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Mr. Horne Decorates for the Holidays

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

How does Kenneth V. Horne Decorate for the Holidays?

Think natural with spots of sparkle! I often look to nature for decorations at holiday times. I go out into a forest and forage for pine needle branches and bunches of fall leaves. I buy lemons and oranges, both real ones and artificial ones. I also buy inexpensive silver and gold plastic balls and ornaments from dollar stores. I also like those battery operated flicker candles, and for some centerpieces, 10-12 inch taper candles. I also try to find a few 8-12 inch lanterns, a hot melt glue gun (with lots of refill glue sticks), and lastly, many spools of inexpensive 1- to 4- inch wide holiday ribbon, several bricks of floral foam commonly called "Oasis", and a few spools of floral wire. All of these supplies can be found and purchased at craft stores. Once I have it gathered and in my workshop, I set forth to putting it all together as swags and garlands for mantels, doorways, stair railings, and for center pieces.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to have fun and remember that there are no mistakes, so have no fear that you can’t do this and always keep it simple, simple, simple!


For centerpieces, begin with a silver or ceramic bowl. Cut and fit a brick of the floral foam to fit snugly in the bowl, and then saturate the foam in the bowl with tap water. Then take your evergreen branches and begin cutting 8-12 inch pieces from the main branch. Insert the evergreens into the saturated foam. Fill it full of evergreen pieces as you do not want any of the foam visible. Once full of greens, accent with small wired bunches of fall leaves and now set this aside.

Cut a length of ribbon approximately 5-6 feet long. String some ornaments onto the length of ribbon about every 3-5 inches. Be sure to group both the silver and gold balls with the plastic apples, oranges and lemons! Fire up the glue gun, and once the glue stick is melting, begin with one glob of hot glue on the

side of a piece of evergreen, and immediately glue one end of the ribbon with ornaments onto the

hot glue. Repeat this process, moving in a circle around the centerpiece, until you have come to

the other end of ribbon. Among the pieces of evergreen on top of your centerpiece, place a battery-operated candle or firmly insert a taper candle in the center. Place your holiday centerpiece on a table, step back, and admire!


For garlands of evergreens, cut pieces of branch into 12-15 inch long pieces. Overlapping the ends a few inches, wrap a length of wire around the joint to secure the pieces to each other. Repeat for as long as you want the garland to be. Once the garland is all wired together, take the holiday ribbon and wrap around the garland the entire length. Much like the use of hot glue gun on centerpiece, this time glue small groups of

plastic ornaments (balls and fruit) directly to the ribbon, one bunch about every 16-24 inches. Hang the garland over a door, on the fireplace mantel, or secured by wire to a banister. When draped on a mantel, place a lantern on the mantel at the high points of garland.

At Potter Poppins Academy, we coach and teach you how to arrange and assemble stunning and professional-quality holiday decorations for Thanksgiving, Christmas,Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the rest.

Additionally, but importantly, you can learn to arrange flowers and decorations for all purposes from a simple centerpiece for an impromptu cocktail party to elaborate wedding creations!

Potter Poppins Academy is a butler training school in the United States. The Academy, led by esteemed head butler Kenneth V. Horne, offers courses such as Elite Butler Training, Hotel Butler Training, classes for principals new to managing household staff, courses in etiquette and protocol for business professionals, manners courses for children and young adults, and bespoke service consulting.

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