Last Minute Holiday Decorating with Natural Elements

By: Cami Archer

Decorating your house for the Holidays can be both frustrating and expensive. Growing up I wanted my house to look like a cottage you’d see in a children’s Christmas book. The way those cottages were decorated captured what I want the Holidays to be: simple, beautiful, and inviting.

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This is a wreath made of juniper and red berries that I found beside a river. See steps to create a wreath below.

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This entry display is from a mix of the juniper trimmings, more of the river berries, and some pretty red branches from a bush from our backyard that I was pruning.

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Window boxes should be used in the wintertime! What a perfect place to put together a combination of fresh greenery, poinsettias, and Holiday lights. Typically I’ll put down the poinsettias first, weave juniper or Christmas tree trimming around them, and intersperse berries and lights throughout.

BUILDING YOUR OWN WREATH

Supplies Needed :
Wreath maker ( found at local craft store)
Garden pruners
Wire cutters
Floral Wire ( found at local craft store)
Christmas boughs ( Found in the mountains or extra trimmings from Home Depot)
Juniper branches ( found in the mountains )
Red dogwood branches ( found in the mountains)

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Gathering what nature provides is not only a fun adventure with your family it provides some of the best elements you could find. Check with the forest service on what you can and can’t gather.
Another great source is at your local Home Depot, Lowes, or Christmas tree lot. Typically they have trimmings from cutting branches off of trees and these are PERFECT for making wreaths.

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Here are two pictures of wreaths makers. The white is found at Walmart and the wood is made with a square wood with wooden dowels glued to it and can be found at a craft store.
Steps :
After you have scoured the woods or Home Depot for the perfect brushes clip the branch to various sizes.

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The photo above shows how to snip the arms off, discarding the main branch.

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Secure the floral wire to the metal ring wrapping the wire around the bough.
Make a small bunch of branches of about 3-4 pieces. Starting with a large piece in the back and then layer on smaller pieces.

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Twist the wire around the cut ends of the branch to secure it to the ring.
Repeat these steps, adding bunch by bunch until you reach back where you began the wreath. Wrap with wire and secure

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With the wooden wreath maker it’s a lot simpler in my opinion. Alternate weaving the branches and berries in and out through the dowels. Once you have it basically looking the way you want it to secure it together with the wire

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