A NATURAL NOEL
We're singing the blues this Christmas with a setting that takes inspiration from nature.
To make our festive stars, we selected trimmed lengths of Murraya bush, which was chosen for its relatively straight branches. We stripped them of all greenery, then trimmed them of all leaves. We then created two triangles using a hot glue gun to seal the branches together. When the glue was set, we then bound each join with twine. The stars were completed by layering the triangles in a star shape and repeating the glueing and binding process. We made large stars for wall decorations and smaller ones for tree adornments and finished them by weaving tendrils of jasmine around the stars. We continued the star motif with our napkin rings, using grosgrain ribbon to attach the stars to the napery. The gift wrapping stayed on theme, with hessian fabric instead of paper, and strips of hessian frayed at the edges intertwined with broader grosgrain ribbon to make the ties. It wouldn’t be Christmas without candlelight and we made liberal use of while pillars and tea lights.
Think outside the box when it comes to a Christmas tree. It doesn’t have to be a great big thing hogging all the space in the living room. Brown paper and hessian made attractive alternative wrappings, but you might also consider upcycling sheet music, newsprint, tea- or coffee-washed brown paper, and hand-drawn or stamped designs on recycled gift wrapping paper.
Instead of ribbon we used a combination of grosgrain ribbon and hessian cut into strips and frayed on the edges. Our gift tags came from Spotlight and continued the natural, earthy theme of the setting.
We repurposed a natural plywood tree normally used for hanging jewellery. Hung with stars and more jasmine it became a stunning centrepiece for the table. Use any flowers and foliage in season and your imagination. You can opt for the traditional and weave in some holly leaves and berries. Green blackberries also make beautiful foliage if you have access to the plants or a florist who stocks them. The black berries of the privet bush would also make good additions to a naturally themed setting as would clusters of the Tasmanian native mountain pepperberry tree. If you prefer a more structured star, you could make them using paddlepop sticks, wooden skewers or even strips of cardboard. Vary the twine colour to suit your colour scheme, though we have a soft spot at this time of year for red and white bakers’ twine.