Trash to Treasure

One of the things I love the most about the Christmas season is that even ordinary things get a festive makeover.  I love Christmas carols on the radio, paper plates decorated with holly, my dish towels with “Joy to the World” written on them, big red bows on vehicle bumpers, and the Mary and Baby Jesus postage stamps I used to mail my bills today. 

I would love to decorate every nook and cranny of my home for Christmas.  So what is a girl to do if she doesn’t want to shell out her hard earned dollars to pull off such a feat?  Be resouceful, of course!  Here is a cheap and cheerful way to use oridinary “trash” to create a festive “treasure.”

Homemade Christmas Wreath

Required supplies:

1.  Heavy gauge wire of some sort to serve as the backbone of the wreath. 

I chose to use barbed wire because it is readily available around here. 

This particular pile came from an old fence that Brandon tore out and replaced last summer.  It is bound for the scrap metal recycling plant…someday.  I hope that he doesn’t miss the four foot chunk I borrowed for this project.

2.  Enough evergreen clipping to fill a tall kitchen sized trash bag.

My evergreen of choice is cedar because it is considered an invasive species our area of New Mexico.  The average mature cedar tree consumes about 32 gallons of water per day.  Considering our annual rainfall is only 14 inches, we do not need any encroaching cedar trees snitching water from the grass that feeds the cattle, that feeds the ranchers, who feed the world.  Come to think of it, this exhibition of yuletide noxious weed control is really a humanitarian effort!  Much to the dismay of my natural resource conserving husband and the folks at www.peopleagainstcedars.com, no cedars were actually eradicated in the making of this Christmas wreath. 

3.  Pliers and lightweight wire such as floral wire.

However, twist ties from bread sacks would work just fine if you want to be really frugal.

4.  1 strand of Christmas lights.

I bought these for $1 at an after Christmas sale last year so I am including them in the ‘free’ supplies category for this year’s wreath.

Author’s Note:  Flatbed pickup is optional on the list of supplies but it does make for an excellent work surface.  Thanks, Brandon!

Now lets start building!

First, wrap the ends of your heavy wire around each other to form a loop.

Please ignore my poor exhibition of fencing abilities.  My excuse is that I didn’t want to go in the house to get my leather gloves because I didn’t want to risk waking my napping babies which would bring my wreath making time to a screeching halt.  So you might want to add leather work gloves to your list of supplies if you are working with stiff, old, barbed wire and or have sleeping babies…

Next, begin attaching individual cedar clippings to the loop of wire using the lighter weight wire.

Once the entire loop is covered with one layer of cedar it will look something like this:

A little puny, don’t you think?  Let’s fix that.

Next, wrap the strand of Christmas lights all around the entire wreath.

Then add another layer of cedar in the same fashion as the inital layer, wiring each clipping individually.  Take care to cover the unsightly electrical wires of the lights and any obvious bare wood branches of the cedar clippings in the first layer.

The finished product will look something like this:

Of course, any additional accents such as ribbon or ornaments would make this wreath even more festive but in keeping with my “Trash to Treasure” theme, I chose to keep mine simple.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good…day!

Becky

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2 comments on “Trash to Treasure

  1. Laura W. says:

    I didn’t know you had a blog. I will be adding this to the blogs I read regularly. Love your idea of using what you have. I saw another blog that used barbed wire and beads to make a super cute wreath.

  2. Tanya says:

    Wonderful Becky! I love and miss you! Merry Christmas to you!

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