My Home At Christmas (+ How To Make This Fireplace Garland)


I've gone all out this year with a real flower fire surround garland!

I've gone all out this year with a real flower fire surround garland!

Welcome to my house at Christmas! If you are joining me as part of the UK Blog Hop from We Love Home, an extra thank you for joining me here! I'm so chuffed to be part of the first ever UK Home Blog Hop, courtesy of the lovely Kimberly of the ultra-fabulous Swoonworthy. In my Hop you'll find some crafty Christmas DIY's and tips on having a handmade Xmas. So come on in, help yourself to a mince pie and let me show you around.....

Even though I'm a fan of more contemporary decor the rest of the year, at Xmas I prefer a traditional look (reds, golds, greens, fir cones and berries). However I like to go BIG! BIG tree, BIG flower displays, LOADS of table decor.

Earlier this year at a Red magazine event I attended, florists had decorated the mantels over fireplaces in the room with these huge pink summer flower garland displays. It was really effective, so there and then I decided I was going to do a festive version in my home this year for Xmas. A few oasis blocks and a few bunches of flowers later, here it is in my living room. It's perfect as a striking decoration if you are throwing a party over the festive season - and at a total of £32 to make (£24 on flowers, £8 on oasis) it looks a lot more expensive than it is! To learn how to make this garland yourself, scroll down to the guide at the bottom of this post...

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Putting together the table decor is one of my favourite parts of Christmas. I make flower arrangements a couple of days before (usually with foliage I've cut locally, like holly and rosemary), then go to town with candles and red and gold table wear. A few years ago I made these gold leaf pear place name holders after seeing the idea on a Kirstie Allsopp Christmas craft program. They went down pretty well at a dinner party that year, so this year I've made them again:

For tree decorations, I'm all about glass and birds! I bloody love a faux-bird on my Xmas tree. Joining the pheasants, robins and peacocks this year will be a 2016 interiors classic - a flamingo! (A purchase I made in October when I stumbled across him in John Lewis.)

I brought this peacock decoration in Liberty. I pimped him up for the top of the tree by sticking on real peacock feathers from Hobbycraft on the back.

I brought this peacock decoration in Liberty. I pimped him up for the top of the tree by sticking on real peacock feathers from Hobbycraft on the back.

I also love real glass decorations which I make by filling with feathers, pom poms and glitter. You can find out how to make these yourself here.

These glass and feather tree decorations are easy and cheap to make.

These glass and feather tree decorations are easy and cheap to make.

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I always make my door wreath for Xmas. Learn how to make this wreath here.

I always make my door wreath for Xmas. Learn how to make this wreath here.

Once boxing day has passed and we move towards New Years Eve, I move away from traditional Xmas decorations to something more fun and colourful. Having a child and getting old means I hardly go out NYE anymore (no-one wants to babysit NYE, and I now baulk at the extra charges for a drink/cab), so NYE is usually spent at home with friends. I'll therefore change up my decor to something like this fun pom pom indoor wreath!

These super pretty bird and butterfly decorations are from Pom Pom & Twiddle

These super pretty bird and butterfly decorations are from Pom Pom & Twiddle

I handmade this Pom Pom garland for a guest post on the Mia Fleur blog which is coming soon!

For my top present wrapping tips click here.

For my top present wrapping tips click here.

HOW TO MAKE THE REAL FLOWER FIREPLACE GARLAND

You will need:

  • Oasis blocks and an accompanying tray. I measured the length of my fire surround and discovered that I would need 5 blocks of oasis to make a garland the required length. You can buy oasis blocks in craft stores for around £3 for a pack of four. Alternatively, a local florist will sell you single oasis blocks. You will also need an oasis tray to keep topping up your oasis with water if you are going to have your garland up for a good while. These trays cost 80p each from my local craft store.
  • A selection of flowers and foliage to make up your garland. For my garland I brought two large bunches of eucalyptus, 20 red roses, 4 stems of cotton flower and one large bunch of thistle. I brought my flowers from Columbia Road Flower Market and it cost me a total of £24 for everything! Flower markets are great for getting a large choice of cut flowers. Go later on in the day and you'll also get yourself a bargain as they slash prices to clear stock.
  • Some garden secateurs, a plastic bag and some protective gloves to go foraging with! To bulk up the display, cut greenery from hedgerows and evergreen plants. There are loads of holly berries around this year as well as snow berries.  Take a few cuttings where you can!

Start by filling a bucket/the sink/bath with water and submerging your oasis blocks in it for about 15-20 minutes so they suck up loads of water. Remove them into the oasis trays and put them in a line across your fire surround. 

Start with your eucalyptus/chosen foliage and stick it in the oasis blocks, concentrating on creating height. Stick your tall eucalyptus sticks towards the back of the oasis blocks, saving the front for your floral display.

Place some shorter, single eucalyptus sprigs at the bottom of the front of the blocks so it creates a trailing effect over your fireplace.

Start to add in your other flowers at the front, larger flowers first, leaving smaller flowers like roses and berries until last. Position them evenly across the garland.

Once your brought flowers are all used up, use your foraged greenery to fill in any gaps. The aim is to not see the oasis blocks or have any gaping holes in the garland.

My garland took about 30 minutes to put together and was easier than I had anticipated. My top tip is just to shove it all in! If it looks bad in places move some stuff about, cut away anything that looks too long, have fun with it!

So that's all from me, and Bowser my King Charles Cavalier (doesn't he look so happy being made to wear a doggie Santa hat for this post??) Thank you for taking the time to look round my home at Christmas - we've loved having you!

You can find all my Xmas DIY's here if you want to  get crafty at Christmas this year. Otherwise, hop on over to Fresh Design Blog tomorrow from 11am to continue the Hop! A full list of other bloggers houses from the week can be found below - just click on the links! There have been some great posts this week full of crimbo inspiration, so enjoy! And Merry Christmas!

Love, Melanie xxxx

Monday 5th December

Swoon Worthy

The Pink House

Candy Pop

Don't Cramp My Style

Renovation Bay-Bee

Tuesday 6th December

Little Big Bell

Seasons In Colour

Love Chic Living

The Ordinary Lovely

Lucy Loves Ya

Wednesday 7th December

Sarah Akwisombe

Mademoiselle Poirot

French for Pineapple

Lust Living

Thursday 8th December

TidyLife

Old Fashioned Susie

Dear Designer

We Love Home

Friday 9th December

Fresh Design Blog

Ana Mum Diary

Well I Guess This Is Growing Up

A Beautiful Space