Design & Decor - Crafts

Mantel magic

Christina Selby
Photography by
Roger Yip

Make winter blues vanish with a festive display of winter greens

With a little patience and some professional tips, you can recreate this stunning arrangement designed by Hilary Bellis of It Can Be Arranged in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. No mantel? No worries! It will also dress up a hall table, sideboard or anyplace else you wish. And if you replace fresh flowers as they fade, you can keep your arrangement looking pristine for weeks.

Here's how you can make the most of your mantel.


  • Greens: cedar, ivy, magnolia leaves and green hypericum berries
  • Flowers: white roses, orchids, camellias, chrysanthemums and hydrangeas
  • Floral foam (such as Oasis), soaked according to package directions
  • Tray (such as a florist's tray, or a wallpaper tray trimmed to about eight centimetres deep)
  • Florist's tape
  • Candles and holders
  • Plastic anchors
  • Adhesive putty (such as Stick-um)
  • Flower picks
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Water tubes

Assembling your arrangement

mantel-magic-step1.gifStep 1: After securing floral foam to tray with florist's tape, start to build base layer of cedar and other greens. Push each stem well into floral foam; add subsequent layers until all greens are in and base is completely covered, but leaving enough space for candles, decorations and flowers.

mantel-magic-step2.gifStep 2: Attach candleholders to plastic anchors using adhesive putty. If using votive candles, attach votives to candleholders as well, to ensure that everything stays put.

mantel-magic-step3.gifStep 3: Space candleholders evenly along top of arrangement.

mantel-magic-step4.gifStep 4: Tape or glue ornaments to flower picks and push into floral foam.

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