– Written by our DIY Queen (Ashley Carr, Announcer of the Long Lunch)

The concept of less is more can really make a difference when it comes to Christmas decorating. The Christmas season can be such a disposable time where we buy excessive amounts of tinsel, baubles, plastic plates and table cloths in all sorts of colours. Here’s a few ideas to simplify your decorations and bring an element of natural class that goes a long way.

Less is more. How to decorate simply and beautifully this festive season! 1

1. The table

Instead of the patterned plastic table cloth this season you could consider investing in a quality plain cotton table cloth that will last a few years to come. White cotton is such a lovely classic blank canvas to build on when setting the table for the Christmas meal. I know you are probably gasping at the thought of what it will look like at the end of the meal, but so long as it goes into the laundry to soak in a solution it will be white ready for your next event. Trust me, I have 10 siblings and food fights are not uncommon in our house. Other classics for the table include:

– Tea lights in recycled jars

– Greenery: why not bring a touch of Australian beauty and find some native gum leaves and branches for a natural look.

– Colour Scheme: pick two or three colours max for your colour theme including your base table cloth colour.

2. The Wreath

The wreath is less common these days, but there is something beautiful about going back to real foliage! Trading your plastic greenery for the real stuff is a lot easier than you think, it can be a great alternative if you either can’t afford a real tree this year or you simply don’t have the space in your house. To make a wreath:

1 – Acquire a wire hoop.  A lot of craft stores stock these, but two pre-loved wire coat hangers bent into a circle will work just as effectively.

2 – You will also need some lightweight florist wire. This is cheap to order online but most florists will sell it to you in a pinch.

3 – With the florist wire, attach the two coat hangers to each other to provide a sturdy base to start attaching your foliage.

4 – Now you need to assemble your foliage and attach it to your base! Australian pines work really well if you want to go for a more traditional Christmas look.  Otherwise be creative and use a variety of leaves you can gather from your neighbourhood! I’ve recently made a half wreath using some Australian natives.

5 – To attach it to your base, start by laying out a bundle of your foliage on the frame. Wrap the florists wire around the stick end of your foliage and then around the wire frame. Continue doing this overlapping the foliage until the whole wire circle is covered. Be careful to cover up any of your wire attachments with other bits of foliage. You can add other bits such as pine cones with a bit of wire.

Less is more. How to decorate simply and beautifully this festive season! 2
Less is more. How to decorate simply and beautifully this festive season! 3

This is great activity to do with your kids as you get them to help you look for foliage.  It will also give you the opportunity to explain to them the traditional meaning of a wreath:

The circle shape represents an unending circle of life and the gift of eternity given to us when Jesus came to earth at Christmas time. The evergreen most frequently used in making wreathes symbolises growth and everlasting life, while the holly branches which have thorns represent the thorns on Jesus crown when he was crucified and the traditional bright red holly berries symbolises the blood that Jesus shed for us. What a meaningful decoration to create from the natural elements!

Remember that less is more, and simple is beautiful.