with more tape, then layer up the following bunch so that it overlaps slightly and hides the mechanics. Repeat until your rope is covered. Think about how you'd like your garland to flow and make sure your bunches follow this pattern-I wanted the two ends to hang with the tips of the fir tree pointing down and the tips pointing left along the swag.
2. Once your garland is complete, it'll be ready to hang. Determine where you want to display it and where you'll place your pins. As mine was attached to wooden tongue and groove I didn't have too much trouble getting them into place, but you might need a couple of picture hooks tacked in if it's a bit tricky for you. Just don't go putting holes in your plaster work please!
Once my pins were in place and I was happy with the spacing, I tied a loop of fishing wire around garland at the point of the first drop and looped it onto the pin. I then did the same with the other side. You might find it easier if someone helps you support the weight of the garland while you do this although I managed on my own.
3. If your garland tends to hang downwards with the weight, exposing the rope at the back then you might want to secure it with a little tape strategically placed on your wall to hold it. Mind your paint work when you come to remove it though!
4. Next up it's time to make your sweet little copper stars. Using your cookie cutter as a template, gently wind the wire around the shape before cutting it a little longer at the ends and twisting the two ends together. I made around twelve of these in three different sizes.
5. Hang your stars in varying lengths using the copper coloured thread with a little tape hidden behind your garland.
And voila! Your garland is ready to wow. You could add in some battery operated fairy lights to give it extra sparkle if you like and when the garland has seen better days, use the clippings for compost and keep the stars for the tree next year.
What do you think?