Photo by Hannah Mariah

Most places that sell Christmas trees have piles of tree branches available for free in all shapes, sizes and tree varieties. And we’re not talking scrawny little Charlie Brown tree branches. I’ve found hearty boughs that make for simple, yet elegant, holiday décor.

Hanging an unadorned swag lends a nice change of pace from mass-produced decorations. But if you prefer more adornment, use hooks or floral wire to attach inexpensive ornaments to your swag, like pine cones, bay leaves, cranberries, holly berries, or even ribbon and raffia. You can also “gild” your boughs with a quick touch of metallic spray paint.

Photo by Perry Correll
Photo by Perry Correll

If you’re really industrious, grab a bunch of branches and pick up an inexpensive wire wreath form (they come in various sizes and are often on sale this time of year) and green floral wire at your local craft store. Trim the branches so you have mostly greenery, and begin placing each branch on the wreath form, wrapping it with wire. Continue this process until you are satisfied with the wreath’s fullness.

Sometimes less is more, but if you want a robust wreath, don’t hold back. It might take a while longer to complete, but the results will be truly “wow” wreath-worthy!