The holidays may be over, but that doesn’t mean your decorations need to hit the curb. Prevent waste by repurposing your greenery. From your Christmas tree to decorative wreaths and boughs, fresh greenery can be used well into the new year. Here are some ways that I breathe new life into my holiday greenery after the season is over.
Make a Fragrant Potpourri
Maintain a festive scent in your home long after the holidays with homemade potpourri. Cinnamon sticks, orange and lemon rinds, and many other items can be added to a saucepan of water and left to simmer all day on the stove. Potpourri is also a great way to reuse loose needles or clippings from your live Christmas tree. Add other spices and herbs to enhance the fragrance, such as cloves, rosemary, or nutmeg.
Plant Your Christmas Tree
After the holidays are over, bring your live Christmas tree outdoors to extend its usefulness. If you’ve planned ahead and kept the root ball attached, you can plant the tree in the ground, and if not, you can secure it to a post or other support. Christmas trees can be used outdoors to provide a safe habitat for wildlife, such as squirrels, chipmunks, and birds. Your old Christmas tree can also act as a feeding station for backyard critters. Add a bird feeder or leave your holiday popcorn or cranberry garland on the tree for the local wildlife to feast on.
Update a Holiday Wreath
Holiday wreaths are not just limited to the Christmas season. You can use them year-round by updating them for other holidays and seasons. For example, you could add a pink ribbon and some heart décor to a pine or bay leaf wreath for Valentine’s Day. Come Easter, you could update your wreath again with pastel colors and Easter eggs. Remember that you can extend the life of your greenery by soaking it in cold water overnight and spraying it with a plant protectant spray.
Add to Your Compost Pile
Recycle your Christmas tree, wreaths, and boughs by adding them to your compost pile. If you don’t have a compost pile, start one by creating a layer of thin branches that allow airflow at the bottom of the pile. Stack the greenery about six inches high, and then, you’re free to add other compostables, such as kitchen scraps. After several months, your compost can be used as mulch in your garden. You can also put your Christmas tree through a wood chipper to create wood mulch.
Create a Craft or Display
Crafting is a great way to make use of your greenery after the holidays. Cut the trunk of the tree into several sections of various lengths to use as flower pot risers. Create a centerpiece for your table with small branches placed in a long wooden box. Add candles or other décor to your centerpiece if desired. Skinnier tree trunks can be sliced into coasters using a chop saw or miter saw. Any excess wood can be left to dry out and used for firewood to keep you warm until summer.