28 festive winter arrangements

These simple displays can be created using items found outdoors––maybe even in your own backyard

Curated winter arrangement

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Paige Porter Fischer

Curated winter arrangement

Arranged together on a tray with a glass cloche, even humble twigs and stones become art. Mix various textures and heights to keep the display interesting. This one includes a river rock, a trough of bark holding a tumbleweed twig, thyme in a wooden planter, and a pinecone on a bed of moss.

Get the look: Cheese board (similar to one shown, $89; williams-sonoma.com); glass cloche (8 in. high, $15; potterybarn.com); aubergine grasscloth placemats ($5.95 each; crateandbarrel.com)

Mini holiday tree

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Paige Porter Fischer

Mini holiday tree

As festive as an evergreen bough but less expected, a cypress-tree door decoration will see you through the holidays and beyond. Set a potted mini cypress on a plastic saucer, wrap in a burlap bag, and nail the drawstring to your door (adding a twig of barberry if you like). Keep the tree well watered, and plant it at the end of the season.

Get the look: Natural burlap round-bottom bag (3 in. high, $8.88/10 bags; papermart.com)

Fresh centerpiece

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Paige Porter Fischer

Fresh centerpiece

When cut to the length of your dining table, a piece of weathered barn wood can function as a runner (no ironing required). Use the plank as a stage for seasonal produce, such as plums, pears, apples, figs, and pattypan squash. Weave crabapple branches throughout for added texture, and stagger candles nestled in pebble-filled votive holders for ambience.

Get the look: Barn wood (from $5.95/ft.; old-barn-wood.com); Galej tea-light holders ($1.99/4 holders; ikea.com for store locations)

Seasonal bar

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Paige Porter Fischer

Seasonal bar

A bar is more than a place to mix a drink—it’s a decorating opportunity. Freshen it up by repurposing empty bottles as vases for vibrant cuttings, such as amaranth (near right) and variegated barberry. Wooden pedestals resembling tree stumps create different levels of display within the bar, and a lamp shows off the scene in the evening.

Get the look: Tava rattan tray (20 in. wide, $49; potterybarn.com); Wedge acacia servers ($22 each; crateandbarrel.com)

plant wreath

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Bits & bits wreath

This wreath is made from “bits and bits” of items picked up while walking after a big storm. Pine, fir, rosemary, magnolia leaves, succulents, and berries are wrapped into the wreath.

Tip: Supplement the wreath with items found at a floral market, then follow our complete wreath-making directions.

driftwood arrangement

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Driftwood arrangement

Use a piece of found driftwood as a rustic backdrop to moss, small evergreens, and succulents.

Tip: Fill crevices in the driftwood with enough soil to anchor your plant tableau firmly.

woodsy decorations

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Woodsy tabletop

In a season that’s often predictable, mix it up with a rosemary-nest place setting and ​a centerpiece of forest finds (take care with wild mushrooms; many are poisonous). ​

Tip: Rosemary stalks should be long and tender enough to curve into a bowl shape. Add kumquats for a splash of color.

"tree" planting arrangement

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Foraged "tree"

Instead of decking the halls with boughs, use felled branches to make your own right-size tree. Buy a piece of cone-shaped floral foam and insert branches. Once the tree looks full enough, add succulents, berries, and leaves. Ornaments not needed. ​

Tip: Water greens daily to keep them look­-ing fresh. A good source for foam cones is ​save-on-crafts.com/foamcones.html

Festive berries

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Mini berry bouquet

Mount a nandina sprig in a tea light to make a creative placecard.

crate planter

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Crate planter

Recycle a wooden crate into a front-porch planter box; for a statement, use plants of differing heights. This arrangement includes fruiting citrus, lavender, rosemary, and large and small succulents.

Tip: Before planting, arrange plants still in their pots to see if the symmetry works.

Fresh ideas for your Christmas holiday candles

Thomas J. Story; styling: Miranda Jones

Showstopper centerpiece

This 2-foot-long snowy white ceramic “canoe pot” from Bauer Pottery Company (888/213-0800) is a mere 4 inches tall. The low profile won’t block guests’ views.

Select plants with foliage that looks as if it’s dusted with snow. 

Tuck stems topped with silvery buds―such as leucadendron buds―or white flowers into the foliage, spreading them along the vase’s length.

Bigger photo and more details

Mantel with greens

Thomas J. Story

Mantel with greens

Vases of varying heights contain conifer sprigs sitting in an inch of water.

Strips of inch-wide paper ribbon (secured with double-sided tape) wrap the cylinders and serve as plant labels. White votives add soft lighting behind.

Arrange a colorful bouquet

Thomas J. Story

Colorful bouquet

Show off a vibrant mix of berries, seeded eucalyptus, and flowers in a pedestal bowl.

When arranging, think triangles: Start by sticking three of the heavier branches into the bowl at an angle and evenly spacing them, then continue layering branches within this frame, turning the bowl as you work and interspersing smaller sprigs for balance.

We used blackberry cuttings, grape hyacinth (Muscari), nandina berries and leaves,  red viburnum, [urplish Viburnum tinus, and seeded eucalyptus.

Anchor heavier branches by loosely tying together their stem ends with a piece of twine.

Table with greens

Thomas J. Story

Champagne flute vases

Any drinking glass can become a botanical vessel. 

Champagne flutes and evergreen sprigs form a centerpiece when interspersed with forest green tea lights in clear votive holders.

Prunings from some junipers stay fresh for a month or more in water. Other short-needled conifers for this use include Arizona cypress Atlas cedar Douglas fir and noble fir.

