Most of the time, my dining room doubles as a photography studio. But this weekend, I’m actually having a dinner party. With all the cooking I have to do, I won’t want to spend too much time on decorations. Still, one does not want to be a Bah Humbug. Time for some last-minute holiday decor.
Here are step-by-step instructions to create a festive mood with homemade holiday boughs
Step 1: Gather Evergreens
Choose a theme first. Whether it’s traditional red and green or Scandi-minimal, a theme will create a cohesive feeling. I wanted a simple theme of winter woodland, so I chose a mix of evergreens and snow-like berries. Pine cones and paperwhite bulbs provided a bit of texture and warm brown tones. Note that if, like me, you choose to use greens, make sure that even without water, they will maintain their shape and color throughout the holiday season.
Here is my plant materials list:
- Juniper branches
- Seeded eucalyptus
- White Hypericum berries
- Paperwhite narcissus bulbs
- Pine cones
Step 2: Frame the Composition
Hang a frame to anchor your design. It could be a simple wreath or a mirror, even a bare branch, anything that will provide a focal point around which to build your composition.
Step 3: Arrange the Bigger Materials
Starting with a largest pieces, build up your arrangement. Be flexible and experiment. Move things around until it feels right. Then add the next piece and so on.
Step 4: Add Vertical Element(s)
A successful vignette contains both vertical and horizontal elements, which together create a sense of dynamism as they guide your eye around the arrangement. If your boughs are above a mantelpiece, candlesticks are always a good choice as a vertical element.
Place the longest or highest pieces towards the outside of your composition, placing elements that are shorter towards the center. This placement will keep the eye within the arrangement.
Step 5: Create a Horizontal Counter Balance
To balance your composition, add horizontal element(s). Books laid on their side or some low-lying votives are good choices. A draping garland is also a natural choice for the holidays.
Step 6: Add Lights
Normally lights might be optional, but not during the holidays. If you’re opposed to electric, try candles.
The Final Festive Look
Looking for more easy, holiday decor that won’t break the budget? Try my mantel arrangement: DIY: Minimalist Holiday Mantel, $10 Edition. Or: