How To Make This Succulent Christmas Table Centrepiece


  This brass mist sprayer is by  Haws

This brass mist sprayer is by Haws

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!

  Chop your spruce into small, three shoot pieces.

Chop your spruce into small, three shoot pieces.

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.

  Tom from florists  Agent F  showing us how to get started.

Tom from florists Agent F showing us how to get started.

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.

  This point was key - use your spruce around the base to cover the tray, and then add just a few sprigs in the centre at the top of the oasis.

This point was key - use your spruce around the base to cover the tray, and then add just a few sprigs in the centre at the top of the oasis.

Once your base was covered, add a couple of pieces of spruce in the top-centre of the oasis block.

  I find any Christmas craft is more enjoyable with multiple glasses of mulled wine!

I find any Christmas craft is more enjoyable with multiple glasses of mulled wine!

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.

  This is my centrepiece being built. I tried to keep length at either end, and not create too much height on top.

This is my centrepiece being built. I tried to keep length at either end, and not create too much height on top.

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.

  These are magnolia leaves dip-dyed in gold paint.

These are magnolia leaves dip-dyed in gold paint.

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.

  Add metallic foliage sparingly.

Add metallic foliage sparingly.

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.

  Use florist wire threaded through the base of a succulent head to keep it attached in the oasis.

Use florist wire threaded through the base of a succulent head to keep it attached in the oasis.

Then it was time for the finishing touches! Any gaps were filled with beautiful thistles and eucalyptus pods.

For ideas on festive plants and foliage to use in your display, check out this great blog post by Rona Wheeldon.

I'd like to thank MK Design for inviting me to their fantastic workshop. You can find out about any future interior workshops they are holding here.