This mirror garland project uses basic garlanding, and once you’ve mastered it on a small scale, you’ll be able to adorn your staircase banisters and mantelpieces with wonderful garlands.
In Ireland where we grew up, it is common to decorate mirrors and frames with local holly or ivy at Christmas time and shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day, but the garland in this project is lovely for any time of year, whether you are having a celebration, or just want to fill your home with delicious scents.
This seasonal project is perfect for decorating a mirror in a small kitchen or adorning a hallway, especially when you make it with scented herbs and luscious greenery, which continue to look and smell good even when they have dried out.
1 circular mirror, approximately 60cm (24in) in diameter
Rustic wire, 5cm (2in) longer than the diameter of the mirror
Roll of binding wire
Flowers and foliage
5 stems of lavender foliage
5 stems of mimosa foliage
10 stems of pistachio foliage
5 stems of rosemary foliage
5 stems of sage
1. Cut each piece of foliage to approximately 20cm (8in), including the stem. Measure the frame around which you are working and using wire cutters, cut a piece of rustic wire to the same size, adding about 5cm (2in) to allow for tying the ends.
2. Place one small piece of foliage about 3cm (just over 1in) along the rustic wire. Bind the stem of the foliage to the rustic wire using binding wire, wrapping it tightly a few times so that it is secure.
3. Then take two or three stems together in a little bundle, place them on top of the stem you have just wired, and bind over that stem; you only need to bind each bundle 1–2 times, pulling the wire tightly each time.
4. Continue to do this, mixing various herbs and foliage to add different textures and tones of green, gradually building up the bundles if you want to create a thicker garland, to a given point. The aim is to frame just under half the diameter of the mirror.
5. As you reach the section at which you want the garland to finish, start to make the bundles smaller so that the end point of the garland appears to taper off naturally and the last wire will not be noticeable.
6. Once you have added the last bundle, snip the binding wire and secure it tightly around the last piece of foliage. Wrap the garland around the mirror or your frame, and where the two ends meet twist them tightly together so that they stay on the frame. Use the wire cutters to snip any excess wire that you don’t need.
You can make a garland on a larger scale using more exotic foliage, such as palm leaves. When you are wiring, to start with the tips of your fingers may start to hurt from pulling the wire tight – this is an occupational hazard of being a florist. You could always wear a pair of gardening gloves or have some nice hand cream ready to soothe and soften your fingers afterwards.
Tutorial taken from WREATHS: Fresh, foraged & dried floral arrangements by Katie Smyth & Terri Chandler (Quadrille, £14.99). To order a copy for £11.24 until 10 April, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.