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Welcome greensA couple of weeks ago I invited some local bloggers to come out for a sneak peek of our Gifts & Greens event and a crafty afternoon at the Arboretum.

We enjoyed coffee (thanks to Zoka Coffee Roasters!) and mimosas, and played with holiday greens. I showed them several quick and simple ways to use greens in decor, on the table or on gift packages.

I know that Christmas is nearly upon us, but there’s still time to do some holiday crafting with what you have handy in your yard and home!

Here’s ten ways to use fresh greens for last-minute holiday decorating:

Gift Giving:

1. Use fresh greens and ribbons to decorate packages as I have done on these swag bags above. Just tie a bunch with a lovely ribbon to a bag or package. Check out Patty’s Utopia blog for more photos highlighting other packages I did.

For the food lover on your list, at her Gifts & Greens Galore demo, local entertaining expert Alexandra Hedin also showed us how to make fresh mini rosemary wreaths to tie as decor onto packages -They smell so good and have a purpose in cooking after the recipient opens the gift!

You can look at my tutorial from last year to learn how to make these! I made them for chair decorations last year and then sent them home as a little parting favor for my guests.

2. This fun floating candle in a jar is so fast to put together.

Floating Candle Hostess Gift

Even the kids can help with this one!

Floating candle craft

It would make for a special hostess gift (or just for a decoration in your own home!)

floating candle craft

For a step-by-step how-to, check out Feeling Crafty’s blog post. She did a great job of showing how to put these together!

Holiday Decor:

Centerpiece

3. For a nice centerpiece, place one large Magnolia leaf (or a cutting of 3-4 leaves) in a large candle holder with a white pillar candle. Place on a tray and surround with small glasses filled with cuttings and then decorate with small ball ornaments or bells tied with string.

4. Top candlestick holders of varying sizes, heights and materials with a single pine cone and group them or line them down your table.

5. For another centerpiece idea, fill a bowl with glass Christmas balls and stuff sprigs of greenery in between the ornaments. A glass bowl works wonderfully here to show off the contrast in colors between the balls and the greens. You can also add a couple of candle stick holders flanking each side of the bowl  – place one cutting and one ornament on top of each.

Table settings

6. To quickly add some fresh greenery to your holiday decor, simply fill vases with several cuttings from your yard as I have done in the steel containers above. Don’t over think this – it is meant to look natural! But it’s beautiful! Right? This took no more than two minutes!

Tulips & Greens

7. I always have tulips in a vase in my home at the Holidays – it’s very traditional in Scandinavian countries. This year I upgraded this look by adding cedar branches to the vases with white and red tulips – I just love how it turned out!

For the Table:

8. At each place setting use a large single leaf like a Magnolia, between a clear glass plate and charger.

9. Use baker’s twine to tie a sprig of evergreen to a folded napkin and place on each plate.

Place setting

10. Love this star place setting! Simply form a star shape from florist wire – or any wire – and wrap with greenery. Top with a handmade name card and place at each setting.

(Rachel from Small Steps on our Journey and Dawn from Not Just a Mommy were a couple of other bloggers in attendance at our preview and also have some great pictures from the event!)

How are you using greens in your holiday decor?

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