Sometimes the only thing you need to usher in the new season at home is an arrangement fit for autumn. This is a fuss-free way to seasonally decorate- and it adds texture, color, and contrast, all while reflecting the time of year. I’m often asked how to style branches, as they can be a bit tricky in comparison to florals. I wanted to share an easy, everlasting arrangement idea with you… that can be pulled out year-after-year to celebrate the autumn months- well into festive gatherings and tablescapes for Thanksgiving. I also have a few tricks of the trade up my sleeve. Click through to see how I do it, and to peruse some of my favorite faux branches for the season…
*This post is sponsored by Afloral. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to create unique content while featuring products I actually use & enjoy!
Gather Your Supplies
I’ve been heavily into terra cotta vessels lately- which probably comes as no surprise. These are the timeless type of vases that look good any time of year. I found this extra tall floor vase, with charming double handles, and scooped it up for an oversized branch arrangement. Here’s everything I used for today’s branch styling… they’re all clickable in the collage below!
Use Code RFORT20 for 20% off orders $100+, through 11/15.
Source Your Branches
For this arrangement, I grabbed five of the grape ivy branches from Afloral in green eggplant because they felt very fitting for autumn. They’re oversized, take on a soft shape, and have that seasonal palette I was looking for. I knew these would be perfect for decorative longevity for the months of September to November. They’re ideal for the beginning of fall- all the way until harvest & gathering season or Thanksgiving.
Alternatively, you can also forage for branches outside, if you’d prefer to take the natural route- or are in a time crunch. The styling tips apply for both everlasting and live branches. I’ll link some more of my favorite (super convincing) faux options for you below…
Use a Mesh Arranger
This is my best tip for arranging branches… use floral mesh! It’s heavier than the tape grid hack and is capable of supporting heavier or taller stems. The easy arranger pack I have comes with three sizes: 4″, 5″, and 6″.
Place this over your vase and bend it around the edges. Alternatively, you can tuck it inside the vessel for a concealed look- which is usually what I do once my branches are in place. It’s easy to manipulate!
Strategically Place Your Branches
Next, it’s time to start inserting your branches. First, decide what you’d like yours to look like… sparse, full, asymmetric, etc. I typically avoid symmetry when styling branches because I think it gives it a more interesting, realistic shape. More on that below…
Branch Styling Tips
In addition to using the floral mesh, I wanted to share some tips for manipulating and styling branches for the best arrangement outcome.
Five things I always do for faux branch arranging, to make it feel more realistic and beautiful…
- Fluff your branches or florals out of the box– before you even begin. Faux plants are often compressed for packing & safe shipping, so they do require shaking or fluffing upon opening. The goal is for them to look natural and organic, even if if they appear a bit unruly.
- Close the gap between the vegetation and the top of the vessel– this may require trimming or bending the ends. The first leaves or vegetation should begin close to the top of the vessel. Negative space is ok, but you do want some texture beginning at the lip to draw your eye upward. My pet peeve is seeing the awkward empty stems at the bottom of branches that contain no leaves- it’s a sure giveaway the arrangement is faux because in nature we know, leaves cover the majority of the branch.
- Keep it to a minimum for a sculptural look– six branches or less, depending on the type. Negative space is usually your friend when styling branches- and it keeps costs down. Go for height and texture instead of fullness- unlike a floral arrangement. Don’t overstuff your vase and practice restraint with an editing eye. This provides a sculptural and designer look.
- Consider height & width– Unlike most florals, it’s easy to go tall or wide with branches because of their oversized, rigid form. Capitalize on this! When trying to make a BIG impact and take up a lot of space, branches are the ideal medium. Go for the height or width, while considering a larger vessel that visually supports the look, providing balance below.
- Avoid symmetry– branches lend themselves to a sculptural, organic look… lean into that. As I previously mentioned, I tend to avoid symmetry when styling branches for this reason.
Enjoy All Season Long
The obvious pro to everlasting or faux branches is the ability to use them year-after-year. They’re require zero maintenance, no water, no bugs, no mess, no falling leaves, and they’re an investment you can continue to enjoy. When it’s time to transition from autumn to my holiday decor, I’ll tuck these away in my prop closet and pull them out next August or September.
It’s 20″ tall and 8″ wide… a really nice size! It’s the tall terra cotta vase with handles from Afloral.
I’m partial to magnolias, oak, aspen, fig, or any sort of sculptural ivy branch. I love displaying the colors of the season.
Give them a good shake. You can also soak or spray them- some people use vinegar, soapy water, or bleach. I’m never too concerned about bringing things in… I figure some things from outside will eventually make their way indoors, anyway.
Get some of the wire mesh! Having a good sturdy support system in place will allow you to build bigger, more secure arrangements.
Those also came from Afloral. You can find the marble trays here… they come in a nesting set of two and are stunning in person!
I hope you enjoyed this post! Drop any questions you have into the comment section below. Here’s to a lovely fall weekend ahead. Tonight we have a fun date night planned. We’re also planning to cross more home projects off our list… I’m chipping away at the basement flooring and Emmett is continuing along on the entryway. While half of our house is messy & chaotic, it’s nice to retreat to a seasonally inviting living room and a clean kitchen. I’ve found myself sitting in front of the fire most evenings. Happy Friday, friends! Have a wonderful weekend.