Eco-Friendly Christmas Decor – Make a Cranberry Garland

decorate treeIf you’re interested in making a small step toward a more eco-friendly Christmas, try making a cranberry garland. It’s a natural decoration that can be used to embellish the tree or mantle, and once the holidays are over it can hang outside for the birds to enjoy. An eco-friendly garland is easy to make. You can accomplish the task alone on a cozy winter evening, or center a party around a cranberry theme. Engaging friends and family in the process of creating something festive builds warm holiday memories. Think about hosting a simple holiday party by sitting out bowls of cranberries and popcorn and letting everyone join in the fun. Guests could make small napkin or candle rings to take home as favors, or everyone could join in making garlands to give to a nearby retirement center.

Whether making one or several eco-friendly garlands, begin by gathering the appropriate ingredients. Most importantly, use either firm, fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries. If you use thawed berries the results will be messy. Popcorn is a great addition to add texture and variation, just make sure that you use popcorn that is completely plain. Stale popcorn, unsalted and unbuttered is the best to work with because the kernels are less likely to fall apart. Next, you need thread and a large-eyed needle.

There are options for the thread depending on your preference. The most eco-friendly choice is organic cotton thread, which can be purchased in the sewing department of most retailers. Another option is waxed dental floss. The waxed coating speeds the process of stringing the berries, so if you have children participating this might be a good choice. Just remember that if you place the dental floss garland outside for the birds, it should be removed and disposed of once our feathered friends are finished feasting on the treats.

You will need two buttons or beads (preferably made of wood), and you’ll begin by cutting your thread the desired length and tying the button or bead to the end to make a stop. Then thread your needle with the other end of the length of the thread and begin piercing frozen cranberries, stringing them onto the line one at a time. If you are incorporating popcorn, simply thread through the center of the kernel. Simple garlands offer a classic appeal, but there are obviously many variations depending on your decor or holiday theme. Other natural embellishments include whole cinnamon sticks (which can be threaded through their opening in the center of the stick), dried apple or orange slices, and raisins.

Thread the elements that you select and knot the end of the thread to finish. Complete the garland by tying another button or bead at the end. You’re now ready to wrap your creation around the tree, decorate an evergreen wreath, or perhaps brighten up the mantle. For photo and video illustrations, visit natural mindset. Then, enjoy admiring your efforts and know that you are not only brightening your little corner of the world, but the planet as a whole.

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