Festive Foraging for the Holidays

Inspired by the huge redwood tree in our backyard, I decided to decorate for the holidays by foraging greenery and yard waste while on a morning walk.  I figured our tree would supply the bulk of what was needed and I would add details with what I was able to gather.  Pasadena is abundant with mature trees and a variety of plants so I knew I would be able to find a nice amount of greenery for the mantle, a table centerpiece and a few nice details for our presents.  Living more sustainably is a main resolution for next year and this was a perfect way to start that habit.   

here are some ways that I foraged for waste-free holiday decor:

Branches: I found two short branches that had fallen off of a tree and used them along the back of the mantle to fill it out and also to give the leaves something to rest on.  This added height and texture.  

Greenery: I grabbed some leaves off of our redwood tree to use as the main element for the mantle garland.  This filled a lot of the space and it smells like Christmas which is a nice added bonus.  I really like having various textures for bouquets or any type of arrangement so I gathered many different types of pine-like greens and even added some Ivy.  This is the base for the mantle.

Pine Cones are by far my favorite winter element and I found a few hanging around our neighborhood that I used to add detail to the mantle.  I also stashed a few in corners around the house and added some to our Christmas tree.

Berries are also another great way to finish off a gift or add detail to the mantle.  I found three varieties: a dark, an orange and a red.  I used the berries to add a splash of color to my various arrangements. 

Rosemary: Is super abundant in our neighborhood so I grabbed some from a few houses and used it to add another texture to the mantle and table decor.  Rosemary never lets me down when I have to travel with gifts.  It always stays intact and remains fragrant which is more than I can say for any store-bought bows.  The adhesive on those are a joke right?

Fallen leaves:  We have some beautiful bright red sycamore trees in our neighborhood and their vibrant leaves are all over the yards.  These were a nice addition of color and a great way to add a pattern to the brown paper that I use for wrapping.

What are some ways that you like to use natural elements to decorate?