DIY Holiday Garland
By Madeleine Shelton of Botanicamuse
Photography by Megan Lynn Photography
Floral design styles and trends follow cyclical patterns. The plentiful and lush garlands of today’s modern gatherings borrow from the sophisticated socialites of ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. There are many different ways to assemble a foliage garland. My mentor, Diane Citrowske, AIFD, taught me the mechanics of construction behind this technique for a sturdy and secure garland that can be laid across a table, draped over a mantle, or hung vertically. Today’s garland is designed as a festive low centerpiece that brings the holiday season indoors with fresh foliage, berries, and texture, the perfect accompaniment to an evening of great food and conversation. So make like Cleopatra and follow along with your own do-it-yourself garland!
When planning out a garland, here are a couple things I like to consider:
- Texture: Full bodied leaves paired with flowy and lacey greens add depth and texture
- Color: Foliage garlands can benefit from a floral accent that adds color to the overall look of the garland
- Location of the garland: Will it be hung? Placed along a table? This will also inform how full or minimal to build the garland
What you’ll need:
- Table Leg/Heavy Item
- 24 Gauge Florist Wire
- Wire Cutters
- Floral Snips
- Foliage (I used the following: Indian hawthorn berries, Chinese pistache berry, pepper berry, plumosa fern, eucalyptus, olive, nandina, Australian blackwood, and persimmons)
- Optional: table top styling elements (fruit, taper candles, etc.)
1. Cut sections of your foliage into small bits (about four-six inches in length per piece) and layer foliage and berries for a hit of color and texture. Bind together the foliage into groupings. This step will make it easier to secure each cluster and build your garland.
2. Once you’ve prepped your foliage clusters, measure out some twine to your desired final garland length and add a couple inches. You’ll want to secure the twine to a table leg/under a heavy item. This is similar to starting a braided friendship bracelet as you’ll want something to hold the garland in place as you secure each cluster.
3. Begin by placing the foliage cluster (with the leafy part pointing hanging off the end of the garland). Secure the cluster with a two to three wraps of floral wire, pulling the wire tighter at each wrap. Build the garland with your premade foliage clusters and wire.
4. To finish off the garland, flip your last foliage cluster the other way and secure with three wraps. Clip ends of wire with wire cutters. Flipping the foliage cluster adds a clean and crisp end to your garland. Ribbon and other adornments can be weaved or secured to the garland. I placed seasonal persimmons on top of the garland for a pop of spice and warmth to my color scheme.
Thank you to Megan Lynn for her stellar work capturing the step-by-step photos for the garland. For more of her photography, follow along at @meganlphoto.
Madeleine Shelton is the founder and lead designer of Botanicamuse, a boutique floral design studio specializing in weddings, corporate events and weekly accounts. Our design style conveys beauty through color, movement, and the most spectacular flowers of the season with a chic and whimsical twist.