Make your Christmas gifts stand out with these trendy-meets-timeless gift toppers
Complement your one-of-a-kind gift-wrapping with festive, easy-to-make gift toppers that are both trendy and timeless. These ideas from artisan Holley Simmons, one of the co-founders of The Lemon Bowl in Washington, D.C., will help you personalize your gifts without overspending on packaging.
Decorate the gifts for everyone on your list with these three evergreen embellishments: a wreath and bow topper, a berry and dinosaur topper, and a holly and succulent topper.
Supplies for All Projects
- Foraged evergreens and berries
- Wire cutters
- Floral wire
- Ribbon in the color of your choice
- Plastic dinosaur, spray-painted gold
- Small succulent
Wreath and Bow Topper
Nothing says merry and bright like a green wreath with a vivid pink bow. Simmons’ choice of neon pink instead of traditional Christmas red makes this gift topper stand out with a hip yet elegant look.
1. Begin by trimming off several smaller symmetrical pieces from your evergreens with the wire cutters or other implement. They should be about 2 to 3 inches long and very full. Start with two similarly sized pieces.
2. Gently layer them together, slightly overlapping one on top of the other.
3. Cut a 1-foot piece of floral wire. Starting about 1 inch in from one end of the wire, twist the wire around the two sprigs, leaving the rest of the wire free. As you twist the wire around the sprigs, be careful not to crush the greens; work around them instead. Also, leave one small branch free from the wire.
4. Twist both ends of the wires together to fasten the sprigs together
5. Place a third sprig on top of the original two pieces and wind the wire around it the way you did previously. Again, gently twist the wire around the stem to connect the sprig to the previous ones.
6. Repeat the process, adding more sprigs until you have a 6-inch-long evergreen garland.
7. Bring the two ends of the garland together to form a wreath. Tie the ends together with the remaining wire. Your wreath should now look about like this:
8. Trim off any excess wire. Also trim the wreath to get rid of any straggling branches and to give the wreath a rounder shape.
9. Next, cover the wire seam with the ribbon. Tie the ribbon into a neat bow. Then take a separate piece of wire and poke it through the center of the bow. Choose the side of the wreath that looks best and place the bow on top of the seam on that side. Twist the wire together to hold the bow fast to the wreath. Trim the wire.
10. Straighten the bow and.…Voilà — you have an elegant Christmas wreath topper! Secure it to the gift by wrapping a small piece of wire to both the wreath and the ribbon that is already wrapped around the gift.
Berry and Dinosaur Topper
Dinosaurs are making a comeback, and not just on store shelves and in the hands of little boys and girls. They’re hitting the design world with their retro look, reminiscent of the iconic 1950s and 1970s figurines. Simmons has ingeniously worked them into her plant designs and this gift topper.
1. Gather a variety of evergreen sprigs and top them with a sprig of berries. Wrap them tightly together at the base with floral wire. The wire should be long enough to extend past the tie.
2. Disguise the wire by placing a painted miniature dinosaur over it. Secure it in place with the extra wire.
3. After the dino is secure, clip the wire. Play around with different combinations of berries and greenery and differently sized dinosaurs to make a variety of unique, personable dino gift toppers.
Holly and Succulent Topper
Because of its timeless yet modern elegance, the succulent trend isn’t going anywhere soon. Simmons takes advantage of this by using these beauties for gift topping. Her combination of succulent and holly creates the perfect holiday look
For this project, you need a small succulent and some holly or other foraged berries.
1. Clip the succulent from its roots and rinse off any dirt. (The succulent can be replanted after the holidays, once the stem hardens off and develops new roots.)
2. Feed a piece of floral wire through the base of the succulent’s stem.
3. Feed a second piece of wire through the base, perpendicular to the first, to form an X. Set aside.
4. Choose a small but leafy sprig of holly. Cut a 6-inch-long piece of wire and wrap it around the stem, starting about 1 inch in from one end of the wire.
5. Add the berries, wrapping the wire around both pieces and twisting the wire to secure them in place.
6. Use the wire in the stem to attach the succulent to the holly and berries.
7. Clip off the excess wire, leaving just enough to secure the topper to the ribbon on the gift.
These three evergreen toppers come from Holley Simmons, pictured at right along with Linny Griffin, left, and Kathryn Zaremba. The three women co-founded The Lemon Collective, a makery that leads creative workshops in its studio and shop in Washington, D.C. “Holley’s plants are always hung around the windows and fill The Lemon Collective with life,” Griffin says.