Hello everyone! I have a very special guest tutorial to share with you today. As a long time lover of unique flower arrangements and DIY Holiday decor I am so happy to have the creative minds of Country Baskets here to share a Wishing Tree Tutorial. My friends across the pond have taken a project traditionally used for weddings and put a unique holiday spin on it. You can use this Wishing Tree Tutorial to create stunning Holiday Decor that doubles as a fun and meaningful Holiday tradition for your friends and family to enjoy.
A wishing tree is a distinguished tree which is used as an object of wishes and offerings. Such trees are identified as possessing a special religious or spiritual value and believers make offerings to gain the fulfilment of a wish. Traditionally wishing trees are used at weddings for the guests to wish the couple happiness embarking on their journey; however they can be incorporated into any event which reflects on the past and looks to the future.
How to make a Wishing Tree
With Christmas bringing the year to an end it can be a nice little touch to ask your dinner guests to take part and place a wish on the tree which looks at the year approaching. It could be a new year’s resolution, a goal that you are pursuing or something you are simply hoping for in life. In addition to being a fun holiday tradition Wishing Trees make a lovely addition to your holiday decor!
The most common wishing trees are Manzanita and Mitsumata, however any tree with bare branches will suffice; living or artificial. You needn’t look further than your own back yard to find a suitable branch to serve as a Wishing Tree. You want it to be around 3 to 4 feet in height so you can place it on a table without it being hard to reach the branches.
Tree Planter (base)
You’ll need a sturdy base to make sure that the tree is not easily knocked over and all your wishes are lost. A vase, box or large pot will be ideal. You can anchor your tree inside the base by filling it with colored marbles or assorted pebbles and rocks. For added security use a brick of Floral Foam inside your container and cover with glass gems, or stones.
*TIP* To get the kids interested you could even leave a few Christmas chocolates and treats around the base, as they place a wish on the tree they can take a treat.
Decorating the Tree
Although the tree will ideally be crammed full of hanging notes, adding a few decorative features can really help bring the tree to life and bring more interest, however its advised that you take a minimalist approach to leave room for the wishes. A few things that you can add are baubles, beaded strings and other Christmas decorations; however avoid tinsel unless it’s very thin as it can take up too much space and is dangerous for pets.
To create the wishes it would be ideal to have a stock pile of blank cards around the same size of business cards (90x50mm). You can buy blank business cards online from various shops or you can buy larger sheets of card and cut them yourself. Depending on your color theme you can have a mixture of different coloured cards.
Hanging the Wishes
The cards won’t hang themselves, but there are two ways you can go about adding them to the tree.
1. punch a hole in each blank card and tie in a bit of thin ribbon – keep the ribbon long so your guests can tie their wishes onto your tree.
2. Attach with mini clothes pins (available at most craft stores). You can decorate them with glitter or washi tape for a unique look and simply pin the wishing cards to the tree.
*TIP* If you would like to add an extra decorative touch to the wishing cards you could add adhesive backed pearls or rhinestones to the back of the cards which will also make the cards hang better.
Remember to use white or silver ribbon for a simple and elegant wishing tree, a single colour if you’re matching a theme, or lots of bright colours for a fun and quirky wishing tree.
Set-Up and Display
A simple sign inviting guests to make a wish propped out front will inspire them to give tips, advice or best wishes for you to keep for years to come.
1. Find a central spot for your Wishing Tree. Make sure guests will pass by the table when they arrive at your reception.
2. Print off instructions for guests and stand them on a small easel or enclose in a pretty picture frame.
3. Lay out the cards on the table underneath the wishes tree or on a tray next too, make sure there are plenty of pens and markers for your guests to write with.
For more Holiday Decorating ideas and inspiration visit the Country Baskets site and our YouTube Channel for tutorials from RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winners Anthony Williams, Neil Whittaker and Joseph Massie.
Hope you all enjoyed this unique idea for Holiday Decorating and are inspired to start a new tradition with a Wishing Tree of your own. Big thanks to my special guests from Country Baskets for sharing!
Have a wishful day!