This year I have enjoyed playing with nature’s elements.

You might remember my pampas grass wreath here, my grapevine wreath decorated with privet berries and colorful leaves here, or my oak leaf branches here.

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.


Woodland Home Decor :: Twiggy Vase and Winterberry :: Christmas Decorating ::


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!


Woodland Home Decor :: Grapevine and Twig Vase ::


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.


Woodland Home Decor :: Twig & Burlap Vase filled with Winterberry :: Holiday Decor ::


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.


Decorating with Twigs and Winterberry :: Holiday Decor ::  Woodland Home Decor


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.


Woodland Home Decor  :: Twiggy Vase & Winterberry ::


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.

Are you enjoying our 12 Days of Christmas series?

I’d love to hear what’s inspiring you.

May your season of Advent be Extraordinary!


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  1. Diane, This is a beautiful arrangement of Winterberry. I will have to check if it will grow in Savannah. We have lots of bog land.
    Your sentiment at the end was so lovely. Thanks.

    • Diane says

      What’s your zone Ginger? I think they grow in zones 3-8. It would be wonderful if you could grow some. 😉
      Thanks too for your encouraging words, too! [hugs]

  2. This is so pretty. Pinning right now 🙂

    • Diane says

      Awwww….thanks Jordan!!!
      See my big smile! 😀

  3. Linda says

    I love your twig vase Diane and the winterberries. I don’t think I could grow them here in Arizona though.

    • Diane says

      Oh my Linda…I bet they don’t grow in dry Arizona. 😉 But, I’m sure you can find some lovely faux one that will last forever. 😉
      Thanks for your kind words…. 🙂
      Wishing you and yours JOY this Christmas!!

  4. Ruth says

    Diane, I live on Winterberry Road but as far as I know there is no winterberries here! Guess they thought the
    name was pretty. Your friend is lucky to have you decorate for her. And everything looks so simple but classy!
    These decorations could last way past Christmas, they could be winter decorations too!! Love your devotions
    on Jesus as well.

    • Diane says

      Ruth…I love the name of your road. In fact, just the name might tempt me to move there if a house were for sale on your street. {wink}
      Yes….I agree…they certainly could and should go beyond Christmas. Personally I enjoy winter decor and prefer to make the adjustment from Christmas gradually.
      Thanks for your kind words.
      Wishing you and yours a blessed and JOYous CHRISTmas!

  5. Gwen says

    Something in your end of the blog touched my spirit. I felt it. Tears welled as you switched to Jesus. And I went back to read What had Diane written so profound ? But I do not know. (This is a unique experience for me.)Today was a hard day emotionally and physically and I’m lying down, praying for a friend’s situation while hurting from my own personal injustice ….not angry, sad. And God has over the months been giving me examples of true friends over and over, who during this season of an even bigger trial, these chosen by God women have shown me sweet and gentle Godly kindness that always points back to every time…Jesus. And then I’m able to be strong to write that letter to that new Mom whose own Mom died just after the baby was born. To encourage her. Show her Jesus type love when SHE is hurting. So who knew that a twiggy vase and winterberry would do all this profound ministry …except God?!!!
    And I love your post. I have a leaved bush with berries that I can strip the leaves and get this same look but our desert won’t be a woodland yet amazingly we have a berry that looks similar! (No not pyracantha !!! The thorns and berries are so poisonous! ). So pretty this looks!!! Thank you for all the inspiration.

    • Diane says

      Gwen…my heart hurts for you. I’m so sorry that you had such a difficult day. Big Hugs sweet friend.
      How wonderful that God is blessing you with his daughters to bless and minister to you. God is sooo good.
      Who knew…a twiggy vase and winterberry would be a tool today? It’s humbling Gwen. I praise God that he could use even this.

      How fun that you have a similar plant/bush to use. I hope you can have fun with it and create a bright spot in your home. Thanks for your kind words. Keeping you in my prayers. [hugs]

  6. Love it! I’ve been thinking about making one for my living room for all year round. Thanks for sharing- Andrea @

    • Diane says

      I think it would be perfect all year round. Let me know if you do make one and share it on your blog, Andrea. 🙂

      Wishing you an extraordinary Christmas!

  7. Mel says

    Very cute–and if you’d not told me no vase was underneath–whoa known! Clever you!
    I rather like the idea of the winterberry drying, provided they stay on the branches. LOL I can’t say I’m familiar with the ‘bush’ but we have several trees that have the red berries–the birds love ’em and I enjoy them feasting.
    Your friend must love the bits of winter warmth you bring into her home, probably as much as you love bringing them in for her.

    • Diane says

      Awww..thanks Mel!! The winterberry does stay on the branches for the most part. It does like to be bumped around a bunch though. I think you can bring in any red berry as long as it’s a hard berry and not a soft one. Soft ones turn to mush. :-/ I also enjoy rose hips…they grow wild everywhere and bring a darker duskier red to an arrangement of greens.
      My friend and I belong to the mutual admiration society. I think maybe you are already a member. 😉

  8. Love it!
    I just seen that you are in Southern Michigan, me too 🙂
    Hello Neighbor 🙂

    • Diane says

      Hey!! We’ll have to compare notes on location. 😉

  9. Athena at Minerva's Garden says

    I love your twiggy vase with the winterberry–so festive!

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much Athena!! It makes my heart sing too!

  10. Jenny says

    I love your winterberry – it looks great! Merry Christmas!

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much Jenny!! There is something about that winterberry that makes my heart sing! 🙂

      Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas!!

  11. You have such a nack of creating beautiful natural things. I’ve lived in Michigan most of my life and never seen winterberry. Would the berries still be on the bushes? Your vase is just beautiful, as is your Noel wreath. Thank you for sharing them at to What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a Merry Christmas!


    • Diane says

      Awww…thanks, Deborah! I do enjoy making things from nature’s gifts. 🙂 And thank you for your warm encouragements.
      Providing someone has gone and cut them all down…you should still be finding the winterberry bushes. 🙂

      Wishing you and yours a happy and blessed Christmas!

  12. Tania says

    How beautiful! I love the vase and what a great idea for all the branches that are blown out of my trees in all our lovely windstorms here.


    • Diane says

      You’ve got it Tania! Half my branches came to me in exactly that way. [wink]
      Thanks for the kind words and for popping by.
      Wishing you the merriest of Christmases!


  1. […] a lot about it, it just may be why I enjoy adding natural elements to my home at Christmas as I did here and […]

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