About a week ago, I wrote a Blogmas post on how to make a wreath for the front door, and people seemed to like it, so I thought I’d carry on that theme today and write about how I made garlands for the mantelpiece and staircase. These are both super simple but really help take the festive feeling in your home to another level.
For the mantelpiece garland you’ll need:
- a variety of foliage (I collected mine on Blogmas Day 2)
- an orange
- other decorative bits (baubles, pinecones, etc. – whatever you feel adds your personal style)
- garden wire
- hand pruners for the plants, scissors for the wire
First, you need to dry out the orange, so set your oven to 130C/gas mark 1 and cut your orange into thin slices. Gently remove the excess moisture with kitchen paper and place them onto a grill pan. They’ll need at least an hour in the oven but I’d recommend checking them frequently and turning them over every now and then to make sure the edges don’t catch.
Whilst the orange slices dry out in the oven, make the base of the garland by weaving together strands of ivy until you have one piece slightly longer than your mantelpiece. Make sure it’s a couple of strands thick all the way along so that it doesn’t fall apart.
Using garden wire, attach small sprigs of different types of foliage all the way along the garland – I arranged mine so that I have a slightly bigger section in the middle with the leaves either side pointing outwards. You can make this as elaborate or as minimalist as you like.
Place the garland on the mantelpiece, making sure it’s central, and once your orange slices are dried out and cold, you can nestle them into the foliage to give the whole decoration a splash of colour. I also added some pinecones to mine and a little snowman centrepiece that we’ve had in the family for as long as I can remember. These are creative personal touches though, so add whatever feels fitting for you!
For the staircase garland you’ll need:
- a selection of foliage
- fairy lights
- garden wire
- hand pruners for the wire, scissors for the string
To make the garland for the stairs, first wrap fairy lights of your choosing around the stair spindles – this means your garland will show it’s beauty even during those long winter nights!
Next, you need to form foliage bundles, which I explained how to do in my Christmas wreath post – the process here is very similar, the only difference being that the bundles can be a lot bigger and slightly wilder. I decided to make my bundles all pretty similar so that there would be continuity as it ascended the staircase – to do this I layered each bundle in the same order and always ended with a piece of ivy on top.
All that’s really left to do is attach the bundles onto the stair spindles using the string. Make sure each bundle overlaps with the ones that come before and after it, to ensure you have no gaps. Then it’s just a matter of fiddling with the fairy lights until they sit in a place you’re happy with, and you’re done!
Decorating your house doesn’t have to be hard to look impressive, just a little experimentation and practice and your home can be transformed into a very cosy Christmas grotto!
I’d love to see other people’s decorations, share them with me on Twitter @alysjournals 🙂
Want to read more Blogmas posts? Scroll to the bottom of Day One for the full list.
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