This lovely nature-inspired garland is perfect to hang around a doorway, on a banister, on the wall, or draped across a mantel. By choosing objects you already have around the house, you can incorporate your own meaningful memorabilia into the holiday season and avoid acquiring more clutter. This is also a great way to incorporate beautiful nature pieces from the outdoors in your decorations.
• 1 piece of ribbon about 6 feet long/183 cm (the exact length depends on where you will hang the garland)
• Small lengths of used ribbon or raffia to hang items (5 to 7 inches/13 to 18 cm each)
• Feathers, mistletoe, old Christmas cards, family photographs, cinnamon sticks, pinecones, berry branches (juniper works well and is in season), small bells, and any other Christmas themed items you like. (Just make sure the decorative items don't weigh
too much. Use lightweight, dainty objects; heavier ones will weigh the garland down.)
• Nontoxic glue
1. Decide where you would like to display the garland and measure the length of the space. Cut a piece of used gift ribbon or raffia accordingly.
2. Cut one 5- to 7-inch (13- to 18-cm) length of ribbon for each decorative object you're using. Tie, tape, or glue the ribbon to each individual item, creating a loop that you will string onto the long piece of ribbon. (Tie the ribbon to the berry branches and feathers, but use tape or glue for the photographs and cards.)
3. String the items onto the long ribbon, spacing them 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) apart, depending on how many you've chosen. Hang the garland with thumbtacks or any existing hooks, or use a hammer and nails.
Bay leaves: Bay leaves are in season in winter. Look for fresh organic bay leaves. Once it has dried, you can use the garland for years to come. Use recycled ribbon or light-gauge florist wire to connect the branches together.
Vintage toys: Tie vintage Christmas themed toys and stuffed animals together with red ribbon and lay the garland on top of your mantel.
Pine branches: This is a classic. Ask your local florist or Christmas tree vendor for broken pine branches and make a pine garland. It will make your house smell so good. Use light-gauge florist wire to connect the branches together. After Christmas, add the garland to your yard waste bin; it will be turned into mulch. Be sure to remove florist wire before discarding branches.
Find more DIY holiday decorating tips here.
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Excerpted from I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas, copyright 2009 by Anna Getty. Used by permission of Chronicle Books LLC.
All Rights Reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced except with permission in writing from the publisher.