Warm up a winter window

Thomas J. Story

Warm up a winter window

Violet anemone and hyacinth blooms, seeded eucalyptus, and green berries are displayed like rare specimens in bell jars below a winter wreath.

The large glass-cloche terrariums are from Campo de’ Fiori ($110 for 11-inch size; campodefiori.com for stores).

We used anemone, berzilia, hyacinth, pepperberry, seeded eucalyptus, and Viburnum tinus.

Amaryllis blooms

Lisa Romerein

Paperwhite narcissus

"Small, white-flowered arrangements are like little snow bouquets indoors," says floral designer Kate Holt.

"I like to place them all around the house for a more intimate kind of welcome. Also, using vessels like sugar bowls or silver creamers feels much cozier than a generic vase."

Here, narcissus blooms, commonly available at florist shops in winter, join berzelia berries in a pewter creamer.

Anemones

Lisa Romerein

White cyclamen

White cyclamen appear to flutter above silvery dusty-miller foliage and eucalyptus pods. Arrange the woody pieces in a triangle ― one stem to the right, one to the left, and one across ― then tuck in flowers.

Cabbage rose bouquet

Lisa Romerein

Cabbage roses

Jewel-tone vases highlight these fragrant, sumptuous roses.

Anemones

Lisa Romerein

Anemones

Anemones nestle among juniper branches in a vintage sugar bowl.

White ranunculus

Lisa Romerein

White ranunculus

White ranunculus look extra-snowy against a cream-colored container.

The arrangement shares space with candy dishes ceramic pots and other pieces that Holt uses as vases.

Make an entrance

Thomas J. Story

Welcoming entrance

A row of white lanterns and vintage red sap buckets adds spark to the entryway. Protect a non-watertight container by dropping in a small plastic container (an empty yogurt tub works well).

What we used

  • Geraldton waxflower
Style tip
To maximize the life of your bouquets, clip 1 inch off stems before putting them in water

Wrap railings with berry garlands

Thomas J. Story

Wrap railings with garlands

A row of white lanterns and vintage red sap buckets adds spark to the entryway. Protect a non-watertight container by dropping in a small plastic container (an empty yogurt tub works well).

What we used

  • Geraldton waxflower
Style tip 
To maximize the life of your bouquets, clip 1 inch off stems before putting them in water

 

Snow cones

Rob Brodman

Snow cones

Plain white acrylic paint and a small foam brush are all you need to transform a pile of humble pinecones into a snowy centerpiece that will be welcome this hectic season.

Just touch the tips of the pinecones with the brush, let the paint dry, then place the cones in a simple white bowl.

guide to foraged plants

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Plants to forage for a DIY arrangement

Shown at left:

  1. lavender
  2. wild mushroom
  3. magnolia leaf
  4. kumquat
  5. echeveria
  6. birch twig
  7. pine
  8. berzelia
  9. berzelia
  10. sequoia
  11. juniper
  12. rosemary
  13. echeveria
  14. juniper
  15. privet

foraged clippings

Photo by Thomas J. Story

More foraged plants to use

12 other items we love to forage:

  • bamboo
  • berries (try coffeeberry or Pyracantha)
  • cactus
  • chestnuts
  • cotoneaster
  • dried chile peppers
  • eucalyptus
  • heather
  • manzanita branches
  • pinecones
  • rose hips (from unpruned rosebushes)
  • seed tassels from grasses like Miscanthus or Pennisetum

Tabletop wreath

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Debra Prinzing

Tabletop wreath

For this Western take on a holiday standby, bend three pliable curly willow tips into a circle and wire the ends together. Weave two more willow tips through them, then wire all twigs together in several places. Tuck in eucalyptus clippings and tillandsias. Set on a table, or wire everything into place and hang.

Tip: Place tillandsias so they hide the wreath’s wire.

Design: Amoreena Herbage of Seattle's Midnight Blossom floral shop (midnightblossom.com)

Winter in a jar

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Debra Prinzing

Winter in a jar

Small jars of dusty miller foliage and Brunia laevis berries make frosty-looking place settings.

Design: Amoreena Herbage of Seattle's Midnight Blossom floral shop (midnightblossom.com)

Shimmery showstopper

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Debra Prinzing

Shimmery showstopper

To create this oversize arrangement, bunch together silver tree branches (Leucadendron argenteum) with tightly coiled fern fronds and Brunia laevis sprigs with white berries. Finish with an African mask leaf (Alocasia x amazonica).

Tip: Keep stem ends steady in a layer of sand.

Design: Amoreena Herbage of Seattle's Midnight Blossom floral shop (midnightblossom.com)

 

Wintry welcome

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Debra Prinzing

Wintry welcome

For an entryway decoration that’s almost as easy as hanging your coat, tie together bunches of silver dollar tree (Eucalyptus cinerea) and silver tree (Leucadendron argenteum) with twine. Add a Tillandsia xerographica as a velvety bow and hang from a hook.

Tip: Hang swags in unexpected spaces, like on a porch.

Design: Amoreena Herbage of Seattle's Midnight Blossom floral shop (midnightblossom.com)

Silvery sprig gift toppers

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Debra Prinzing

Silvery sprig gift toppers

Sure, it’s what’s inside that counts, but fresh gift toppers make the presentation unforgettable too. Just tuck bouquets of houseplant leaves (like peperomia and pilea), juniper, and silver tree leaves under ribbon, or glue fern curls and lichens right onto packages. 

Tip: Use floral glue to adhere without ribbon; it dries clear.

Design: Amoreena Herbage of Seattle's Midnight Blossom floral shop (midnightblossom.com)

Printed from:
http://www.sunset.com/home/decorating/beautiful-winter-arrangements-00400000061750/