How To Make Hand-Tied Table Decorations

photo 2Image 23Rachel’s sketchbook drawing illustrates how the design for this table arrangement began.  We had forty round tables to decorate and not much set up time at the venue, so we came up with the idea of a flat bouquet that could be laid on the table and taken away  afterwards to be hung on a wall.  No vases or water involved.

We wanted to echo the circular table form within our arrangements  so we encased each bouquet within a stem of curved flax and finished them off with an extravagant bunch of flowing coloured raffia.

First things first.  Materials.  You may not find the exact same materials we have used here but that’s kind of the idea – find materials that inspire you, bearing in mind texture and colour as you go. The materials that you choose need to last well and look good once dried and hanging.  Work out the size of bouquet you want in relation to your table dimensions and cut your materials to roughly the right length as you gather.

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You’ll need 2 stems of eucalyptus, 1 stem of red beech, 1 stem of gum nuts with full foliage, 2 stems of berried ivy (foliage removed), 1 stem of varigated flax plus raffia to hand tie.

1.  Prepare your materials.  Remove the lowest leaves from all stems.  Soften the flax gently using the back of a knife so that it becomes more pliable.

2.  Starting with a base of eucalyptus arrange all your materials (except the flax) into a flat bouquet.  Look carefully at the materials and work out which way they naturally arch and let their shape dictate the direction the bouquet will flow.

3.  In the absence of flowers we used gum nut sprays as our main focus,  so ensure they are clearly visible.

4.  Hold one end of the flax on top of the bouquet and take the other end and wrap right around the outside edge of the materials (this is best done flat on a table), drawing this other end back onto itself.

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3.  Secure all stems (including the flax) by tying together neatly with coloured raffia.  Keep the raffia lengths long as this will accentuate the flow of the design too and give a sense of glamour to the gathered materials. Tuck any wayward foliage stems into the flax structure so you retain the bouquet’s shape.  And voila!

Make a Twig Vase Project

Twig Vase with spring blossom resizeTwig Vase created by Carousel Flora Design

Rescue some twigs from your garden and make this natural, rustic container that will give the effect of branches of blossom growing within the structure.  No need for oasis, just pop a small glass container inside this ‘vase’ using a piece of scrunched up chicken wire to stabilize any heavier branches.

September Make A Twig Vase

Make a Hat Project

Nina cropPhotographer Sabin Holloway

If it’s not a hat, it’s a headscarf.  Rachel and I are crazy about head wear.  So much so that Rachel has been scouring op shops and ruthlessly going through drawers of loved, but outworn clothes  in search of interesting fabrics to turn into hats.

If you’d like to make the hat you see gorgeous Nina wearing (above) check out Rachel’s Step by Step Hat Project which follows.

Make a Winter Hat final

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gathering-1 resize blogGathering muehlenbeckia at Diamond Harbour – photographer Rebecca Bijl