if we were to put ourselves into groups, I’d be in the one appropriately titled: here for all things christmas! I know my sentiments aren’t shared by all. I won’t force tinsel, twinkle lights + peppermint hot cocoa on every unsuspecting passersby. just anyone who walks through our front door. for example, you’ll find a christmas movie (if it’s up to me: hallmark) continuously playing which is where I got the inspiration for 4 ideas to deck your outdoor trees.
on screen, I watched a holiday-baking-like scene unfold. kids and adults alike creating and decorating their outdoor spruce trees. it was magical. I quickly turned to the husband and exclaimed: WE’RE DOING THAT THIS YEAR!
4 ideas to deck your outdoor trees
the trees looked beautiful covered in handmade decorations from nature. but besides being aesthetically pleasing, the decor doubles as food for the wildlife. our backyard meets native prairies. they are there to support + encourage wildlife in our suburban neighborhood. inspired by this, we transformed a corner of our yard into a wildflower garden this year. it became a space where the birds, bees + butterflies could roam free. to continue into winter with that inspiration, we decked our outdoor trees.
dried citrus garland
for the garland, I used a sewing needle + fishing line. I went a little crazy with the dried orange garland. it’s just so vibrant + beautiful. I made A LOT. in addition to decorating our outdoor tree, I used dried oranges in wreaths, garland + centerpieces throughout our home. the how to recipe I used can be found on the ginger home. it says 5-6 hours in the oven at 250°, ours was closer to 7-8 hours.
at the start + end of the garland, I wrapped and tied the fishing line around a cinnamon stick. it was much easier to find the ends of our garland, plus it just adds something festive.
dried apple garland
I was so excited about the dried orange garland, I just kept going. no fruit was safe in our house. the apples took much less time to dry, probably closer to the 5 hour mark. the end result isn’t as vibrant as the orange, but I assume equally (or more) favorable for the wildlife.
popcorn + cranberry garland
it’s fair to say I went overboard with the popcorn + cranberry garland too. it’s wrapped around the christmas tree in our living room, but the first strand was actually for the birds. more fishing line + a sewing needle for this project. I popped a lot of plain popcorn and picked up two bags of cranberries (for $.99 a piece at aldi).
this project is best completed in comfy clothes, while watching a cheesy hallmark christmas movie. or in a minivan, traveling two hours from grandma + grandpa’s house to home. or that’s what I did.
birdseed pinecone ornaments
to make these birdseed pinecone ornaments, you’ll need: twine (or string), pinecones, peanut butter, and loose birdseed. we had everything, but the pinecones, so the toddler + I set off on a “pinecone adventure”. we wandered our neighborhood, collecting pinecones that had fallen from the pine trees. once home, I hot glued twine loops to the top of each pinecone. the littles were prepped with a plate of peanut butter + one with birdseed.
they rolled their pinecones (+ little fingers) in peanut butter until well coated. from there, they dipped, rolled + tossed birdseed on. we made quite a few of these in anticipation of them being the most popular menu item, for the birds.
with the extra time we spent at home this year, we planted four trees in our backyard; three arborvitae and a blue spruce. the three arborvitae border our deck to the south, and due to the proximity to our house (I assume) aren’t visited too often by birds. so, we opted to just decorate our real-life christmas tree, the cute blue spruce growing in our backyard.
the littles loved string the garland around the tree. they carefully selected the branches important enough to hold a birdseed ornament. the littlest would then take the ornament off the tree and hand it back to dad. this continued on for quite awhile. eventually we all convinced parker to put + keep the ornaments on the tree. through giggles, cheers + celebratory high fives, we made our little blue spruce an extra festive outdoor christmas tree.
learn from our mistakes
+ if you have a dog that has ANY interest in peanut butter, keep the pinecone ornaments out of reach.
our dog loves peanut butter. it was foolish of me to think she’d stay away, or that the birdseed would be enough to persuade her from consuming them. I was wrong. she had a mini-feast. thankfully she is okay and a few ornaments were spared.
and a new holiday tradition was born
I am a sucker for traditions. it could be the predictability, the visual representation of time, the anticipation of a beloved activity, the excitement + joy. alllll of it. the first christmas the husband + I spent together, we had a gingerbread house competition. that was eleven years ago. it’s remained a favorite holiday tradition. made slightly less competitive with the addition of two adorable little assistants.
this, the decking of our outdoor trees, will be another holiday tradition.