For most of us, this time of year gets chaotic and very busy with school programs, shopping, family gatherings, and other community engagements. This season while you are getting in the holiday spirit and searching for inexpensive ways to decorate, don’t forget look in nature for a mass of free options!


There are of TON of decorations just outside your door…

Collecting grape vines to weave into wreaths with other embellishments is a great decoration for your front door!

Get the family outside on a pleasant afternoon for a walk or short hike and see how many different items you can collect and convert into festive decorations. Grapevines can be twisted into wreaths, swags, or trees and embellished with holly and lights for a seasonal touch. Natural branches, pine cones, sweet gum pods, and acorns or other nuts look terrific in mason jars lined up on a mantle. You can even paint these trinkets of nature with a holiday color scheme like silver and gold for a more elegant appearance. If you decide not to use paint to dress up your items, you can always use them for another purpose this winter, such as turning pine cones into bird feeders with some peanut butter and birdseed!


Buying a fresh cut tree?

If you trim any branches off the tree, keep them to tuck into vases, pitchers, or urns to dress up a porch outside or any corner inside the house! If you have holiday parties to attend and want to make hostess gifts, simply combine some pine cones and evergreen branches for the perfect jolly centerpiece. Maybe you still have those milkweed pods that you forgot to bring in to our office for the annual collection. The fluff inside the pods is excellent to use as snow tufts to finish off decorating!


Go on the hunt to re-purpose…

This is also a great time to go through your storage areas on the hunt for items to re-purpose. Mason jars or other glass containers make great vases, and aluminum cans are easily dressed up with ribbon or decorative paper to hold votive candles. Break up old CDs or DVDs into pieces and then use them to create ornaments with a mosaic mirror appearance. If you inherited some embroidery hoops from grandma that you don’t know what to do with, why not use them as a wreath form or a frame for the kids’ holiday artwork!

Search through your cabinets and attics to find old things that can be re-purposed into new decorations!


The possibilities are only limited by the stretches of your imagination. Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, you can enjoy the free family fun of a scavenger hunt challenge to find items inside or outside for your decorations. Maybe this will become a new holiday tradition for your family to look forward to each year!

About Mandy Brause

Being part of something bigger has always been a driving force within what motivates me in life. Finding ways to inspire people to realize the reward and satisfaction that results from working cooperatively toward a common goal is exciting for me. I genuinely enjoy the way of life that family operated farming provides and look forward to working with Seneca County family farms!

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