Wreathed in Style
Floral designer Phil Cato, owner of About Vase in Little Rock, adds holiday cheer to his home with décor inspired by nature. Here, he began with a vine wreath and used floral wire to attach a variety of elements he collected from the garden: pine cones, blue spruce branches, magnolia leaves, dried blue hydrangea blooms and even the remains of a hornets’ nest. He used moss-covered Styrofoam balls (available at craft stores) and hot-glued balls from sweetgum trees onto their surfaces, and then glued the resulting spheres onto the wreath. Weaving the elements in and around the wreath’s vines helped secure the items and complete the all-natural look.
Centered by Nature
Cato filled a birch log basket with layers of blue spruce branches, antlers (often found at flea markets or antique malls) and moss. He topped the basket with dried gourds, which he dressed up with acrylic gold-leaf paint, and tucked in bunches of rose hips to complete the seasonal centerpiece.
Branching Out for the Holidays
For a kid-friendly take on a traditional Christmas tree, Cato designed a version in a vase as a tasty project for the entire family. He used slender birch tree logs as the starting point, drilled holes in them and placed them in a glass vase, securing them with black river rocks. He next topped the rocks with artificial snow (both are available at craft stores) and inserted cuttings (they need to fit tightly or should be adhered with glue) from a blue spruce tree. With the tree form in place, the decorating options are endless—here, Cato glued on candy Dots and added brightly colored sugar cookies suspended from ribbons. Be sure to make extra cookies—snacking while decorating is a must.