I was recently asked by the lovely ladies at MK Design and Occipinti if I wanted to attend their Christmas Table Setting Workshop held at the Republic of Fritz Hansen. The answer was of course a resounding 'hell yes!' The chance to get all Christmassy and crafty, drinking mulled wine and creating a floral table centrepiece with boutique florists Agent F was something that sounded VERY appealing (booze and floral displays - two of my favourite things!)
I ended up making and bringing home this festive spruce, succulent and gold leaf centrepiece; and I'm going to reveal how it can be made so you too can create a boutique floral table display in your home this Christmas.
First up, you need one block of oasis and an oasis tray (of which you can buy both in craft stores for less than a couple of pounds). Here Agent F have also used some floral tape to secure the oasis in the tray. You need to soak your oasis in water before you start making your display. Tom from Agent F gave me his top tip of filling a sink with water, then just leaving the oasis on the surface of the water until it sinks. Once it's submerged, then it's ready to be used. If you dunk the oasis you get water bubbles inside the oasis and it never fully absorbs all the water. I never actually knew that and always dunked my oasis, so thanks Tom!
You then need some spruce. You can buy bags of this at flower markets, garden centres, or you can forage it if you know where some grows wild locally.
Use secateurs or sharp scissors to cut the stalk at a diagonal angle - this will make the spruce easier to insert into the oasis, as well as making sure the stalk is more exposed to absorb water. Strip the bottom of each stalk of needles so you just have bare twig to push into the oasis.
You then need to insert your spruce around the base of the oasis block. You want to hide the oasis tray, while also creating a layer to build your floral display on. Make sure the two ends of the oasis block have quite long bits of spruce, then the side shoots should be shorter. The aim is to create a rectangular shape at this point.
Once your base was covered, add a couple of pieces of spruce in the top-centre of the oasis block.
Starting at the top where your couple of spruces exist, add in cut pieces of herbs and foliage like rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus until about 70% of the oasis is covered.
The next part was adding in some glamorous gold to break up the green, by adding in dipped-dyed magnolia leaves and eucalyptus to our displays. Tom told us you can buy this metallic foliage from florists and flower markets, but I couldn't see any reason to why you couldn't just spray-paint some foliage yourself at home.
For me, the key to adding the gold was only using it sparingly (too much and your display will look a bit tacky and fake). Use only a few, well spaced out pieces and it instead gives it a festive, glam touch.
The next part for me was the most interesting, as I would never have thought to add in succulents to a Xmas display, but it worked so well. Using floral wire (again, this costs less than a pound for a pack at craft stores), thread your wire through the base of a succulent head (you may want to trim the wire diagonally to make it more sharp), bend the wire over, then this will create a 'floral bobby pin' for you to attach your succulent into your oasis.
Then it was time for the finishing touches! Any gaps were filled with beautiful thistles and eucalyptus pods.