This year I have enjoyed playing with nature’s elements.
These are all items that get pruned, raked up, composted, or burned. But for me, they have been a treasure for creating woodland home decor.
Winterberry is my new favorite for Christmas decor.
Actually it isn’t a new favorite, it’s just that Michigan has more wetlands than either New York or Pennsylvania where I lived for the past 13 years, and it’s been that long since I’ve decorated with it. When I lived in West Michigan, I used to collect my winterberry from the same spot each year near a blueberry field. Then we called it Michigan Holly. This year, in Southern Michigan, I discovered a marsh that is filled with the bright red berries. Happy days for me!
In the fall, I created a twiggy vase to be an accent on the mantel over which I hung my pampas grass wreath. There I filled it with peacock feathers. So, for Christmas, I knew winterberry would give me just the bit of woodland home decor I wanted.
The twiggy vase was super easy to create.
Here’s how it went together:
- I used some black poster board I had and rolled it to create a tube, securing the lapped end with tape and hot glue.
- A variety of sticks and grapevine were cut to the same length and hot glued around the tube to form the decorative twiggy vase.
- You’ll notice that I left as much of the grapevine tendrils as possible for interest.
- To give the vase more interest, I added a strip of wide burlap ribbon which I folded in a lapped fashion. It was secured to the twiggy vase with a bit of hot glue.
- I then cut several strands of jute the same length and tied them over the burlap on the vase in a simple knot.
I’d like to make another vase, but make a few significant changes:
- Instead of making a poster board tube, I would actually use a real vase so that I could weight it with small stones and add water if I wished. The winterberry berries will shrivel without water. They’ll still look fine, though they will darken some. Given water to drink…they’ll look better for the long haul. Plus I won’t have to worry about them falling over.
- I might consider spray painting the glass a dark color so that it won’t be seen. It’s difficult to cover it perfectly since twigs are irregular by nature. That’s what made the black poster board ideal.
Because my winterberry was a little top heavy for my twiggy vase, I actually wired a branch to the mirror. You can’t see it, but it keeps the arrangement from toppling over. Of course, I had to inform all members of the household of my “trick” as it can’t be moved, now.
What ways have you been decorating with nature lately?
What’s the most unusual element of nature you have used in your decor?
Woodland home decor surprisingly goes well with most decorating styles. Maybe it’s because elements from nature bring life to a space. I think they even serve to help us relax a bit. I’m grateful that my friend is allowing me to introduce it in her home for Christmas.
If you’re a fan of winterberry and don’t have any wetlands nearby, you can actually plant some in a low/wet spot in your yard. I’m an Amazon affiliate.* Any purchase you make through the following links will provide me a small commission. Here are two interesting varieties of winterberry: ‘Berry Poppins’ Winterberry Holly and Berry Heavy® Winterberry – Ilex – Proven Winner.
The beauty of woodland home decor is that it can be very seasonal without looking like you just came from the box store or the mall. Plus, it’s very inexpensive if you have access to the materials. If you are short on time or can’t go tromping along the byways, visit your local high end garden shop. Often they have similar materials ready for you to make up yourself or will do it for you.
Another reason for choosing to decorate for Christmas in the woodland home decor style is that it reminds me of the humble life that Jesus led. Though he was born King of kings, from his birth in a stable, to walking the countryside with his disciples, Jesus spent his time where the people were, not in some palatial edifice. His interest was not appearances….but the heart.
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