Today’s tablescape is thoroughly festive, but it’s also refreshingly unconventional. Sparkling salt crystals, Cactus Christmas ‘trees’ and cotton snowballs, anyone? Oh, and don’t forget the velvet stag!
I love decorating for Christmas, but this year I wanted to step away from my usual favourites: Golds, jewel tones, and earthy, woodland themes. I went to Columbia Road Flower Market for inspiration, and found plenty of it! There were large trays of cute little cacti – twenty pots of them – selling for just ten pounds: Perfect! I also bought a few larger potted succulents, and several bunches of cotton…which got me thinking about snow. Several containers of table salt and glass animal baubles later, and this tablescape came to life. Read on for my tips for making your own display.
Start off by arranging your cacti and succulents in the centre of the table. I removed most of the cacti from their pots, but if you don’t want soil on your table you can paint the pots, or you can place the cacti into cut glass tumblers – there’s often a great selection of mismatched cut glass in charity shops.
Tip: Use kitchen tongs when handling and moving the cacti to prevent yourself being pricked by spines!
If you like, you can add cake stands, bell jars and glass bottles for added height. Once the plants are arranged, hang dainty glass baubles off larger cacti, or sit them on top of the smaller ones. Then use the salt to create pools of ‘snow’ around the plants, or to create patterns and write words. Of course, plants don’t like salt, so avoid covering them in it if you intend to keep them alive afterwards! Finally, scatter your cotton ‘snowballs’ around the table, and add your stag centrepiece.
Tools & Tips of the trade:
- Kitchen tongs for handling prickly cacti
- Large containers of cheap table salt (with a spout for pouring)
- Many small potted cacti
- Several larger potted succulents and cacti
- Cut glass tumblers for re-potting your cacti (optional)
- Cotton Ball ‘flowers’, or use pom-poms instead!
- A large stag ornament
- Dainty glass baubles of your choice. We used these.
This is truly a simple tablescape to set up, and the basic ingredients you’ll need to are very inexpensive: Cacti and table salt. The rest is up to you! There are so many fun tweaks you can do with this display. For example, you can write out your guests’ names in salt, or use the cacti as party favors. It’s a great, informal, playful table setting…and very Christmassy, too!
Christmas & Cacti Shopping Guide:
- Glass Animal Head Baubles, Paperchase
- Cactus Candle, Bonnie and Bell
- Cactus Flower Vase, Howkapow
- Pinecone Tree Decorations, H&M
- Pom Pom Tree Decorations, H&M
- Gold Glitter Reindeer Stag, Ebay
Happy shopping, happy decorating and happy holidays!