By Dee Archibald
Garlands bring a lush green feel to your table. Bring the outside in this Christmas by making your own table centrepiece, it’s cheap and easy to do!
What you will need:
- cable ties (available at you nearest hardware store)
- a few bunches of greenery
- some heads of flowers to poke through (optional) or candles
Gather some greenery. You may have a tree in your yard (or your neighbours yard!) which is perfect, or you may need to make a trip to your local florist. I used olive leaf and blue gum. You will need a good size bunch for every metre you make just depending on how bushy you want it. Measure the table you will lay it on accounting for the ends if you want your garland to hang over the sides. Divide that measurement in half as you will make 2 garlands that size and then attach them in the middle so that the leaves will go in different directions.
Start by placing a branch on your bench or floor and layering consequent pieces in the same direction but so the tip of the next piece is just overlapping the lower leaves on the first piece. Subsequently hiding the stem of each branch underneath. It will end up looking like one long branch. Stop at your tables halfway measurement.
Use a cable tie to hold together the lowest branches. Pull it tight and cut the end. Gather the bunch with your hand about 25cms above the last cable tie and use another cable tie to hold the stems together. (Try to leave a few of the bushier branches on top loose and bind the cable tie over the bottom layers so that it is hidden by the leaves above.) Do this every 25cms until you are at the end of your garland. You can poke extra pieces of greenery in places if there are any gaps and any leaves that are too wayward can be tucked into others or can be cut off to give a neater appearance.
You now have 1 garland but you need 2, so repeat the process until you have 2 matching ones. They are now ready to lay on the table. Face the leaves out on both sides so that in the middle you will have the 2 cable tied ends. You will need to add a few small branches of leaves tucking them in to the middle to hide the cable ties. Your done! Add some candles or tuck in some fresh flowers to finish your lush table centre.
Helpful Hints: you can make your garland up to a day ahead of time but depending on the greenery you use. You may need to test its lifespan on a single piece to avoid it looking droopy. Don’t poke any flowers in until the last minute unless you use little vials for each bloom (ask your florist for these). Give the leaves a good spray with a water mister.