Alabama Extension agent leads workshop on using natural items to decorate for holidays

Fifty-seven community members came to the A.W. Todd Centre Dec. 12 to learn about and try making holiday decorations with found greenery and other natural items.

Alabama Regional Extension Agent for Home Grounds Jayne Luetzow led the workshop. She demonstrated how to make a Christmas swag or wreath, as well as a garland and a candle holder, the last of which attendees made during the session.

Six instructor demo pieces were given away as door prizes.

Methods demonstrated can also be used to make a table runner, centerpiece or ornament.

Luetzow said part of the appeal of such methods is that it’s fairly low cost and not overly complicated. She said the most expensive purchases would be basic gardening clippers, string, ribbon, rope or floral wire.

Luetzow said dried or fresh greenery works, though fresh greenery will last longer. She said some parts of a finished piece might need to be replaced over time to keep it looking good.

Fresh greenery, she explained, is likely to last two or three weeks – longer with floral preservatives such as Pristine spray or Clear Crowning Glory solution. She said keeping the finished pieces in cooler temperatures also helps to extend how long they last, as hotter temperatures cause the greenery and floral items to dry out and wilt faster.

Among the tips she shared were to start with five or six pieces of greenery, keeping the largest pieces toward the back. Creators should overlap and hide the twine and wire while progressing through making a piece. Cutting tips at a 45 degree angle gives a cleaner, more professional look. Using items such as cedar greenery, pine cones and magnolia blooms creates a variety of textures, which Luetzow said adds “dimension and interest.”

Luetzow also recommended short-needle and long-needle pine, holly and nandina – the last of which is an invasive species but provides a lovely red accent.

She said she likes to use rope to hold heavier pieces, noting zip ties can also be handy.

She advised decorating doors, windowsills and mantles, while taking great care not to place the finished pieces anywhere they might catch fire, such as near a fireplace that’s in use.

Luetzow began working with greenery and floral items it 2014-2015, learning from her mother, whom she described as a “great florist,” and from her horticulture professor at Auburn University, Dr. Carolyn Robinson.

“I enjoy the creative process of creating decorations with greenery,” explained Luetzow. “Flowers and plants make people happy, and I like making people smile. Materials can include greenery from your yard or around your neighborhood.”

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: American Legion Posts 64 and 120 – ‘Veterans Strengthening America’

Franklin County

RHS graduate crowned Miss Northwest Shoals

Franklin County

RHS graduate crowned Miss UNA

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: In memoriam – Monuments honor the fallen of Franklin

High School Sports

RHS senior chosen as Bryant-Jordan Region 8 Scholar winner

High School Sports

Russellville High School ladies soccer team members participate in annual Night to Shine

News

Russellville High School Scholars Bowl team qualifies for state tournament

News

Vina kindergarteners connect with lots of other classes

News

PCHS JAG student places in district conference

Features

Wedding Spotlight: Layne and Frank Edwards

Franklin County

RHS senior competes at state DYW competition

News

Extension, 4-H present free resume workshop

Franklin County

Franklin County has lots to love

High School Sports

Russellville High School honors alum Luther Tiggs with special night of basketball

News

BTCPA announces second production of season

News

RMS holds annual state assessment celebration

Franklin County

Red Bay welcomes new city attorney

Franklin County

Attempted traffic stop leads to high-speed vehicle pursuit, wreck 

Franklin County

Vehicle pursuit ends in wreck, arrest 

News

RFD, RHS collab promotes job readiness, community safety

Franklin County

Local students named to Mississippi State University’s fall 2023 President’s List

News

Russellville Elementary features among U.S. News & World Report best elementary schools

News

RCS receives recognition as finalist for national award

News

Plans get underway to raise funds for cancer research in memory of Bedfords

x