How to Make a Christmas Holly Tree

This is a holly tree that I learned to make at a Floral Art class a while ago and I enjoy making it every year. People often think it’s a real standard holly tree until I let them into the secret. It’s quite easy to make and I thought I’d share the secret with you. For the base you will need a suitable pot, a small amount of quick-set cement, a stick, and a coaster.

For the top part of the tree you will need a plastic dish, some floral foam and tape, and some holly. You will also need Christmas decorations of your choice. I used artificial holly berries, red shiny balls, long wooden skewers, and some battery-operated fairy lights. Gloves might be useful if the holly is prickly, and some secateurs.

There is a bit of preparation work to do first, but once this is done the tree can be reassembled year after year. Cut a stick from the garden or a hedgerow. It needs to be about an inch and a half in diameter and to look a bit gnarled like a tree trunk. Find yourself an attractive pot and place the stick in it as shown. Tape the stick in place to hold it steady, and make sure the stick is perpendicular (use a spirit level). Put the quick-set cement powder in the pot around the stick, adding the correct amount of water as indicated on the instructions and leave it to set solidly overnight. Once it is firm, drill a small hole in the top of the stick and screw a coaster to the top for a flat base.

Cut a piece of oasis or floral foam to the required size to fit into a plastic container and soak it in a bowl of water. Do not try to rush this as it needs to absorb the water slowly to avoid air pockets. Tape the oasis to the container as shown and underneath the coaster to ensure it is fixed firmly.

Wearing gloves, cut pieces of holly to lengths of about 6 – 8 inches and starting from the bottom, insert them into the oasis all the way around. Cut the holly stems diagonally as this helps them to absorb more water. Gradually build up the layers of holly, making sure there are no spaces, until a ball shape is formed. If there are any ragged bits sticking out, trim them with the secateurs.

If the holly does not have any berries, add artificial ones. Take the ends off the shiny balls and insert the long wooden skewers into the hole. Insert the pointed end of the skewer into the oasis. Add battery operated fairy lights to the top and down the trunk of the tree. Add decorations around the base of the tree.

At night the lights make the tree look very attractive.

This is the tree I did last year with variegated holly. Make sure you keep the oasis watered and the tree should last for weeks.


If you would like the latest updates, please sign up to my newsletter