Nico and I are a pretty budget-conscious duo, so we planned ahead for this year and set aside some of our Christmas shopping money for a big splurge (instead of buying each other more stuff). Martinis! Prix fix menu! Fancy restaurant down the street, here we come.
To really get into the spirit of things, this year I also decided to try out a little foliage DIY experiment. Can Trader Joe's eucalyptus branches be turned into a romantic entry way centerpiece? Yep! It was simple, required only a few household items and only took 10 minutes to complete.
You won't need all the items shown in this photo - I just was going off the cuff when I created this DIY and brought up all the things I thought I might need.
What you really need is: a clean (and label-free*) wine or beer bottle, a few eucalyptus branches ($5 at TJs), your best scissors, and fishing wire and/or twist ties (the kind you get with sliced bread, preferably green or white).
Loosely loop the end points of two pieces of eucalyptus together.
<--- Like so. This might be two branches, or one branch with several arms. The real key is that they're about the same length and make a balloon shape when they intersect.
Steps 3-5 are basically one big choose-your-own-adventure.
If you want the job to be quick and easy, just twist tie the two intersecting points of the eucalyptus together. Cut of excess tie. Then skip to Step 6.
If you want it to be a little more perfect and invisibly connected, skip this step and continue on to Steps 4 & 5.
Or do two sets of eucalyptus hearts using both methods like I did. Whatever your little heart desires.
Using a piece of fishing wire tie the two intersecting points of eucalyptus together. Make sure the knot is good and secure. Cut off any excess wire. This can be a little slippery, but believe me, you can do it.
See how invisible that wire is? Can't even see it against a white wall!
Tie another piece of fishing wire from the intersecting points to the base of the bottle (looping it around the bottle under the lip, and making a tight knot). Make the piece tight and shorter than the length of the branches so the center comes down into a heart point.
FYI: Because the twist tie (from Step 3) is heavier it naturally weighed the branches down and I didn't need to attach the point to the bottle.
Bend several points of each eucalyptus branch so it makes (and holds) a heart shape. As you can see in this photo there are about 3 bends in the round bit on the right side of the heart.
I was worried that this bending would make the branches age and dry up quickly, but it's been nearly 5 days and they still look very perky and pretty.
So easy, no glue, minimal foliage injured.
You can either display it so the hearts are really obvious, or you can overlap the hearts a bit, and/or add more branches to make it look a little less in-your-face, but still subtly romantic, as pictured on the left.