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Nothing can spruce up your home in the winter like fresh boughs of evergreen. Just as the cold weather saps your energy, the scent of balsam fir and incense cedar can revive your senses. Perhaps you’re pining for a new centerpiece or are ready for a real wreath? Tap into your slumbering artistic talent with these crafts fir the whole family!

Give it some personality by choosing the size, the types of tree boughs, and adding ribbon, bells, or balls.

 

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Evergreen Wreath 


Making a great-looking wreath is a lot simpler than you think.
With fresh-cut boughs, real cones, and berries, you can craft a gorgeous display that will last well beyond the holidays. Here are the tools and materials you need, plus the steps to get you there!    

Materials: 

  • Evergreen boughs in combinations of cedar, fir, pine, juniper, oregonia, or spruce. 
  • A wreath form, such as a circular metal form, for mounting the branches.
  • Floral wire, which is a type of green wire used for flower arrangements. 
  • Ornaments like pine cones, berry branches, or other decor to embellish the wreath.  

Tools: 

  • Pruning shears to clip the boughs into size and shape. 
  • Wire cutters to cut the floral wire. 

 

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Steps:

  1. Make evergreen bundles: Make several small bundles of evergreen branches,  wrapping floral wire around the base of each one. You need enough bundles to go around the whole wreath. 
  2. Mount bundles onto wreath form: Tie one end of the spool of floral wire onto one rim of the wreath form. Place one bundle of evergreens lengthwise onto the form, so the branches’ length lies along the circle. Wrap wire around the base until secure. Place a second bundle beside it with the branches lying in the same direction. The open branches of this bundle should cover the base of the previous one. Without cutting the wire, secure this bundle to the form by wrapping the second base in the same direction. Carry on this process until the whole wreath is covered in evergreen bundles. Tie off the wire securely at the end so that the bundles stay in place. 
  3. Add ornaments: Using single strands of wire, attach pine cones around the wreath so that they are sitting on top of the boughs. Poke in sprigs of berries—attaching these with wire is often not necessary. 
  4. Finishing touches: Take a final look at your wreath. Fill any spaces that look sparse and trim any branches that are sticking out. Hang where you see fit! 

 

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Holiday Centerpiece


Like the cornucopia in
fall or the vase of tulips in spring, the evergreen centerpiece is the classic arrangement for your winter dinner table. This one features ribbons, candles, and the evergreen sprigs of your choice. You attach everything to a block of floral foam, which becomes hidden beneath the evergreens once the craft is complete. Here’s how to do it: 

Materials: 

  • Evergreen boughs in a combination of cedar, fir, oregonia, pine, huckleberry, or juniper. 
  • Small container; it can be a shallow plastic dish, preferably green, although the color doesn’t matter as it will be hidden beneath evergreen boughs. 
  • A floral foam block for holding the branches and decorations in place. Cut it into shape so that it fits into your container. 
  • A small piece of chicken wire for securing the floral foam to the container.         
  • Ornaments like red ribbon, three candles, pine cones, and berries.
  • Green wire sticks for securing candles and ornaments into the floral foam.  
  • Floral wire.
  • Floral anchor tape.

Tools: 

  • Scissors
  • Pruning shears 
  • Wire cutters 

 

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Steps: 

  1. Soak and secure the foam: Soak the floral foam in water until saturated. Secure it into the container by wrapping it with chicken wire and then anchor tape. The chicken wire helps the foam keep its shape as you insert the evergreen stems.  
  2. Insert evergreen boughs into foam: Begin by putting two small boughs of the same species and length into each end of the foam closest to the table. They will set the length of your centerpiece. Proceed by inserting two shorter boughs of the same species and length into the two other sides of the block close to the table. They will set the width of your centerpiece. Proceed to insert other branches in the same way so that the design is always symmetrical. Slowly build up from the base to surround the whole foam block. Use your artistic eye to determine the combination of cedar, pine, fir, oregonia, or juniper that you like. The design should have a diamond-like shape, with the four initial branches you set being the longest points. In the end, you shouldn’t be able to see the foam or container below.  
  3. Insert candles: Tape three wire sticks to the base of each candle. Poke each candle into the foam so that they’re securely anchored with no risk of tipping over. 
  4. Attach ornaments: Using wire, attach wire sticks to strips of ribbon, loops of ribbon, and pine cones. Then insert them into the centerpiece where you see fit. If you arrange the ribbon loops symmetrically, it will look like a ribbon is tied into the bundle of boughs, when in reality, it is just short pieces sticking out from each side. 
  5. Finishing touches: With the evergreens, candles, ribbons, and pinecones nicely secured, your centerpiece is finished and ready for display! 

 

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Evergreen Door Swag


The simplest craft on our list is this bundle of evergreens that you can hang on any door or wall.
Give it some personality by choosing the size, the types of tree boughs, and adding ribbon, bells, or balls. You’ll enjoy fresh scents and colors in your home in no time!    

Materials:

  • Evergreen boughs in your choice of spruce, fir, cedar, oregonia, huckleberry, or pine.  
  • Thick ribbon in your choice of color. 
  • Ornaments, including your choice of Christmas balls, bells, holly, pine cones, or berries.  
  • Floral wire or string for securing the evergreen bundle. 

Tools: 

  • Pruning shears for shaping the boughs, if necessary. 
  • Wire cutters or scissors

Steps:

  1. Bundle the boughs: Like the in wreath craft, the first step is to bundle your evergreen boughs together. You can use bigger branches for this one and put them all into one single bundle. 
  2. Attach ornaments: Using string or wire, attach your choice of ornaments amidst the evergreen boughs. 
  3. Attach ribbon: Tie the ribbon in a bow around the base of the bundle, letting the ends hang down with the display. The ribbon should look like it’s holding the whole piece together when in reality, you have string or wire securing everything in place.  
  4. Display: Take a moment to prune away any odd-looking twigs. When all looks well, it’s ready to hang on your door or anywhere you could use a burst of fresh green color! 

Besides the crafts on this list, creating an evergreen planter is another way to tap into the beauty of these trees. For expert tips on the topic, tune into our holiday planter demonstration on November 22, 2020, on Facebook Live. For all other advice, or to pick up fresh evergreen branches of your own, visit our garden centers in Chicagoland. We have selections of noble fir, Fraser fir, balsam fir, silver fir, incense cedar, Port Orford cedar, berried Oregon juniper, white pine, spruce tops, red huckleberry, and oregonia! 

Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier garden center and nursery.

 

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