Do you (or someone you know) get a real Christmas tree each year? Mmmmm that smell...

Do you buy one that is much too tall for your ceiling?

Do you have to cut part of the top off to make it fit, and then manicure what's left of the top so it doesn't end in an unspectacular tree-plateau?

This happens EVERY YEAR at my parents' house. I took the manicure trimmings home to see if they could be put to some use, and I came up with a simple, practically free wreath that I just love. Look at it! Don't you want one?

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Isn't it sad that I don't even have an available door to hang this on?

I'm sorry if my photos are a bit iffy - I whipped up this beautiful bit of holiday greenery well after dark and therefore had serious lighting issues.

You need:

  • An even number of tree boughs that are roughly triangular in shape.
  • Disposable chopsticks (go get some sushi or something; you can write it off as a crafting expense).
  • Floral wire or an equally tough but malleable substitute.
  • Something decorative for the centre. Three pine cones, a bunch of wired ribbon (perhaps you saved some from a gift last year for reuse?), and some jewelry wire to hold it all together worked splendidly for me.

Start by sorting your boughs into pairs. You could even do this with only two boughs and make a little horizontal swag to pretty up a bookshelf or something. I considered using two pairs, but I had three, so I went with it. You want your pairs to be fairly well matched.

Using your wire, attach the boughs to chopsticks, one at each end, with the cut bases of the boughs a small distance apart. Is it too obvious to say the chopsticks should be at the back? I found it easiest to just wrap the wire around and around until everything was quite snug. The bough pair you want at the front of the wreath should have about an inch of chopstick between them - add about a half inch for each layered pair. This helps them stack up all nicely together. Make a little loop from the end of the wire on one end of what will be your vertical bough pair, for easy hanging. It's OK if a few needles get smushed, as you won't see them when it's all done.

The front pair is on the right, and the back on the left. See how the space between the boughs on the chopsticks is a little bigger on each from right to left?

Lay your bough pairs in a star shape, spacing them evenly.

Wrap floral wire around the point where the chopsticks all cross, adjusting regularly so the boughs don't become unevenly spaced.

It doesn't matter if it's messy, so long as it holds everything in place.

Now attach something pretty to the centre to hide the hole in the middle and hang your wreath! Aren't you clever to have made such a fabulously expensive-looking wreath out of tree trimmings and takeout utensils?

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