Learn how to decorate with the Harlequin theme. Miss Haberdash gives you the low down on black and white check.
The Harlequin theme is fast becoming a classic for Christmas decorators. This 10ft tree is the centrepiece at Christmas Elves in Melbourne, Australia. It’s covered top to bottom with a busy black and white harlequin chequered pattern, there’s a lot going on but it works. This is quite a challenge for the decorator, so here are some tricks of the trade and helpful hints if you want to recreate this look.
Firstly it’s important to consider where your tree will be situated and the proportions of the room where it will be displayed. This will dictate the size of the product you buy for the tree.
The store tree is 15ft (on revolving disc and podium) and perfect for larger decorative pieces like the teddy bear, reindeer or elves. Embed these pieces into the tree, you may need to remove tree branches to fit them in place. I always secure these pieces with floristry wire but you can use the tips of the branch to give pieces more stability.
In the beginning this tree was divided into quarters using the harlequin ribbon. To copy this effect start at the top of the tree and secure floristry wire around the ribbon then pull the ribbon into the tree creating a loop of fabric, and tie around a tree tip. The wire can be disguised with baubles or floristry sprays. With a large tree like this it’s easier to divide your tree so you don’t lose your place especially if you are going to repeat patterns throughout the tree.
I began with one section, working outwards and experimenting with different products. Different textures work well together like these solid matt white baubles against the delicate gold of the floristry. A restricted colour palette was essential to keep this tree in harmony so I continued with red, white, gold and black.
A large tree can look a bit flat so add items that will stick out of your tree to give a 3D effect like these white curling sticks. Manipulate the elves differently so they look animated using their legs and arms to add movement. I also like to add angular pieces like these glitter boxes to give some structure to the overall shape.