Whether you’re sitting down to a formal dinner or serving your meal family style, a garland centerpiece will add instant life and color to your table. Making a garland from scratch can be pretty daunting, but luckily you can purchase a garland base at your local flower market during the holidays (they typically run about $10 per foot), or even at some craft stores. To up the wow-factor, we teamed up with Annie Heath of Ida Blooms for a few tricks for adorning your garland and turning it into a unique and custom centerpiece.

All of the tools necessary for making a custom garland centerpiece

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • A pre-made garland
  • 22 gauge paddle wire
  • Flower tubes
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • A selection of flowers (peonies, ranunculus), greenery (eucalyptus leaves and pods) and holiday “extras” (pomegranates, winterberry) 

Annie Heath works on custom garland centerpiece with green leaves

Before You Start

Adorning garland does require a little bit of knowledge about how it was made. Similar to wreaths, a garland starts with a base (often rope). Using a role of paddle wire, the designer attaches a series of small floral collections along the entire length of the rope, laying each new collection atop the wired stems of the previous collection.

Annie Heath puts white roses in green vials for custom garland centerpiece

Prepping Your Flowers

Some flowers, like carnations, can last quite a long time out of water. Others, like peonies or ranunculus, need water constantly. For these flowers, purchase a series of flower tubes at the craft store or online. Remove the rubber cap, fill it with water, and reattach. Push your stem through the cap.

Annie Heath holds pomegranate on wire for custom garland centerpieceAttaching Stems

To add flowers in tubes, or flowers and greenery without tubes to the garland, cut a long piece of 22 gauge paddle wire, and wrap one end several times around the stem, or tube of your floral addition. Locate a junction between two of the floral collections on the pre-made garland. Then, place your new wire stem inside the junction and wrap the end of your wire around the garland several times to secure you stem in place. Repeat. For smaller or lighter additions, like dried berries, simply tuck them into the garland wherever you’d like, no securing required. 

Annie Heath ties red berries into place on custom garland centerpiece

Adorning With Ribbon

To add ribbon, simply start at one end of your garland and start to wrap your spool around the entire body of the garland at a diagonal, going over and under until you reach the opposite side. Be sure to tuck the lengths of ribbon sitting on top under a few leaves and flowers here and there so it feel integrated into the overall look, not just sitting on top. 

Annie Heath puts custom garland centerpiece with leaves together

Caring For Your Garland

Your garland will last about two weeks before it begins to dry out. Mist the entire garland, and replace the water in tubes every other day to keep it fresh and party-ready!

Discover more centerpiece arrangement ideas HERE.

Photos by Lyola Rowe, produced by Skylar Frederick

December 5, 2018

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