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Green Christmas: Christmas Door Decoration Ideas
Christmas door decorations offer a traditional greeting to loved ones and guests. Your front door is the portal that sets a welcoming mood. This year, make your door decoration ecofriendly, with a homemade door swag, wreath or garland.
The spirit of a green Christmas brings life-affirming generosity to your home -- the generosity that considers the environment, preserving habitats for wildlife -- and the quality of our air, water, soil and food. By reducing the use of Christmas lights you save energy and money. And by displaying door decorations created from natural materials, you help to reduce carbon emissions and waste.
Save money on this year's Christmas decorating. Make door decorations from yard trimmings, Christmas ornaments you already have, and common, reusable supplies such as wire and cloth ribbon for green Chrismas décor. Making your own Christmas decorations offers quiet -- or festive -- time in your home, bonding with loved ones, and creating memories to share and treasure.
Fruit Decorated Wreath
Christmas Door Decoration Types
A Christmas wreath remains a popular choice for door decorating. Usually a circle, wreaths in other shapes, such as ovals, stars or hearts also adorn doors at the holidays. This makes a good project for green Christmas decorating -- you can use materials you have on hand, such as greenery from your yard, wire, ornaments and ribbon.
A door swag is a spray of branches or other plant material, such as holly, fastened together and decorated. It hangs with the cut ends at the top, and often sports a bow, Christmas ornaments or pine cones.
A garland can drape over the top of the door and hang down each side, often in a smile shape. Any kind of evergreen works for a garland, although young, bendable branches are the easiest to work with and give the most graceful effect when you drape it over the door. If you make a garland, hang it high enough so tall visitors won't run into it. As with the instructions for making a door swag below, a homemade Christmas garland only requires bendable wire and greenery. You can also make a garland out of an unexpected material, such as a feather boa. That makes you green, thrifty and stylishly festive. Add a few bells and you're all set for a green Christmas door decoration.
Christmas Door Decorations
Christmas Door Decoration Materials
Berry branches, such as holly
Grapevine or other flexible plant material for a wreath form, optional
1-inch or 2-inch cloth ribbon
Decorations such as Christmas ornaments, action figures, small stuffed animals, pine cones, pears, costume jewelry
How to Make a Christmas Door Swag
- Cut three evergreen branches 18 to 36 inches long, depending on the desired size of the swag. Arrange the branches on your work surface so the branches overlap and fan out, with the middle branch longer than the other two.
- Wrap wire around the branches 3 to 4 inches from the cut ends.Wrap the wire firmly, three to four times. Twist the wire around itself three times to secure it.
- Form a 2-inch loop out of the wire's loose end at the back of the swag. Twist the wire with the beginning end of the wire to hold the loop in place. Cut off the excess wire.
- Add a spray of holly or a branch of pine cones in the center of the swag for color and texture, if desired. Alternatively, add three Christmas ornaments. String the ornaments together by running a wire through the hanging loop on the top of each ornament, twisting the wire into a loop and wrapping the two loose ends of the wire around the top of the door swag over the first wire. This displays the ornaments in a cluster. Alternatively, wire and action figure, stuffed animal or Christmas toy such as a Santa to the door swag.
- Tie a bow around the wire holding the door swag together, leaving the loop in the back uncovered for hanging the door swag.
Large Christmas Door Swag
Door Decor Resources
- Holiday Decorating With Fresh Greenery : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina
Lists popular greenery options for making Christmas decorations, including the characteristics of each.
- University of Vermont: Door Décor
The increasing popularity of door décor -- door decorations for Christmas and other reasons.
Christmas Door Decoration Tips
Fruit, spices and other attractive plant materials add color and texture to a homemade wreath. Apples, cherries, holly and real cinnamon sticks adorn the Christmas wreath in the top photograph. Other wreathes on this page include colorful peppers, different kind tree cones, berries, big bows made from reusable cloth ribbon -- all inexpensive ideas for green Christmas décor.
Hardy fresh herbs, such as rosemary and bay, work well in door decorations. In general, plants with woody stems resist wilting longer than plants with softer stems. For example, basil and parsley aren't suitable for door decorations because they wither quickly after they're cut.
Avoid using fabrics or decorations that are fragile or that aren't color-fast on door décor that's exposed to the elements. For example, delicate angels or heirloom Christmas decorations might be damaged by wind, and certain red fabrics or ribbons might bleed dye in the rain and leave stains. Dabbing at the fabric or ribbon with a damp white rag will show if the dye bleeds. If you see pink on the rag, the item isn't color-fast.
Use evergreen decorations for outdoor decorating. These tree branches are flammable and can pose a serious fire risk indoors.
Many Christmas berries, including holly and mistletoe, are toxic. Keep them out of the reach of children and pets.
Author's Note: Green Christmas: Christmas Door Decoration Ideas
I grew up with creative women. My mother and grandmother each had many skills and great creativity. They made Christmas scenes, homemade decorations, handmade gifts -- their creations were heartfelt, enhanced the home, created lasting memories -- and saved money for the family. They're both gone now, and this series of articles honors the values and skills they gave me. Because of all the things I learned from them, I can create an attractive environment using flowers and plants I grow. My work as a floral designer and home furnishings consultant came out of an early appreciation for color, line and spatial relationships that I learned at home.
I hope some of you who read this will share your creative gifts with people you love -- and take time to make things with people you care about during the holidays. Time passes so quickly -- and it's the things we share that give us the memories that sustain us when things aren't as bright.
For kids' projects or as an alternative to wire, you can use fishing line, string or twine to tie evergreen branches for garlands. Making a loop out of the tying material makes a garland, swag or wreath easy to hang. Save wreath forms to use next year.
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Trent Adams, aka HikeGuy, California
Updated January 2, 2013
Copyright Travis Arts 2011, 2013, all rights reserved. Protected by Copyscape.