Country Sampler Special Edition



An arrangemen­t like this adds height to your holiday decorating. It’s a great piece to place next to a tall bookcase or in an empty corner.

Caged Beauty

Bring the abundance of an outdoor holiday display to any interior space with a lighted twig basket topped with greens, oversize pinecones and thinner twigs that reach toward dramatic heights. The framework of this natural display starts with a simple tomato cage.

STEP 1 Choose a container, such as a galvanized bucket, for the base of your arrangemen­t. Clip off the bottom prongs from a tomato cage and make sure it fits in your container with plenty of room for the sticks you'll add later.

STEP 2 Wire a strand of white lights inside the cage in a zigzag pattern from bottom to top, securing with green cable ties or twist ties as needed.

STEP 3 Wire a bundle of twigs around the outside of the cage, securing them to the rungs. Align the twigs so the bottoms rest just below the bottom rung of the tomato cage and the tips of the twigs stick out above the top rung from 8" to 12"; vary them in height.

STEP 4 Coil a lighted garland inside the cage; secure with wire. Push the twigencirc­led cage into your container.

STEP 5 Arrange fresh greens at the top to drape between the twigs and spill over the cage edge. Push curly willow and dogwood twigs into a piece of foam, and then place the foam in the center of the cage among the greens. Wire in place, if necessary, and cover with more greens.

STEP 6 Secure pinecones and other naturals around the greens-covered foam base of the twigs. Finish off the arrangemen­t with a burlap bow.

Cool as Ice

Line your window boxes or driveway with simple-to-make ice candles that impart a frosty glow. Fill a plastic container with water to within an inch of the top. Set it outside (or in a freezer) until the sides are frozen solid but there is still water in the center. Bring the container inside and warm up the sides a bit. Turn it over to dump out the water and slide out the ice. Insert a candle into the hollow and arrange it outdoors with greens and several other ice candles to make a chill grouping.

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