Last week I stumbled across some packets of cinnamon sticks in my local supermarket. The Swiss are quite keen on using them in Christmassy floral arrangements, but I have yet to see an execution that I really like.
Years ago at a friends' wedding the florist did some arrangements for the tables that had lengths of rosemary surrounding a tall rectangle of oasis, with pink roses on top. I have used that same idea for these.
There is a bit of work in making these but the great thing is that they are re-usable - you can re-wet the oasis and poke some more flowers in when the original ones die. Oh, and they smell amazing!
To make a cinnamon stick and orchid arrangement you will need:
* Cinnamon sticks (around 20 depending on the circumference of your oasis rounds)
* Two 8 cm oasis rounds
* Four bamboo kebab skewers
* 8 dress-makers pins
* Double-sided tape
* A small hack saw
* A zip lock bag
* Scissors and a permanent marker
* Piece of fairly thick brown paper
* Hot glue gun
* 5 Cymbidium orchids (lillies or roses would also work.)
Soak your oasis in water. As I said in my previous post on rose and lamb's ear arrangements, place your oasis rounds in a small container filled with water and let them sink on their own - don't force them down. If you force them you will end up with a dry pocket in the centre. Soak for as long as possible.
Find a bowl or plate that is around 5cm wider than your oasis rounds. With your permanent marker, draw around this on to your ziplock bag and cut it out.
Pin to the bottom of one of your oasis rounds as shown.
Place the other oasis round on top. Measure the height of your two stacked rounds by placing a kebab skewer next to it. Cut your four kebab skewers to that length.
Push the kebab skewers down to the bottom - be careful not to pierce the plastic at the bottom.
Cut out a rectangle from your zip-lock bag that goes right around the outside of the rounds with a small overlap. Use double-sided tape to secure this down.
Do exactly the same with the brown paper.
Now you are ready to start cutting your cinnamon sticks. Hold one up to your rounds and make a mark about 2cm up from the top of the rounds. Cut this stick and use it as your guide to cut all the others.
Using your small hack-saw, cut your cinnamon sticks. I cut out 10 at a time, glued them down and then cut some more.
Hot-glue them to the brown paper one by one. It's a little like mosaics as you have to account for the slight curve that most of the sticks will have.
Cut your orchids on an angle, leaving a 5cm stem. Poke them gently down into the oasis.
All done. You could make two smaller arangements using one round of oasis and the cut-offs of your cinnamon sticks - that's my project for this afternoon!
This is the view from our lounge this morning... I think we will be having a White Christmas this year...
Hope you're all enjoying gettting ready for Christmas!