USE FLORAL PICKS FOR EXTRA PUNCH
Picks are used liberally by designers for any theme or design. A pick is a collection of greens, branches, feathers, berries…..anything that will create a linear, flat base and then is adorned with something that supports the theme of your tree: cones, ornaments, ribbon, birds, beads…whatever. They help fill up the spaces between branches but with a different texture and bulkiness from ornaments. Often, but not always, the pick is held together with a pretty bow at one end.
Pre made picks are available at craft, display and floral supply stores. The problem with them is that are often too skimpy (especially from Michaels or other craft stores). You just need to add a bit of something to them to beef them up – add more and varied greens, add an ornament cluster (from yesterday’s post) amongst the pine cones.
How to use a pick in a tree (garland or wreath)? Just lay them along a branch, pretty side up, bow trailing down so that they extend 6-12″ beyond the tip of the branch. That will call attention to the pick and break the symmetrical shape of the tree, making more dimension and interest. You’ll hang ornaments from the branch under the pick and from the branch above, hanging down to meet the pick. On a 6′ tree you’ll want 12-15+ picks.
GARLAND AND RIBBON
Garlands are the jewelry, the necklace on the tree. Not every designer tree has garland or ribbon. Many times a designer will use one but not both – personally I like both, especially on a larger tree. Bead garlands are straight forward – drape between branches in a fairly even but not perfect pattern, varying the amount of drape….some shallow, some deep.
If you want to emphasize the garland and really make the tree stand out, combine two or three different garlands - a gold bead string, a red berry strand and a novelty strand - all hung from different branches so they’re not exactly strung together, but close. If you want the garland to play a subtle role, put it on after the lights and before the ornaments. If you want to feature the draping and sparkle of the garland, put it on last.
Ribbon can be used lots of ways in a tree. Tie a 6-8″ piece of wired ribbon directly on the end of a branch and have one tail ‘wave’ upward and one trail downward. Make a small looped bow with tails (see our upcoming free bow guide for details), make large round designer bows with wired ribbon. Use lengths of 3-4″ wide ribbon twisted and wound around the tree like a garland. If your ribbon has a wrong or back side, make a tight twist in the ribbon each time you change direction so that the right side is always facing out. Try using a narrow 1/2″ or 1″ silver or white non-wired ribbon cut in 12-14″ lengths, tie on the end of the branch like above, but just let the ends dangle – it’ll look like icicles. THE most inexpensive way to add ribbon and movement is to use curling ribbon in long, really long, curly tails and tie it on everywhere – use lots and lots, it’s cheap.
Here’s a photo that shows there’s more than one way to skin a cat – or deck a hall as the case may be. An abundant white feather garland (could you use boas tied end to end?) says it all for this tree.
Most of us aren’t able to go out and totally deck out a new tree theme all at one time – it might take a couple of years of shopping the after holiday sales. That’s okay, beauty is worth waiting for. Just keep your vision clear from year to year so you’re sure to pick up just what you need to supplement your theme.
SPECIAL FREE GUIDE
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