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Festive table top decoration 5
In this guide we will show you how to make a festive table top decoration at home in a tin can.

This is an enchanting winter table decoration which is so simple to make. Made from a recycled tin can and some freshly cut branches, this Christmas DIY table decoration is almost free and only takes 10 minutes to make! It will brighten any table over the festive period and add colour and fragrance to your home.

  • An empty tin can or several if you want to make different ones
  • Water and a small amount of sand or compost to help arrange the foliage
  • A selection of evergreen foliage such as holly, ivy, rosemary, yew or conifer and other pieces of nature e.g., cones, or coloured twigs to arrange in the tin can

If you're using holly and ivy - be aware of sharp leaves and toxic berries and keep your display out of reach of young children and pets.

Festive table top decoration 1

And if you want to decorate the outside of the tin can:

  • Paint – festive colours work well such as red, green, or white
  • Acrylic paint is best for covering the tin can
  • Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Raffia or string
  • Hessian or fabric

Table centrepieces often require floral foam to keep everything fresh and in place. However, sand and water are an excellent alternative that don’t have the same health risks associated with floral foam. Wet sand provides moisture for the fresh cuttings and works really well at holding everything in place. It also helps to weigh down the tin can to stop it from being knocked over. You could also use some wetted compost.

Step 1. Decorate the tin can

The tin cans are lovely as they are but there are also many creative ways to make this Christmas DIY table decoration centrepiece look extra special as decorations and gifts.

Festive table top decoration 2

In our example we used a small piece of ribbon and some hessian to cover the tin can. You can use any fabric you like or some paint to transform the tin can or if you prefer you can keep the metal look and just add a ribbon.

Step 2. Add sand and water to the container

Festive table top decoration 3

You can use just water but the sand makes it easier to arrange everything. Fill the tin can to around the halfway mark with sand, then add enough water to make the sand damp but not waterlogged. Don’t worry if you put too much water in, you can always tip some out carefully and the water will gradually evaporate as well.

Festive table top decoration 4

Step 3. Arrange the foliage cuttings in the tin can

Put on your gloves and start to choose the foliage you would like to arrange. You might need to use secateurs to cut the foliage down to size. Don’t use pieces which are too big as the tin can might topple over.

Festive table top decoration 5

Remove some of the bottom leaves so that you have a clean stem to stick into the sand. Gradually build up the arrangement by adding different pieces of foliage until you are happy you have enough. Keep stepping back and looking at the overall composition to make sure everything looks natural and balanced.

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Once you are happy with the arrangement, you can place it somewhere for all to admire.

Step 4. Aftercare

Over the festive period, make sure you keep the water topped up in the tin can to help keep the foliage fresh. If you can keep it somewhere a bit cooler, this will help it last longer. You can also remove and replace any pieces of dried out foliage with fresh pieces as and when required.

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