This holiday season, impress your guests and neighbors with homemade Christmas decor made from the greenery in your yard! At some point, a lot of hard work went into keeping those plants alive so let them work for you now! The holidays are tough enough on our wallets without going to Michael’s and buying a lot of fake greenery to string up. Save some pennies, enjoy the fresh air, and revel in the pride you’ll feel at creating so much beauty. Pinterest is full of incredible DIY decor ideas but let’s face it, most of us are NOT Martha Stewart and the last thing we need is to waste a bunch of time on a Pinterest fail. We thought it would be helpful to consolidate some ideas that utilize common local plants and aren’t impossible to pull off.
It may seem daunting, but wreaths really are pretty easy to pull together. Easiest of all is to use a wire frame purchased from the store (which you can reuse for years) but you can also make a frame out of a sturdy branch. There is a really easy to follow tutorial here: https://www.sunset.com/garden/how-to-make-a-wreath . After putting it off for years, I finally tried it and now it is a Christmas tradition.
Some great commonly found materials to use are: fir, pine, juniper, holly, box wood, sage, rosemary, bay leaves, ivy, lavender and, of course, mistletoe.
Foraged Additions: Berries, pine cones, leaves,
Materials: wire, a frame, scissors
With a little wire and patience, you can make beautiful, fresh garland from foraged material. Simply arrange your trimmings and then start securing it with floral wire. Use one piece of wire to give the garland strength, especially important if you intend to hang it as seen in this photo. If you’re decking a railing or mantle, then you can use the wire on individual pieces and secure directly to the structure itself. Add in ornaments, pine cones, ribbon, lights, etc. but skip the plastic. Your house will smell and look amazing!
3. Porch/Exterior Planters
It is so simply to add a little holiday spirit to your entry way or porch by pulling together a quick planter. I can’t stress how simple yet striking these can be. All you really need is a decent pot or urn. Fill it with dirt, old potting soil, rocks, sand, or the foam blocks from the store… literally anything to help the material stay in the way you want it to be arranged.
4. Finishing touches and small details
Honestly, at Christmas I cover just about every surface imaginable with festive decor. If nothing else, gather some pine cones, trimmings, and holly berries and use them to decorate place settings, mantles, windows, etc.; put that Christmas foliage anywhere you see fit!
Truthfully, it is so simply and rewarding to go outside and collect some materials that are probably destined for the yard refuse pile/bag anyway and decorate for the holidays with it. A few clippings from your pine tree, some pine cones, some holly… you can literally just lay it on your mantle and it will look festive and elegant. It’s really a win win win win: clean your yard, prune your bushes, get some fresh air, save some money, and have beautiful decor to impress guests! To help your homemade foraged goods last longer, you can spray them with an anti-desiccant but it’s not really necessary. I’ve found my live decor to last the entire month of December (we do keep the house pretty cool though). Here are some tips to keep your creations looking fresh. Exterior fixtures are the easiest to keep looking fresh and will require no attention aside from straightening after a strong wind. So get out there, collect some items, and start creating! This new holiday tradition will be enjoyed by the whole family and we hope to see some festive entryways a we finish up for the season!