All that glitters is not gold, but it’s certainly easy to add a bit of golden sparkles to your flower arrangements this winter. Aside from the glimmer and cheer a bit of gilded leaves will add to vases, garlands and wreaths, a simple can of florist’s spray paint can add glitz to everything from pine cones to plain, plastic containers- transforming your home into a shining example of the holiday spirit. During the winter months, florist may have several different greens that have been gilded in gold or glitter available to add to any arrangement. If not, one small can of gold or silver floral spray paint (available at craft stores and some florists) is easy to apply and fun to use. Here are some tips for adding a bit of the Midas’ touch to your holiday decor.
Think accents rather than focal point when you first start out. Pine cones are a perfect way to add a bit of glitz to garlands and wreaths without going overboard. Pick out ones that are relatively intact and open. Using about one foot of thin wire (dental floss will do in a pinch), thread the wire around the center of the cone towards the base and tighten so that the wire is not visible, leaving a long stem. Standing outside and holding the end of the wire in one hand, spray the cone as you spin it, covering all facets. Adjust the trajectory of the spray rather than the cone to coat the inside to avoid drips. Hang on a branch for two to three minutes, allowing the cone to dry completely. If you’ve used floss or string, the cones can be easily tied to wreaths or garlands. Wire works best for adding to a vase arrangement. Simply find a wooden or plastic pick to wire the cone to the top of or add a bit more wire as an artificial stem to stick into the vase.
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Certain leaves look better cast in gold than others. Choose broad ones that widen in the center and are smooth on both sides for a more even look. Seeded eucalyptus or salal (sometimes called lemon leaf) are great for spraying and tucking into vases or simply arranging on a table top around the desserts. Be sure to wash the leaves and allot them to dry completely before spraying with paint. Try to use as little of the color as possible- think dusting rather than coating. This prevents unnatural looking drips and will keep the leaves from becoming too heavy and drooping. Pine branches and magnolia leaves look amazing with a bit of gold frosting, but plan on using a little more paint (or only covering one side of the leaf in the case of magnolias) for the best look.
Just about any flower looks amazing next to golden leaves. Try a deep burgundy dahlia or blood red rose to highlight the season- without spending a lot of silver or gold.