How to DIY an informal festive fireplace

Today I thought I'd show you how to make a sumptuous festive fireplace design.

Step 1

Work out what materials you are going to add to your design.  I chose a mix of holly, catkins, scenecio, sumac, blackberry, fatsia flowers mixed with persimmon and black grapes. The fruit gives it that really lavish feel, and matching the candles with the persimmon gives the colour pallet warmth.

Step 2

If you plan on hanging stockings this is the best tip ever.  Cut a piece of mdf/board to fit the size of the mantelpiece.  Once you have this screw in one hook per person/stocking.  Clamp the board to the mantelpiece.  I bought this clamp from Class Ohlson, I use them a lot in wedding designs/arches etc. Invaluable.

Step 3

I used two plastic trays with floral foam. I'm not a fan of the old foam, but for a design that needs to last, and hide the board its imperative.  And then start adding the foliage. 

 

Step 4

It's worth sketching a little design at this point.  Do you want yours to simply cover the mantelpiece, or have something symmetrical, or like this trailing to one side.  I also use a blob of floral fix (it's like super strong blu tak) to give it a little more adhesion, or you could secure the tray and board together for added security. 

Step 5

Sit back and admire your handy work.  Put on a pan of mulled wine and invite some friends round, bask in your glory.