How to make a Christmas bouquet for your mantelpiece

Many people believe that there are only so many ways in which you can decorate a mantel piece over the festive season. You normally find an old fashioned garland pinned to the front of the fire place and maybe a few other decorative items. If, however, you have become bored with the same old decorations and you’re looking for something new, you can liven things up by making your very own flower arrangement especially for your mantelpiece! Once you’ve made your own, you will see how easy it is and how wonderfully festive they can be. You may even be tempted to make a few so that you can send flowers to your friends and loved ones over the holidays.

What you need:

– Small vase(s) of your choice

– Floral foam

– Flowers and foliage of your choice


  • When choosing your vase(s), you need to keep the size of your mantelpiece in mind. Not all fireplaces are the same size and some mantelpieces are narrower or shorter than others. Choose whether you wish to place your arrangement in the centre or if you would like two arrangements (one on either side). You also don’t want to choose vases that are too tall.  Your mantelpiece is already quite high up above ground level. If your flowers are too high, they will go unnoticed. It’s similar to the concept of placing pictures and photographs at eye level.
  • When you have your vase or vases ready, you can select your flowers. The best flowers for Christmas are red, white and dark green.  Due to the small size of these arrangements, you can probably afford to buy something more elegant than your average cheap flowers.  Roses, orchids, chrysanthemums and carnations will all do the trick and it really is up to you which ones you use.  Provided you stick with the festive colour scheme, you are in the clear!
  • As for foliage, you don’t want to overdo it. You should only use foliage to fill in gaps in between.  In small arrangements such as these, if you add too much foliage, it could end up looking more like a mini forest and less like a bouquet.
  • When your vase and flowers have been selected, you can cut your floral foam to size. Normally, your floral foam would be trimmed to fit inside the vase with no pieces sticking out. However, in this case, you should allow it to protrude from the top by just a few centimetres.
  • Keep your flowers and foliage in water while you are arranging your bouquet and make sure that you soak your floral foam properly before you begin adding any stems.
  • Trim your stems as you go and remember that they need to anchor the flower but they don’t need to be the length of the floral foam.
  • Starting at the bottom of the arrangement, work your way from left to right or right to left and position a row of flowers. When this bottom row is complete, you can arrange the next row and continue until you reach the top and complete your bouquet.
  • Red roses are quite lovely for the base and they should be arranged to face outwards and not upwards.
  • Your central, focal point of your arrangement should include a special flower. You can use a single orchid or you can use three, or five.  It depends on the size of the bouquet in relation to the size of these focal flowers.
  • Remember not to press your focal flowers too close together. Allow some space between them and fill these spaces with smaller flowers.
  • Use foliage to fill in the rest of the gaps in between the entire bouquet.

The best part about this kind of bouquet is that it need not cost you an arm and a leg.  You can buy some wonderful small vases at a budget shop or even pick them up from your local thrift store. Shop around for the best priced flowers and select your florist based on price as well as quality. Your florist will probably also be able to supply you with floral foam and they might also stock some lovely accessories.

Remember, this is a design that suits mantelpieces but you should not leave your flowers above your fireplace when you light a fire. The heat from the fire will cause your flowers to wilt and perish prematurely. You should also make sure that the floral foam does not dry out and add water as necessary.