Every year, usually right around Thanksgiving, your local home improvement store re-purposes a portion of their parking lot into a Christmas Tree village. The sound of chainsaws, merrily working away, buzzes through the air as workers trim extra branches off of these yuletide monoliths.

While I wasn’t quite ready to purchase my Christmas tree for the season the day after Thanksgiving, I was drawn to the intoxicating scent of the freshly cut fir and the warm memories it conjured. That’s when I remembered… free trimmings! At each Christmas tree village, there is inevitably a large accumulation of the discarded trimmings- usually thrown in a bin to be sent to a landfill somewhere. These are free reign to take home, decorate, and craft with to your merry-heart’s content! Add them to a floral arrangement, hang them mistletoe-style from doorways, or opt for the classic Holiday wreath…

You will need:

  • A Grapevine Wreath (I got a 24″ one from Michael’s for $9.99 and used my 40% off coupon from the weekly add)

  • Green Floral Wire

  • Needle-Nose Cutting Pliers

  • Heavy Duty Scissors or Gardening Shears

  • Decorations of Choice (examples: ribbons, bows, ornaments, dried flowers, bells, feathers, shells… just don’t pick anything too heavy!)

  • A bounty of Christmas Tree Trimmings… tip: take more than you think you need

  • Optional: Strong Jute, Ribbon, Rope, etc. to hang wreath

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Getting Started:

  1. Pre-Cut some of the best pieces off of your selected trimmings using scissors or shears and put them aside

  2. Using the remainder of your trimmings, fill in your wreath form: (no wire required yet)

    1. Begin filling in loosely at first then fill in holes
    2. Insert all branches in the same direction, until they are tightly pinched within the vines of your wreath.

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  3. Tame your trimmings with wire: (or… you can leave it like this once it’s all filled in if you like the untamed look!)

    1. Grab a section of the wreath and all of the greenery and use floral wire to wrap a loop around section. Twist end of wire together using pliers if needed to secure and tuck into the wreath.
    2. Pull out a few of the small pieces of greenery out to hide the wire once it’s secure.
    3. Repeat every few inches throughout circumference of wreath
  4. Add in the saved trimmings to hide anymore visible wire

  5. Add in decorations, using floral wire to secure if necessary. You can pick a focal point to have the bulk of the decorations like I did, or keep them uniformly spread throughout.

(Tip: Many items do not need to be secured once they are stuck into the wreath- don’t make more work for yourself than you have to!)

Hanging Your Wreath:

 The wreath can hang on a sturdy nail or hook as is- Just hang it like a picture frame from a sturdy vine in the back. Or…

  1. Securely tie a band/loop of strong ribbon, rope, jute, etc. fairly tightly around the top of the wreath

  2. Tie a second, smaller loop through first and hang from a sturdy nail or hook.

Now go forth and spread some Holiday Cheer! Enjoy your wreath indoors or in a sheltered outdoor area… or gift it to a friend (’tis the season). Happy Holidays!

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