My mantelpiece garland

I wanted a garland for the mantelpiece, but I'd got rid of the oxidized 'silver' bells of last year, which were tiny flower-buds of metal erupting from wispy threads along a central long wire. I had a box of Christmas crackers sitting in a chair next to me, and I thought: that's it!

I think the result of my eureka! is pretty good. I took a length of copper picture wire, and with a large needle I threaded it through the back of each cracker, six in total. (One fell off at the last moment. I declined to re-thread it but just popped it up along the mantel.) I weighted each end of the wire with a marble green pear -- which just happens to be perfect, since the theme of the cracker pattern is The Twelve Days of Christmas, crowned of course by the partridge in a pear tree! I then taped the ends of the crackers to the wire, but you really can't see this unless you're staring at them right up close. The only thing that I feel is missing now is some real greenery, in the form of the balsam fir that we have as our doorway wreath, or some similar evergreen. Update: the sprig from the wreath shall have to do for now!