Monday, December 2, 2013

A Christmas Arrangement for your doorstep...10 easy steps!

At our last KidLit meeting, the talk turned to Christmas and one of us remembered the beautiful Christmas arrangements our hostess had at her front door last year.  Well, "in a blink of an eye..." and a "hey, why don't we...", it was all set.  Six of us met one day last week and here's what happened.... 

Here are a few things I learned along the way:

1.  We used garden pots still full of soil.  If you live in Canada, defrost first by bringing inside the day before!

2.  Use a variety of twigs, branch trimmings and greens- cedar as well as green and blue spruce.  Some was purchased, but much of what we used came from our gardens.

3.  Start at the back of the pot with 2-3 spruce branches, then add a middle row.  Create a triangle shape with higher branches in the back.  Next, fill in with cedar.  Leave an open spot in the front for a bow.

4.  At the back, add a tall, glittery "branch" of something.  It should be slightly to the left.  This item should be quite noticeable - red or silver.  One person used purple! Another had a stake with multiple little balls on it.

5.  Next, again at the back, add some fine, gold stems.  I called them "curly wurlies".  Can you see them?  Delicate, they make a nice contrast to your branch.  Make sure they are in little clusters of three.  

6.  Start to fill in with ornaments, cones, and sprays of berries.  (Search through your Christmas boxes and make a trip to the dollar store first!)  We prepped each item by attaching it with

florist wire to a bamboo BBQ skewer. Use a glue gun for the cones.  Wrap the skewer with green florist tape, attaching a second skewer as you go - you'll need that extra length.

7.  Very important....think THREE!  Add three of everything you pick and make sure no two are in a straight line vertically or horizontally.  Think "back, middle, front" and "high, medium, low" so your arrangement is balanced and has depth.

8.  Friends are important!  Take time to stand back frequently and look.  Focus in on one colour or item at a time.  Is it balanced?  Do you have a variety of shapes?  Add a little more "curly wurly" stuff!

9.  Add your bow.  These bows used a whole roll of ribbon each (Only $1.00 at the Dollar Store!!)  Leave a tail (2 feet), then generously loop the ribbon and pinch between your fingers.  With your free hand, twist the ribbon and make a second loop the other direction.  Keep looping, pinching, twisting back and forth.  The last few loops should be slightly smaller.  Remember to leave enough for the other tail.  Use wire to twist around the middle and tie to a bamboo skewer.  

10.  Last check...  A cone or ball peeking out behind the bow, half hidden, looks nice.  Make sure you have enough greenery on each side of the bow.

This was so much fun.  Our arrangements are NOT perfect, but we're so pleased with how they turned out.  They didn't cost much either and we plan to save all the "bits" for next year.

It's starting to feel a bit like Christmas!