Why not bring a little of your local woodland into your home this Christmas by using commonly found woodland items to create some stunning festive decorations that are both beautiful and natural?
When you’re next out walking in your local forest, keep an eye out for some of the materials that can be transformed into simple but attractive ornaments.
To start you off, florist Lucy Walker from Shipston-on-Stour shares some of her expert tips, and shows you some easy and creative ways to bring nature home for Christmas.
Simple festive wreath
“Gather birch or silver birch twigs that can easily be manipulated into circular wreaths, tying them together with florist’s bull wire. When the wreath is thick enough, decorate it with other materials from the forest, such as pine cones, bark or even pheasant feathers,” says Lucy.
“You can also make star shapes using birch and bull wire. These can be hung around your home, and when illuminated with battery-operated fairy lights they look spectacular. They make a brilliant wintery door decoration, too,” she adds.
Treasure hunt for the kids
Set children a treasure hunt in the forest, asking them to forage for items such as moss, pine cones, dried leaves and twigs. “Arranging these ‘treasures’ in a bowl makes for an elegant table centre display,” suggests Lucy.
Youngsters will also love spraying or painting the pine cones with gold or silver paint, topped off with some fake snow. Use them as cake decorations (making sure you wash them well first, of course!) or attach household string to hang them as simple tree ornaments.
Teasels, too, are plentiful at this time of year, but remember to wear gloves and carry a sturdy bag to collect them in, as their stems can be rather prickly. Simply gather a bunch together, take them home and spray them silver or gold. The intricate pattern of their heads will glitter alluringly in a vase or as a festive table decoration.
Mason jar votives
With the forest floor awash with beautifully coloured autumnal leaves at this time of year, why not collect a selection that have dropped from the native British trees, dry them out, then use them to decorate the exterior of Mason jars? Simply place a candle in each jar, and watch them light the room with pretty orange, red and green colours.