It might be hard to believe, but the holidays are almost upon us again. If you’re looking to spruce up your home or office with some festive faux floral flair that looks and feels like the real thing, here are some tips and tricks to help you tap into your creative side and make your faux décor the talk of the town this holiday season —Ashley Johnson and Leah Balderson
do your research. Put a little pre-planning into action before starting your search for faux finery. Think about which colours or themes you want to bring into your holiday décor and build on that when choosing your flowers and greenery. Are you looking to create an arrangement with evergreen as the focus, something that shines with strands of silver and gold, or a showpiece with more colourful pops of red and white?
trends and tradition. Don’t be afraid to be bold and incorporate splashes of magenta, purple, lime green or even orange. With dried flowers and pampas still being a big craze, more and more bright and colourful dried stems are making their way into holiday décor and displays around town. If traditional is more your style, gold and silver never go out of style. Mix in some good quality metallic berries, faux holly and greenery like cedar and pine with some red florals and neutral whites to tap into that classic and timeless feel of the season.
they contain multitudes. Your container is key. When making a centrepiece with flowers or greenery, make sure you choose the right planter or vase. Ideally, something opaque to hide the telltale signs of a faux arrangement. The proper vessel can lift your faux arrangement from simple to stunning.
holly, go lightly. Start off by filling your planter or vase with florist foam will keep your stems firmly in place. Cut foam to the proper shape and size so it fits snugly into your container or place some chicken wire to fill out the vase (and make sure to wear some gloves!). Make sure to cut greens to the proper height to obscure the bare parts of the stem. Before placing stems, fluff them by opening up the leaves, shaking them out and bending them so they are not perfectly straight. It will give your arrangement a much more realistic feel. Next, start adding in flowers, again making sure to fluff petals, bend stems and cut to the proper height (some bare stem is ok to see with your florals). Finally, add in accent pieces such as holly or berries. Give your arrangement a thorough once-over. If any foam or wire is still visible, just add in some more green stems to cover the holes or a layer of moss or rock to add that finishing touch.
re-think your wreath. Some ofthe more popular holiday wreaths are those with cedar and pine already attached as a greenery base. They have a very easy-to-use frame made of flexible wire or grapevine so adding in berries, accent greenery and other holiday stems is a snap. Incorporating a selection of foliage and stems in different tones, textures and sizes makes for a more visually beautiful wreath. Once you have selected your pieces, trim them to allow for a few inches of stem to insert into your wreath. Working your way around the wreath, place your holiday stems in the same direction as the existing greens. Make sure to firmly tuck them into the base and under the greens until they feel secure. Adding in a few larger stems such as thistle grouped together creates a nice asymmetrical touch. For a more natural feel, incorporate some dried twigs such as curly willow or birch. To finish it off, affix a satin or silk bow with a long tail at the top or bottom of your wreath. For a modern twist on traditional wreaths, consider using a gold hoop with holiday greens offset on one side. All you need is some florist wire to wrap around your stems and the hoop, ensuring to layer your greens so you do not see the wire. Now time to get crafty.
Ashley Johnson and Leah Balderson are the co-owners of Mount Pleasant’s Faux Floral Design, which hosts hands-on faux floral design workshops for parties and events and creates custom showpieces and large-scale installations for some of Vancouver’s most loved bars and restaurants as well as weddings, birthdays and celebrations.