• UO DIY: Botanical Holiday Garland

    Our alt twist on the standard holiday wreath? A versatile and simple holiday garland made from foraged flowers and greenery. Earthy, beautiful, and easy to DIY, learn how to make your own here with Leah Pipes Meltzer, an Austin-based floral designer whose loose, art-driven approach to botanicals has us rethinking the norm. 
    Photos by Kate LeSueur

    Leah explains that the beauty of a garland is in how many ways it can be used for any occasion (but especially during the holidays!) It can be hung over a door, draped over a table, or just hung on the wall like a frame. 

    To start, you'll need a variety of greens — for these, Leah used foraged greens found in her neighborhood. "I try to use stuff that is growing abundantly around me," she explains. "These big heavy sprawling greens were growing on the wall in my neighborhood and they make the perfect base."

    Sort through and find a few pieces which feel like they have the shape that you want to create. 

    Next, start laying the pieces together on top each other, and find the ones that will be your sturdy binds. Bind branches together with wire to create your length. (A tip from Leah: "I often find places were it can naturally hook onto itself and let this lead the design.") 

    Next, find the more (beautifully) droopy branches to add onto the branch "frame," giving it more movement, either wiring them on or taping to the structure with floral tape (which you can find online or at your local floral shop).

    Continue to add more pieces of various textures. Leah likes hers to fan out so they droop slightly. 

    Above: Leah wearing our striped sweater dress

    Place on your wall, doorframe, or table — we hung ours where a picture frame had previously been. 

    Adjust and add in flower heads for final touches.

    You're done! Versatile, beautiful, lush greenery that's all the more impressive when it's made by hand.

    Read Leah's About A Girl profile on the UO Blog
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