As much as I love shiny tinsel and metallic stars, this year I wanted my Christmas decorations to have a more natural feel. I started by making some geometric cinnamon stick himmeli ornaments, but still wanted to add a bit of color and pop. So I started thinking, where do you find the brightest colors in nature this time of year? Then it came to me — berries! All you need for this project are some inexpensive glass ornaments and the great outdoors.
- flower arranging sheers — these are our favorite!
- jute twine (you could easily replace with bright ribbon or even ornament hooks for ease)
- assorted moss
- small glass ball ornaments
- large glass ball ornaments
When choosing the berries, the main things to keep in mind is size. You don’t want to fall in love with giant red holly only to find you’d have to mash it up to fit inside your bulb. Here’s the selection of berries I ended up going with:
- privet (ligustrum vulgare)
- waxflower – in bud (chamelaucium)
- peppertree berries (chinus terebinthifolia)
- yellow-berried American holly (ilex opaca)
I wanted to use local vegetation despite living in the heart of a city, so I purchased mine from the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market. They’re a farm-owner cooperative that carries products from the Pacific Northwest and is the source for all the beautiful flowers and natural elements on the blog (especially our Shoulda Been a Florist series).
I knew I wanted to make an ornament that was just absolutely filled with berries, so I used a small glass bulb and started by removing the ornament cap. Next, is began to fill it will the bright pink peppertree berries, gently pushing them through the opening one by one. Once filled to your satisfaction, just replace the ornament cap and create a loop of twine to hang it from.
I love the dark, misty look of the privet. The navy blue berries are offset by a rich brown stem and grow in perfect little clusters that seem so perfect this time of year.
For this ornament, I wanted to keep the berries attached to the stem, so I began by trimming the ends of each branch and easing them into the larger glass ornaments. To lighten things up, I added some sprigs of budded waxflower for a pop of fresh, bright green. Finish with the ornament cap, a loop of jute, and you’re good to go.
I love how this one turned out! Don’t be afraid to experiment and mix different colors and textures. More often then not, I’m pleasantly surprised by how well the unexpected combinations go together.
This bright yellow holly caught my attention right away. Not only for the bright pop of berry color, but for the iconic shape of holly leaves, which feels so right at Christmas time. I will warn you, these leaves are very sharp, so handle with care!
I added some flecks of moss to soften the look and a small sprig of peppertree berries. They look so cute with the piece of holly, I couldn’t be happier.
Project and styling by Gwen McKenzie for Jojotastic.
Photography by Meghan Klein.
pssst… more DIY projects right this way!