I was at an antique store killing time when I saw it. It was the largest dough bowl I had ever laid my eyes on. I brought it home and my husband asked if it was a sled for the boys.
*Eye Roll* No, it's NOT a sled for the boys! Hello? It's a dough bowl, of course!
I didn't tell him that I wouldn't have known what it was either if I hadn't seen it on Pinterest, but that's our secret.
There's always a joke about it when you see it for the first time cuz it just commands attention sitting there all huge on the kitchen island. It's a fun conversation piece to have but then there's that teeny problem that comes with it.
OHMYGOODNESS, you have to fill it up with something.
What to put in a dough bowl at Christmas??? All I could think about was that would look cute overflowing with one million ornaments, but who wants to buy one million ornaments? Then my sister-in-law (I have the greatest sisters-in-law) taught me how to make a flower arrangement and BAM, I knew I could make a fresh arrangement in a dough bowl.
I had cut quite a bit of greenery when I got the clippings for the magnolia and fir garlands - here if you missed it - and so I thought I'd use the remainder inside the house. Since it's not going to last as long inside without water, here was the plan:
I lined the bottom of dough bowl with garbage bags. I'm sure there's a more glamorous option you could use if you have it, but you need something to protect the wood. I then filled my sink with water and floated in a few floral foam bricks (be sure to get the ones that say 'wet' on them, I got mine at JoAnn's Fabric - and I snuck Ellie in too). I let them sink into the water on their own because supposedly the bricks will be saturated all the way through that way. Once they are submerged and filled with water, I cut them into sizes that would fit into wide mouth, shallow bowls. I spaced out the bowls in the dough bowl. In this arrangement I also put in two poinsettias in between the bowls, but you could just have greenery if you'd like.
Then the fun begins. I start with the longest fir branches (any evergreen will work) and stick them into the floral foam at each long end of the dough bowl. I like these to overhang the bowl about six inches or so. Then I take shorter pieces and put them down each side. All you've done so far is the first base layer around the lip of the bowl, so it will be uneven and not totally covering everything yet and that's okay. Next, just start filling in with shorter fir branches or whatever you have. I used magnolia, holly, and some branches that had pinecones. Keep sticking your branches into the foam so they will stay fresh longer.
TIP: once you push them in, don't move the stem. If you have to, just completely re-stick it, because the tip needs to be firmly into the brick to be hydrated and movement may cause air pockets..
Once you have full coverage of the base of the bowl, or close to it, trim the sides so the branches are more even. I cut quite a bit off of mine. It's better to start with longer branches so they can reach the foam bricks and then trim them back as you go.
This is when you can add pinecones, ornaments, poinsettia blooms, whatever you want to give it a little Christmas boost but also cover up any gaps you may have. I used pinecones, magnolia leaves and holly branches.
I water the foam bricks every few days and I leave out the arrangement about a month. I'm sure my watering method misses the brick areas occasionally, so if you are like me, be aware that the inside of your dough bowl could end up wet, even with the garbage bag liners. I've had no problems with this (this is my second arrangement) but I just want you aware that this is not sealed tight and there is a risk of water damage to your bowl. Mine is very primitive so it's not really an issue, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Okay, now for the complete confession: Sometimes there are critters in the greenery.
I know! Horrifying.
Like the time I was having about 12 or so people over and literally right before they arrived for dinner, there were tiny specks appearing all over my island countertop...right where the food was going to go. On closer inspection, I saw they were...spiders. That dough bowl had been on the island for two weeks with nothing and bam, spiders everywhere. As my guests arrived, I was chucking the bowl out onto the back porch, trying to act as if I always tossed my centerpieces out the door when guests came over. Good times.
So be sure to hose your greenery off, or buy it from someone who does, lol!
I'm not sure how much I'll post between here and January since the kiddos are home and out of school, (read - I get nothing done with the kiddos home and out of school), but I want to say you all have made 2016 very special for me. Taking the time the read and comment on the blog is a big deal in blogland and I appreciate each and every one of you. I pray your Christmas and New Year is wonderful and full of joy.