Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Festive Invasive

I just realized I've been slacking on the holiday posts lately. Well, I've been slacking on all posts, but I feel like I have an pretty decent excuse.

But what I haven't been slacking on is finding super easy projects. First was the dryer sheets, then came the sauerkraut, now I'm here to tell you about my holiday holly wreath.

In past years, I've made what I call a "festive holiday door hang." Those were always really easy to whip together, but this time I wanted to try my hand at a wreath. Pinterest LOVES wreaths. Though I personally am not on Pinterest, (I know, shocking, isn't it?) I've noticed the wreath making mania that has struck the home decorator at large. Since I'd never made one myself, I didn't realize the fun that can be had when creating this super duper satisfying and easy project.

So we have this English holly tree in our yard. I hate it. Holly is horribly invasive and the awfulness is helped even more when the berries are carried all over the place by birds. Our yard is covered in holly seedlings and I'm constantly pulling them. Ugh. Did I mention that I hate it? The problem with this tree is that it's so old, it's like old growth. The trunk is at least 18 inches in diameter, and it's hugely tall. We haven't cut it down for several reasons: it's on the border between our neighbor's and our yards, it does house tons of birds, it keeps our house cool in the summer by shading it (yeah, that big), and cutting it down won't kill it anyway.

But once a year during the holidays, I'm glad we have it.

Shawn did some pruning while cleaning the gutters a few weeks back and I took what he cut and decided to try my hand at this whole wreath-making business that everyone on Pinterest seems so excited about.

For the frame, I just took a wire hanger and stretched it out into a circle, leaving the hook as is. Next, I cut about 6-8 inch pieces of the nicest-looking parts of the holly. I think I cut about 60 pieces total, making sure to get some pieces with berries, and others with just the lush, waxy green leaves. The nice part about having an old growth holly tree is that when they get that big, they lose the need to make spiky leaves. So it was nice to not have to worry about injuring myself.  Next, I cut longer pieces of twine and tied the pieces in bunches of three. Using the ends of the twine that was left, I then tied the bunches into the hanger in two places to keep them in place. Making sure that the nicest sides were facing out with the berries scattered nicely, I just tied the rest of the bunches on the same way, all facing the same direction. I added a gold bow to finish it off, and ta-daa!

This took me a total of a little over an hour, from start to finish.

I really like it.
I think I understand this whole wreath making thing.

Happy holidays everybody. May this world be a little more peaceful. Now go hug your people.

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