I love the look (and smell) of fresh christmas greens. It instantly takes me back to my childhood. So this year, I decided it would be great to decorate our house with fresh Christmas wreaths and garland. The only problem…..the price! I just couldn’t bring myself to spend so much money on items that would just go into the trash in one month. But, as I stood in the Home Depot parking lot surrounded by pine, cedar, boxwood, and fir, I noticed a beautiful thing….a HUGE pile of tree clippings. I decided to get creative and make my own wreaths and garland. Here’s how I did it:
Step 1: Ask your local Home Depot, Lowes, or Christmas tree lot for their extra tree limbs. (these are limbs trimmed off the bottom of trees for customers before they cart them home) The stores are more than happy to get rid of them because they are going in the trash anyway. And they are FREE!
Step 2: Purchase a simple artificial wreath (or garland) from a crafts store. I purchased this one at Michaels. I found that starting with an artificial wreath gives you instant fullness so you don’t need as many fresh greens and it gives you an easy way to secure everything together.
Step 3: Begin cutting your pieces. I began with longer pieces to create the “base” and then I went back in with shorter, stockier pieces to fill in.
Step 4: Wind the base pieces around the wreath. This is where the artificial wreath comes in handy. Because the artificial stems are wire, you can use them to “hook” the fresh limbs onto the wreath…tucking them in and creating the shape you want. You can see from the picture how it begins to fill in. Each wreath took me about 15 minutes to complete. And the process is the same to create garland. (with garland I found that it was best to hang the artificial piece first and then add your fresh greens after it’s already in place)
Step 5: Hang and enjoy!
What I love about this project is that I can reuse the artificial wreaths every year and I feel great about recycling tree limbs that would otherwise be thrown away.