Here’s a look at some of the holiday decorating and wreaths I made for 2021. I will do a second post with all the wreaths from this year.
If you’ve been reading my blog or seen my Instagram, you’ll know that I love making wreaths and using fresh material to decorate.
We try to limit how much stuff we store in bins so using fresh greens that go into the yard waste at the end of season does the trick…and bonus smells good too! The only place I use artificial is for a staircase garland.
I started early with making boxwood wreaths to hang in our windows with greens clipped from our yard and silk ribbons that I made (available in my Etsy shop).
Boxwood will last a good 6-8 weeks indoors, especially if it gets some moisture from fogged up windows.
I cut branches off some of our trees and shrubs to make “trees” in the front planters, indoors and as out Christmas tree.
I have tried potted trees in the past but they need to be maintained all year so instead I use branches. That way, at the end of season to the yard waste they go.
Benefits of using branches instead of trees:
No trees wasted
Less maintenance than a potted tree
Nothing plastic and bulky that needs to be stored.
Front Door Decor
The front porch area changed in the Spring with the One Room Challenge when I added seating. For winter I made a new pillow cover …maybe we’ll have a cup of hot chocolate here on a mild day.
The front door set up is similar to last year. I start setting it up in November with a winter look and then add some sparkle in December near Christmas.
After the holidays, I remove the sparkle and keep this display for the rest of winter. I added battery powered tiny lights to the trees that add a glow to the trees for the 3 pm sunset.
For the past few years I have been selling wreaths locally in December. I will share more pictures of the ones I made this year in another blog post.
To see more photos of the outdoor decorating I have a few Reels on my Instagram to get a more detailed look.
Here’s a look at some of the decorating I did for our home this year as well as the wreaths I made. Pine from the yard was the main green used, I had been waiting for months to do some strategic tree trimming.
I started with pine that I cut from a bush out front. I kept the trees simple and saved decorating them until December.
From early November until mid December it is wreath making time! I love making them and sell them locally during this time.
This was boxwood clipped from our yard that became a wreath for above the kitchen window as it is long lasting and doesn’t drop needles.
This was the annual giant wreath that I make to hang behind the kitchen table and bring in that Christmas scent. It’s hard to tell here but the wreath is 3 feet wide and very heavy. It is made with spruce so it has a short indoor shelf life.
At the front area of the house is this corner where I keep extra material and wreaths before they are picked up.
Once it was December I added some baubles to the trees and a bow to the front door wreath just before Christmas. I like to extend the season and gradually decorate.
These Baby Blue Eucalyptus wreaths are one of my favourites because they smell incredible and are long lasting.
This year I was able to cut 5 branches long enough to be mini Christmas trees.
This was the other big (by our standards) Christmas tree.
Here’s another reminder of the transformative power of paint. More on this kitchen makeover from last year can be found here.
Making wreaths & decorating for the holidays using greenery from the yard has become a major passion of mine in recent years. I like to try something different each year using what I have available outside or foraged and then I usually add one element that is bought – like Eucalyptus.
Here is a look at our Newmarket home decked out for the holidays in 2018 using Blue Spruce from our yard as the base.
This beautiful, mature Blue Spruce supplied greenery every year that I filled the house with – I can’t believe in our first year living here that I was buying boughs of pine when I had this readily available.
I save all pruning until November and December now so that I will have plenty of material for decorating. In the case of this tree, I actually found that it grew more small boughs thanks to all of the small cutting done each winter.
I also made a 15 foot garland using the Blue Spruce by wrapping it around our Christmas lights making it an easier job to create. This went over the garage door.
The base of the wreath is made on a wire frame and then I added some dried silver dollar Eucalyptus I’d saved from something else I’d made in the summer. The pinecones I collected with my kids when out on walks.
The picture frame moulding made the perfect display area to hang a sash that I sewed from some silk look material I had. Since we choose not to have a large Christmas tree I think I tend to over compensate with fresh wreaths and garlands!
A detail of this table trestle leg – have you seen what it looked like before in this Apartment Therapy feature? It was a big project to refinish the table but so worth it.
Here’s a glimpse at the front of the house with the garland. There is a post showing how this garage door looked before it was painted here.
There is a tutorial on making a fresh wreath like this one here. Also instructions on this shiplap wall can be found here.
This weekend I’m planning to start some of my holiday wreath making using the pine and boxwood that we have in our current yard. I started some clipping last weekend with this simple branch. The wreaths here were made with driftwood I collected in the summer and this fireplace got a paint update last year.
If you follow me on Instagram I have created a hashtag #shibangwreaths to catalogue some of my wreath projects over the years. There’s a lot that doesn’t make it to my blog but it is on my Instagram @shibangdesigns.
This post from December 2017 about making a Fresh Eucalyptus Wreath has been getting lots of traffic lately so I am adding a new version to the post.
Now that I’ve made 3 versions with different varieties I will share what I’ve learned in case you are thinking of giving it a try this year.
I made that first wreath using seeded Eucalyptus on a 10″ wire frame. It dried out nicely and lasted about 3 months until the green started to turn a bit brown.
I saved the wreath and the following year I took it apart and used the dried leaves as an accent in my holiday wreath mixed with evergreens (as pictured below).
This summer I came across a large bunch of Eucalyptus in the grocery store and couldn’t pass up the chance to try to make a wreath out of it.
It was a bit tricky to work with and my hands were all sticky but the house smelled so good. I also added some lavender from our garden. I used the same process as for the other wreathes linked above.
These photos were taken in November. The wreath has dried out very nicely, doesn’t drop leaves and has kept it’s colour.
And since I love making wreaths, here’s another one I made last year. This was with seeded Eucalyptus and lavender and it stood up well to a cold Toronto winter out on the front door. Again I didn’t take pictures of the process because I was making it late at night but it was the same process as in my original Fresh Eucalyptus Wreath Tutorial.
Since I love making these wreaths I ordered several bunches of a variety of Eucalyptus and sold these wreaths locally. Here are a few process photos.
Baby Blue Eucalyptus dries well and lasts more than a year.
If you’ve been following along on Instagram or previous blog posts, I’ve been sharing glimpses into my staircase makeover. The wall had been painted for two years, waiting for moulding and thanks to Metrie it has become a reality. There was no major renovation involved. I broke down the steps, starting with painting the walls & staircase spindles, refinishing the banister and finishing with chair rail and panel moulding that starts at the front entry and continues to the upstairs hallway. The painting and refinishing had a lot of impact, but it wasn’t until I added the moulding that the staircase became a strong feature.
This was a big learning curve for me, but it’s not impossible, it just takes patience and attention to detail. It’s amazing to see how much dimension the moulding brings, and it makes this formerly overlooked space seem larger. Immediately after finishing I made a fresh garland to dress up the staircase since it’s now a main focal point and I was feeling the holiday spirit.
This is the view from the main floor.
That’s the kitchen off to the right.The view from the kitchen.The moulding continuing through the front hallway.
This is a reminder of what it looked like when we first moved in and what I did to get here.
With this project now completed I definitely have my eye on some other plain walls in the house that could benefit from some architectural elements. Are you thinking about adding some moulding to your home? If so, I have shared my process with lots of photos in the blog posts below.