Upcycling & DIY | Christmas Floral Cloud
When you don't have a mantle to drape a beautiful garland over, or even a balustrade to decorate, what do you do? The sensible answer is probably put your feet up and not worry about it, but that would be a very boring blog post. So instead I had the bright idea of creating my own 'floral cloud' to hang above the dinner table.
The reality is its actually not too difficult, it is fiddly though. I've created this with a slight Christmas feel to it, but you could make a floral cloud for any time of year or any occasion. In total it took me around 2.5 hours including drilling the hook into the ceiling and sweeping up after myself.
What You Will Need
Florist mesh or chicken wire with squares less than 2 cm
Secateurs or floristry scissors
A ceiling hook and fishing line
A massive amount of flowers - I used a couple of varieties of eucalyptus, fern, ruscus, setaria and stipa penata (feather grass)
The reason I used the mesh is that if you use florist foam that has been soaked, it is going to be very heavy and I wouldn't want to risk hanging that, especially with the added risk of drips! And using a branch didn't give me the 'cloud' effect I was after.
When choosing the mesh, ensure the square spaces are less than 2cm so that your stems aren't just falling out.
I chose dried flowers with different shapes and textures to add some interest, I found these online, many wholesalers will have a good variety too.
The eucalyptus I know dries nicely, so hanging for a few weeks won't be an issue, however the fern I have no idea how that will dry out so it's a bit of an experiment. My thought was though I could always replace those stems if needed.
First job is to shape the mesh into an egg shape (or ovoid if we're being technical about it). Watch those fingers, you may need to wear some gloves, but I found I couldn't shape it as well with gloves on as you'll need to secure the ends of the wire.
Once you have your wire cloud, its time to hang it. As this is going to be hanging above our heads, I used a ceiling hook we had in the depths of the tool box, got the drill out and secured it properly (normally I'd just use Command hooks, but didn't want to chance it). I then tied the mesh cloud to the hook using strong fishing line. Don't worry about getting it perfectly level - once the foliage is in you won't notice.
Now the fun bit. I started by adding the larger variety of eucalyptus, I didn't want to be too precise about it as I wanted a wild look, so I just added bunches around the whole cloud.
Using the florist wire, secure a few stems together and then secure the stems to the mesh cloud again using the florist wire.
Then add the rest of the eucalyptus and fern, filling in as much of the gaps as you can. At this point it will become difficult to secure the foliage onto the cloud with the wire so you can begin to poke bunches through.
Now time for the dried foliage, again I looked for gaps filling them in one by one using the larger Ruscus and Setaria stems, and then lastly the smaller feather grass to add flourishes of detail.
And that's it. There you have a DIY floral (or foliage?) cloud installation!