I love being outdoors, and enjoying all the beauty nature has to offer. What better way to enjoy it during Christmas than to make garlands out of some branches from trees in the yard? I’m surrounded by acres and acres of cedar trees, so these are the types of branches I use to decorate indoors and outside the house around Christmas time. You can use pine boughs, spruce sprigs, or any evergreen of your choice. Even if you don’t have evergreens nearby, you can still gather up some vines or bare branches and make something festive out of them with ribbons.
Making Garlands: Supplies Needed
The following tools will help your garland making experience to be much more enjoyable!
• Leather Gloves
• Tree Branch Trimmers
• Thin Wire for Securing Garland
• Wire Cutters
Choosing the Perfect Branch
Find a tree with low branches, if possible, so you can avoid hauling out the ladder. Check the branch for dead twigs. These can always be removed, but the fewer number of dead twigs you have to cut off, the fuller (and prettier) your garland will be. Look for natural “accessories” on the branches, such as berries or pine cones. There’s nothing wrong with plain branches, but use the berries or cones if you’ve got them. They truly add a lot to your garland.
Cut Only What you Need
Unless you have a fireplace in need of kindling, it’s best to cut just enough branches to create your garland. This eliminates the need to dispose of branches the tree could otherwise use in the spring for leaf production and making food for itself. I like to cut branches as I go, so I know when I get to the point of having enough for the amount of garlands I’m making. Waste not, want not!
Make Small Snips when Trimming Garland to Size
Once you have your branches collected and it’s time to start assembling the garland, you may need to do some trimming. There’s always that rogue sprig jutting out in the wrong direction. When cutting unruly bits off your branches, do so in small amounts. You don’t want to whack an entire chunk off of a branch, only to realize you now have a gaping hole in your otherwise uniform garland!
Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
Gathering supplies for making garlands at Christmas time is something I always look forward to. I have a blast with it and I always seem to come up with something completely different than what I had in my mind’s eye when I first started. When you have the branches assembled how you want them and wired into place, look for other things around the yard to add to the garland; feathers, dried flowers or herbs, berries, or whatever else tickles your fancy. Decorating at Christmas is fun with simple projects like this – and your house will smell amazing from the fresh-cut evergreen branches!
What type of indoor or outdoor decorating do you do?