Natural holiday decor, part 1

 Yesterday, I got together with several friends to make decorative holiday items using natural materials from our gardens. We made wreaths, centerpieces, candle arrangements, gifts and so on.

If you've been following my blog for a long time, you know that I bring up this topic each year as the holiday season approaches. That's because it is my hope you will get inspired to do something along these lines as well.

This time, a friend of mine hosted the gathering. She has a nursery business so had gone to a wholesaler to pick up small plants and decorative containers at a low cost for us to use. Each of us brought cuttings of different types of plants from our gardens: pine, cedar, fir and spruce prunings; branches with berries on them (Beautyberry, Hawthorne, Mountain Ash, etc.); Salal and sheet moss from the coast; red-twig Dogwood branches; and pinecones. All of these natural materials were for us to share with each other.

Carol, our hostess, made a crockpot full of chili and had coffee, tea and cider for us to enjoy. The rest of us brought soup, salads, scones, homemade bread, cookies and other yummy foods. I mean, after all, food should play an important role in the gathering, right? Carol also had Christmas music playing in the background to put us in the mood.

Each of us also brought supplies for projects we specifically had in mind like ribbons, ornaments, seedpods, wreath forms, floral wire, pruners, baskets and other containers.

My friends were camera-shy, which I completely respect, but I did take photos of various projects in the works. Everything turned out so beautifully. You would think they were items you'd purchase (for big bucks, I might add) at a store but everything was handmade by the group. Each item was quite simple to make. Our shared lunch was delicious and we all had an absolutely delightful visit with each other!

Because I took several photos, I'm dividing them up between two posts so be sure to look at the post above this one. I hope this inspires you to make holiday items for your home or to give as gifts! If you have any questions, just drop me a note at or write a comment on this post.

Also, if you are curious to read what I've made in past years, here are a couple of posts: Holiday decor and Make your own Christmas wreath.