TIME: 1 hour
COST: $5 to $6 (not including plants)
• 1 block florist's foam, 3 inches high, 4 inches wide, and 9 inches long (enough for three ornaments)
• Sharp knife for cutting foam
• Plastic mesh berry basket, 1-pint size
• 1 roll decorative gold or silver cord, about 1/8 inch wide (one basket needs about 8 to 10 feet)
• Hand pruners
• Foliage branches and flowers from your garden or a florist
1. Soak the foam block in a basin of water until thoroughly saturated (about 30 minutes). Set it on paper towels to drain.
2. Using a sharp knife, cut the foam into three equal pieces. Put one foam piece into the plastic berry basket.
3. Using scissors, cut four equal lengths of gold or silver cord, each at least 11/2 feet long (or longer, depending on where you want to hang the ornament). Fasten one length at each corner of the basket's rim. Set the basket atop a can, letting the cords dangle free, or hang the basket by tying the tops of the cords to an overhead kitchen cupboard handle.
4. With pruners, cut branches of foliage into snippets about 4 inches long. Strip off lowest foliage, leaving 1 to 2 inches of stem. Cut the base of the stem on a diagonal. Poke snippets into the foam, spacing them evenly around the basket as shown below to create a framework. Fill in with more foliage, then add flowers until the foam is completely covered.
5. Gather ends of the four cords and tie them together with a strong knot. Hang the ornament away from heat sources.