Okay, so it’s not quite Thanksgiving yet but it’s definitely time to start thinking about Christmas decor. This year’s goal: Spend as little as possible. The holiday season is always the time of year when we imagine our wallets draining. In fact, the biggest excuse people give for not spending money is “Christmas is coming up”. It’s like a given that we’re all going to be broken on January 1st. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve partnered with five other bloggers who share my sentiment to bring you our top wallet-friendly Christmas ideas. Here’s the full list of projects and their creators:
Mine? It’s free and easy but it looks like a million bucks!
I’ve now owned three properties that had giant boxwood bushes planted in the flower beds. Each were giant and needed annual clippings to actually look decent. Each time I took my hedge trimmer to those bushes, I felt like I was sitting on a gold mine. Here’s something I’ve always wanted to do: make my own boxwood wreath, using those clippings, that looked like one of the nice ones I see at Williams Sonoma or the florists’ shops ever year. I was positive, based on how crazy expensive they were, that it would be nearly impossible to mimic the look. Plus, wreath forms in these huge sizes can be pricey, right?
Well, maybe not. I mean, technically, all you need to create a wreath form is a solid and stable foundation. So I scanned my garage for any miscellaneous picture frames that might do the trick. That’s when I saw it - an old mirror from our neighbor’s bathroom renovation that had been given to me for a pro bono project I was working on. I’d actually found a mirror I liked better for that space, so I’d just put this one aside to wait for the perfect need. This must be it. I was able to quickly remove the mirror by unscrewing the clips in the back.
Then I gathered my other necessary supplies;
hand loppers (fancy term for yard scissors)
wire cutters (every DIY renovation home has these)
floral wire (left over from a million other projects)
boxwood cuttings (not a problem for reasons I’m about to show you)
This is just ONE of the eight giant boxwood bushes that are planted against my home in the back of my yard. See? I’ve got some trimming to do. For this project, I filled brown grocery bag with clippings around 8” long. It only took one bush and it’s not like I trimmed it down to the ground. It seriously only took the excess growth from one bush. So if you’re thinking I can’t do that. I don’t have giant boxwoods, that’s okay. Even if you have a few small ones, you should be able to get enough excess trimmings to do the job. Boxwoods grow fast, which is what makes them desirable plantings for new home construction. These are 20 years old, but even a five year old bush can be 3 - 5’ tall!
This is seriously so easy. It took me all of twenty minutes to get the look I wanted. TWENTY MINUTES.
Start by taking a long piece of boxwood, “good” side up, and lay it against the frame. Then twist a 6” piece of floral wire around the frame, securing the stem. Repeat at the top of the stem. It doesn’t have to look perfect. This is just your base layer. The idea is to continue this around the entire frame until you have enough floral wire to tuck other pieces into.
Once you have that base layer in place, begin a new layer in your original spot by tucking stems directly into the existing wire, filling in the spaces as you go. Secure with more wire. Now you want to start paying attention to the form of the stems. if any are sticking out at angle you don’t like, simply secure them down with wire. Repeat until the entire frame is covered.
I don’t even have images of this because it moved so quickly. I was done before I even realized it!
I secured it to the door with a command hook. Then I added a piece of fresh holly (thanks to my other yard monster bush).
Just wear gloves when you’re working with holly. There’s a reason they’ve been historically planted under windows. They deter break-ins because their little leaves are like daggers. Take it from my scratch-up hands. Wear gloves.
You can see this wreath is huge. So I felt like it could use a little something extra. I played around with fabric scraps to create this simple bow. It feels very modern farmhouse to me. My mother-in-law would love it!
I actually love the look of it hung horizontally! It provides an unexpected touch to this pretty traditional style. Some extra Christmas tree ornaments also lighten the mood a little, while adding a bit of elegance.
Please pardon these terrible photos. It appears something detrimental has happened to my beloved DSLR.
While I stared at that door, I wondered what it would look like if I popped the mirror back in. I’d planned to use the mirror as a centerpiece on my table arrangement for our Christmas Brunch, so it was sitting on the dining room table. I just popped the wreath over it and - voila - instant glam!
The table was pretty neutral before, but the addition of the boxwood really upped the festive look!
Now who would believe that less than two days ago, this gorgeous centerpiece was a blight on my yard???? Not I, Sally. Not !.
Check out the other great tutorials for more cheap holiday decorating ideas;
Specialy thanks to Meredith at Southbound Blog for inviting me to join this awesome blog hop!
YOU’VE GOT QUESTIONS + I’VE GOT ANSWERS
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