If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might remember that in September I urged you to save any allium seed heads that might be growing in your garden. And now I’m going to show you why.
Last holiday season, my talented friend Loralee gave me this adorable gift, which she made herself using an allium seed head.
It got me thinking about all the ways we can use allium seed heads in holiday decor. So I’ve been doing a little experimenting.
Finding Seed Heads
Allium plants are grown from bulbs. In my area, they bloom spring to summer, and then the flowers turn into seed heads that are highly ornamental. They come in many sizes, heights, and shapes. Some are huge, some are tiny.
I found only one seed head in my own garden, but it was pretty spectacular.
And in early fall, a neighbor offered me all of her allium seed heads. She had a nice variety.
Some still had seeds so I left those outside for the birds until the weather turned.
And I let them all dry indoors completely before I began using them.
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I used matte white spray paint that I had on hand. I wanted the seed heads to look frosted, not flocked, so I used the paint sparingly.
While the paint was still wet, I dusted each seed head with Buffalo Snow Flakes iridescent sprinkles (which I also had on hand) for a subtle sparkle. Then I carefully shook off the excess.
Even though I shook off the excess, little bits of the Buffalo Snow Flakes continued to shed. So in this case I probably would have been better off with a spray-on sparkle.
Working with the alliums took a little patience because some of them were still shedding seeds.
And the seed heads got tangled together very easily. They were brittle and fragile, and I had to be careful not to damage them.
Still I am happy with the results. Here is what I’ve done with them so far.
I like to keep things simple. By securing allium stems of varying heights to spike frogs,
I made a frozen forest to go behind the vintage putz church that once belonged to my husband’s parents.
The smallest allium seed head is secured to a tiny spike frog. It towers over a three-inch German nutcracker as he wanders through a miniature forest.
The seed heads were on long stems. Some of them were almost as tall as me. I had fantasies of making a full-sized allium forest with them. But getting them to stand securely on such tall stems would have taken some doing.
Still I had one dramatically curving stem that was almost three feet tall, and I wanted to do something special with it. I was able to secure it, and a few other stems of varying heights, by inserting stem wire into the bottom of the stems and leaving a couple of inches of floral wire out of the stem. I used wire cutters to cut the stem wire to size where needed.
Then I secured them to a piece of styrofoam set in a shallow clay bowl.
I covered the styrofoam with preserved moss and added a some small vintage ornaments. I chose one good example of each type of seed head to make this crazy thing.
What Mom Did
Of course I frosted way too many seed heads so I gave some to Mom. Her first career was in floral design, so I was curious to see how she would use them.
She mixed them with materials she had on hand to make this lovely piece for her entryway.
Mom is amazing with all things floral. She could have made five of these in her sleep in the time it took me to put together my “Holiday Drama” creation.
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About Putz Houses and Churches
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