By Alyssa Clough

Published on December 22, 2016

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

We don’t know about you, but we are obsessed with our holiday tablescapes. Choosing the color palette, arranging the florals, and adding special details that family and friends will remember for years to come are just part of what make entertaining over the holidays so special. Recently, we’ve been seeing a lot of garland in lieu of more traditional floral centerpieces. And while picking up your favorite greens is an easy way to create a no-fuss garland, there’s no denying florals are more fun. So we tapped Christy Doramus, NYC-based floral stylist and founder of Crowns by Christy, to show you how to DIY two easy floral garlands for your Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Year’s Eve celebration. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions!

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Step 1: Choose Your Theme

Christy created two garlands—one with hints of red and white, plus lots of green, and another made of mostly whites and silvers. So first, identify what colors you want to standout on your table. The reds create a classic Christmas look while the baby’s breath and silver spray painted florals feel more wintry. Christy recommends purchasing three bunches of flowers for every foot of garland you are looking to create, but it depends on how thick and full you want your garland to be.

Keep cost in mind when brainstorming your picks—this DIY can end up being a pricier endeavor if you opt for expensive stems, like roses. Luckily, greenery like Christy’s favorite silver dollar eucalyptus and tree fern (and filler florals like baby’s breath) are affordable and stunning.

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Here’s what Christy used for each garland:

Classic Christmas

Ilex Berries

White Roses

Tree Fern

Silver Dollar Eucalyptus

Wintry Whites

Baby’s Breath

Thistle, spray painted silver

Delphinium

Tree Fern

Silver Dollar Eucalyptus

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Step 2: Time For The Florist Foam

If you haven’t used florist foam before, don’t be intimidated. You can buy foam in net casing created especially for garland crafting, which makes the process easy and fun. Christy looks to Jamali Garden, located in NYC, where a nine foot garland costs $39.99, and the same product is also available on Amazon.com for a similar price.

Once you have your foam, soak each cylinder in a bowl of water for around 30 seconds. Each mini form will hold around half a cup of water, which will help keep your florals hydrated and alive as the hours and days pass.

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

If you’re not able to pick up floral foam at your local floral or craft shop, there is an alternative. Bunch together florals and greens as if you were making a flower crown (or wreath!) and place thoughtfully down the center of your table. They’ll look almost like oversized boutonnieres and are also great for decorating mantles or bar carts.

Simply take a few pieces of greenery and one flower to start and tightly twist a pre-cut piece of florist wire two or three times around. Once that bunch is secure, continue to add more florals and greenery to create a full arrangement. It will look a little like what you see here!

Note: These will dry out faster, so don’t count on them staying fresh for more than one day.

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Step 3: Arrange Your Florals

First, cut the stems of your florals and greenery to short, varied lengths. Next, lay out your materials so you can get a visual on what you have to work with. Finally, it’s time to arrange! Christy recommends starting with a base of greenery before filling in holes with florals. First time garland makers: Expect to spend one to two hours arranging, especially if it’s for a larger table. If you’re particular about placement or are choosing a more complicated design, like ombré, leave even more time. If you’re an expert at handling flowers, budget around 30 minutes.

Placing your flowers and greenery into the foam is not hard, though the mini cylinders will be sturdy, as they are full of water. This will allow you to play around with with more angles, ultimately creating a full, beautiful garland!

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Step 4: Enjoy!

Once your garland is on your tablescape, you can expect it to last anywhere from a night to a week. Fuller blooms, like a rose, will last for a much shorter time compared to greenery, like eucalyptus, which can last up to a week. There are ways to extend the life of your garland, of course. You can spritz with water to hydrate, give your florals a fresh cut, and even swap out wilting florals for an updated look.

And while we love the look of a garland for the holidays, they’re perfect for any time of the year when crafted with seasonal blooms. 

Follow Christy at @crownsbychristy for more floral inspiration!