Jars filled with evergreen stems sitting on a white mantel.
Thomas J. Story

Mantel Magic

Vases of varying heights contain conifer sprigs sitting in 1-inch of water. Strips of inch-wide paper ribbon (secured with double-sided tape) wrap the cylinders and serve as plant labels. White votives add soft lighting behind.

Tip: Consult a trusted plant guide if your unsure of plant names.

Evergreen ornaments hanging in front of a window.
Thomas J. Story

Window Ornaments

Add the perfect backdrop to your evergreen ornaments (secured to window frames with pushpins) by giving windows an iced look -- even if you don't live in a frosty climate. Just coat windows with a holiday decorating spray that's easy to clean off with water.

A large decorative bucket filled with bunches of greenery.
Thomas J. Story

Front Entry

Packaged bunches of white pine, Douglas fir, and cedar from a nursery combine in a vintage florist's bucket coated with flat blue acrylic paint. Spiky New Zealand flax leaves and beauty-berries (Callicarpa) add a punch of color.

Champagne glasses filled with water and little branches of evergreens.
Thomas J. Story

Table Statements

Champagne flutes and evergreen sprigs form a centerpiece when interspersed with forest green tea lights in clear votive holders.

Prunings from some junipers stay fresh for a month or more in water. Other short-needled conifers for this use include Arizona cypress, Atlas cedar, Douglas fir, and noble fir.

Large snowflake ornaments hanging from the backs of chairs.
Thomas J. Story

Chair Covers

A trio of snowflake ornaments embellishes the backs of these dining chairs. Send the decorations home as a party favor with each guest. To make the six-pointed cedar version (at left), follow the snowflake ornament directions substituting a third end-to-end pair of sprigs for the single sprig. Decorate the completed snowflake with eucalyptus buds and pods and silvery dusty miller or the serrated leaves of grevillea.

Learn to make these snowflake ornaments.

A pine branch mounted on the wall with ornaments hanging from it.
Sunset, Thomas J. Story

Wall Hanging

Where space is tight for a Christmas tree, mount a shapely pine branch on the wall instead. Attach picture hooks to the wall, and then use flax-colored twine from a craft store to secure the branch to the hooks. Start with more twine than needed and adjust the branch to the desired height. Then decorate the branch with ornaments using ribbon ties and wire hooks.

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