How To Dress Your Table This Christmas With Stina Hasan, The Hackney Gardener

Christmas lunch is one of the most anticipated parts of the festive season and creating the right centrepiece can set the tone for your day. We went to visit Stina Hasan, otherwise known as The Hackney Gardener, at her home in East London to see how she crafts a natural celebratory tablescape using an abundance of foliage, branches, eucalyptus, dried flowers and seed heads. Here is a simple step-by-step guide you can tailor for your decorations and themes.

“Green foliage gets you a long way at Christmas time and I love having a bunch ready for any arrangements or projects that I come up with. I just keep it in a bucket by the back door and use bits as I go along. You can forage for foliage even if you live in the city – just remember to do it in a responsible way. I always ask for lots of off cuts when I buy my Christmas tree too, so useful for wreaths, pots and other things.” – Stina Hasan, The Hackney Gardener


– A dish or plate to use as a base. We used a 20 cm terracotta saucer.

– Some air drying hobby clay – you can buy this from any good hobby or art supply store.

– A pillar candle.

– Foliage, dried flowers and seed heads – all of which you can forage locally. See what you can find.

“For this table centrepiece I have used foraged foliage and added a few dried flowers and seed heads as accents. All the materials are natural and sustainable and once you take the candle out, the whole thing can go on the compost heap afterwards.” – Stina Hasan, The Hackney Gardener- Stina Hasan, The Hackney Gardener


1. Shape your clay into a ball and place it at the centre of your saucer, pressing down so it sticks properly to the base.

Position your candle
2. Push the candle into the clay making sure it’s roughly in the middle and straight.

Layer up your foliage

3. Start building up a base layer of foliage by sticking individual branches into the clay. Christmas tree branches are great to use for the bulk of this first layer.

Keep building

4. Keep adding material until the clay base is covered and you have a nice full shape.


Add the final touches 

5. Add some dried flowers, berries and seed heads as finishing touches.


Photography by Kasia Bobula


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