Craftvent Calendar #3: A Christmas centrepiece
Christmas is in three sleeps! Eeeeee! It’s a fantastic week already because my wonderful sister-in-law, Maricarmen, arrived from Mexico this morning! Best. Christmas. Ever.
But that’s this week. Last week was a whole other roller coaster of emotions. My beloved school principal retired on Friday and gosh, was it a tough week. She has been such an inspiration to me, and is just one of those people who can’t help but make the world a little brighter every day. Re-reading that last sentence, it sounds unbelievably corny, but it is 100% the truth. So I’ll let it stand.
For her surprise retirement party I wanted to make her a special gift. Of course we did a big group gift, but since she’s been such an amazing mentor to me these last two years, I wanted to mark the occasion somehow. So I decided to create a floral centrepiece for her that she could enjoy on her holiday table even after the party.
I apologize in advance for the lack of in-progress photos. Our camera is junky. And I forgot. Sorry about that.
For this arrangement you’ll need:
- 1 medium or large glass bowl
- 2-3 long beaded garlands (you could also use cranberries)
- 1 block of Oasis floral foam, cut to fit your bowl and soaked thoroughly
- 1 plastic bag to put the Oasis in (to stop it getting everything around and under it wet!)
- Something to put in the bottom of the bowl to elevate the Oasis (so that it sits about 2-3 inches above the top of the bowl) – I used two plant pot bases
- About 10-12 red roses (you could use fewer if you use more filler flowers)
- About 6 stems of red alstroemeria (this is a spray flower, so each stem has multiple blooms)
- About 10 stems of white frilly chrysanthemums (not sure what kind mine were – you could substitute daisies or carnations, but remember that the mums and daisies are spray flowers and carnations are single blooms)
- Greenery such as holly, ruscus, or salal leaf
I went with the party’s colour scheme of red, white, and silver. First, I prepped my large glass bowl. I elevated the Oasis with two aluminium foil-covered plant dishes and then lined the bowl with silver and red beaded garlands.
Then, I inserted my soaked Oasis and began my arrangement. In reality, the prep for this arrangement took waaaayyy longer than the actual flowers. Generally the case when you don’t have a florist’s supplies to hand.
I should mention that I talk a lot about how I prep my flowers for arranging here.
I started by creating a ring of greenery around the edge, beginning with four longer pieces of holly and ruscus, thrust stem-up at an angle into the Oasis in a North-South-East-West pattern. Then, I filled in the other compass points with more greenery. You can see a bit of how I do this in this post.
Next, I placed my three tallest roses in the centre of the arrangement, along with a few pieces of greenery. Then I added some roses to the sides of the arrangement, again, thrusting them stem-up on an angle into the Oasis.
From this point on, I placed the rest of my roses, and then filled in with the chrysanthemums and alstroemeria. I used some of the alstroemeria in its full spray form (in other words, I didn’t separate the blooms from the main stem), and others I separated to use individually. It’s taken me a while to feel confident using alstroemeria in Oasis arrangements because the stems are so seemingly delicate, but I think the trick is to just insert them quickly and fairly forcefully. Otherwise, you just crush the stems against the Oasis. No fear!
This is a really simple arrangement to create. Since my principal might one day read this, I don’t want to disclose how much I spent, but suffice it to say that this arrangement is pretty reasonable, particularly if you already have the bowl, oasis and garlands. The cost also depends on how large an arrangement you want. This one was quite large, and would look best on a table that seats at least six people. I bought all of my flowers at my favourite flower store: Loblaws! 😉
Simple, elegant, and perfect for a holiday gathering! I hope this inspires you to create your own centrepiece for Christmas. Flower arrangements are not scary. Don’t be afraid to try your hand at your own, using flowers from the grocery store. Worst comes to worst and it’s just not working for you, take ’em out of the Oasis and just put them in a bunch of short vases!
Check back on Wednesday for the final Craftvent Calendar post, and for a reveal of my holiday decorating!