There's nothing quite like an expertly curated display of Christmas decor to wow your guests during the holidays – except perhaps, hand-crafted ones. To really pull out the stops and impress the family over your festive dinner, why not try your hand at a beautiful branch chandelier on your dining room ceiling?
If you're not familiar with them, branch chandeliers are a type of floral decoration suspended from wire and typically strung across the ceiling above your dining table (and not to be confused with the branch-shaped chandelier light fixture). Natural arrangements like these make a lovely alternative to regular bouquets and they've become a popular choice for showing off your artistic talents while also introducing totally unique decor to your space. As such, they make a great addition to your Christmas decorating ideas.
'Creating a festive-inspired branch chandelier really adds to the Christmas build-up and it’s a lovely activity to get you in the mood for the season,' says Mary-Anne Da'marzo, founder of Soho-based preserved flower shop, The Last Bunch. 'People can get wrapped up and venture to their local park or woods and forage the sticks or greenery for this. You can also change them seasonally!'
If you want to add a little something special to your regularly festive decor, let it be a homemade branch chandelier. To help you along, we asked a few home stylists and flower arrangers for their top tips on how to make one at home, and you might be pleased to learn that they're easier than you'd think!
Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. She's committed to helping readers make the best choices in their homes through sharing practical tips and guides for all their DIY decor ideas. With Christmas just around the corner, she spoke with home decor stylists to learn how to make a festive branch chandelier that will wow your dinner guests this holiday
How to make a DIY festive branch chandelier
1. Be prepared
As with any DIY decor job, you'll need to be prepared if you want to create a show-stopping branch chandelier. While they're a great way to cheaply decorate for Christmas, this isn't the sort of crafty work you can carry out without the appropriate equipment. Before you begin, make sure you have: Ceiling hooks or adhesive alternative; Branch; Chicken wire; Cable ties; String; Foliage; Dried flowers; Glass baubles
2. Forage for foliage
While there's nothing stopping you from buying the foliage you use from a florists, one of the most enjoyable parts of this DIY project is foraging for the items yourself.
For an authentically seasonal chandelier branch, head out to your local park or woods for your foliage. Start by searching for a branch that's large enough for your room, but not so heavy that it can't be suspended. If you're planning to place it above your dining table, look for one about the same length. Make sure it has twigs sticking out at different points as this will help with its structure when it comes to decorating it.
Next, grab some seasonal greenery such as holly, mistletoe or sprigs of ilex berries to adorn your branch with. It's a good idea to choose hardier stems or longer lasting flowers that will be able to withstand the warmer temperatures in your home.
3. Drill hooks to your ceiling (or walls)
Once you've foraged for your desired foliage, you'll then need to attach the branch to your ceiling. If you have a smaller branch in a smaller room, you might want to attach it to hooks on opposite walls, extending from one side to the other.
'The inspiration behind these floated centerpieces is all about drawing the eyes upward while freeing up space for food, serveware, and decor,' says Anastasia Casey, designer and blogger at The Identité Collective. 'Plus, it allows for conversation to flow across the table organically.'
Drill hooks (or an adhesive equivalent if it's a smaller installation) into your ceiling or wall. Make sure you measure out your branch from each end so you know where to drill the holes if you're hanging your chandelier branch from the ceiling. If you're using the walls instead, just be wary of the height since this dining table idea can be quite weighty.
4. Wrap your branch with chicken wire
Before you can suspend your branch or decorate it with any flowers, you'll need to wrap it with chicken wire, like this roll from Amazon. Make sure the branch is completely covered then use cable ties or string to attach to the chicken wire and then the hook on the ceiling. Use two pieces of string either side.
If you want to float your chandelier branch by fixing it to the walls instead, you'll want to thread some wire across the branch, in and out of the chicken wire, and then fix it to the hooks either side of the room. This is only advised if you have a lighter branch and a smaller room since the weight of the branch will inevitably weigh it down.
'As an alternative, we came across this Over-the-Table Rod by Terrain that would work beautifully for a hanging floral installation, both indoors and out,' says Anastasia. 'The adjustable rod (available in matte black and gold) clamps directly onto your table, simplifying the DIY process even further.'
5. Arrange your flowers
Now your branch is suspended, you can start putting your flower-arranging skills to the test. Start by poking your foliage around the outside, using the chicken wire to hold it the stems in place. Use different cuts of foliage to give it lots of texture and keep building until you’re happy with the shape - eucalyptus is perfect for this as it’s malleable and will last months.
When you’ve created the desired base, add dried flowers for some variety. Gypsophellia will last forever and the delicate flowers give the appearance of snow. For a more traditionally festive feel, try adding stems of amaranthus amongst lots of holly. This innovative way of decorating a Christmas table should now be starting to take shape.
6. Add Christmas decorations
If you're prepared to take things one step further, you can start decorating with baubles, tinsel or string lights at this stage, hanging them from the branch. We like these silver sparkly baubles from Amazon. 'You can hang anything from your foliage, giving your branch chandelier a seasonal update,' says Mary-Anne of The Last Bunch. 'I love using glass baubles with tea lights for my Christmas table, mixing this with twine and simple linen can give a contemporary feel to the season.'
Is this the perfect weekend project in the run-up to December? We'd say so.
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Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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