Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Decorations in Under Two Hours

Simple, Quick Holiday Decorations 

Using Greens from the Garden

Having guests over and need some decorations?  Here's how to pull together a few quick decorations together right from your garden.  Plus, they make great gifts for friends and family.  


1. Get Out Your Pruners & Start Cutting Greens From the Garden

Cut branches of pine, fir, holly, herbs, succulents, whatever you've got on hand.  Even in dry climate gardens like mine I've collected blue Arizona Cypress, rosemary, euonymous, pine branches and pyracantha berries.  

Cut pieces with long enough stems to work from.

2. Assemble Tools & Holiday Decor In An Open Work Area

Find a table or floor area as your work space, indoors or outside. You'll make a mess but you'll clean it up afterwards.  

Grab the following tools together: scissors, wire cutters, pruners, glue gun -optional but handy, and wire; green florist wire works great but regular steel wire is also needed.  
In advance, buy or collect holiday wire ribbon, holiday fabrics bows and/or miscellaneous holiday decor.  Lastly, grab whatever pinecones you can find, large or small from the garden or stored box of Christmas decorations.   

The bows, ribbon, decor and pinecones will be used to tuck into your pieces to add color and glam. 


3. Create A Yule Log: 

Grab your best looking log from the firewood pile

Find a nice looking log from your firewood pile wide enough to fit in your fireplace or wood stove. White barked Birchwood always looks the best, but any log will do.  

Set the log on your flat working surface and make sure it "sits" pretty -has a good side to it and doesn't rollWrap two stands of wire somewhat loosely around each side of the log about 1/3 in, from each end.  You will start to stuff small branches into the wires.  

Add pinecones by wrapping a wire around the pinecone then attach onto the log's wire pieces.  Add decor, berries (real or fake) and a wire ribbon bow that you can twist into the right shape.  

Keep adding items like branches, feathers, holiday ornaments, and you'll know when you're done.  That's it for the log.  

Yule logs are an English tradition. They are used as decoration and burned on Christmas Day.  I've been making them since I was a kid.

4. Get a Vase, Fill It With Greenery

A vase filled with holiday greens looks great on the mantle, kitchen or bathroom for your guests.  this vase is waiting for two red flowers from the florist or grocery store but looks fine just with a selection of greens alone.  


5. Make a Simple Holiday Swag

With your steel wire, grab the ends of pine or fire branches from a Christmas tree or the garden and assemble into a triangle or "swag" shape. Make a loop out of the wire and hang from a nail on the wall.  Add items to the swag as it's hung on the wall or lay on the floor and just keep adding pieces to your branches.

With wire or a glue gun, you'll add on more branches from your garden greens, real or fake berries, feathers, cinnamon sticks, ornaments, pinecones, and the finishing touch is a wire ribbon to the top. 

That's it, place the Yule Log as a table center piece or by the fire.  And hang the swag on your front door or indoors. Voila! Just sweep up the needles and wire bits when you're done. 

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