If you are unsure what to do with your Christmas wreath once you have taken it down then here are a few ways of re-purposing it. This only really applies to natural wreaths and in particular those with a moss base (as supposed to oasis). However, some of the below will still be relevant. It could be applied to garlands and other natural decorations too. This should also help cut down on your festive waste.
Begin by taking everything apart. You will probably need a pair of scissors or secateurs as there is generally quite a lot of florist wire used to secure everything in place. You might also want to wear gloves, especially if your wreath is made up of lots of holly like mine.
Re-use materials for next year:
Once everything has been removed from the ring you can put to one side what you would like to keep for future craft projects. You have the main elements here for making another wreath the following year. I haven’t made a wreath before (our one this year was bought from a local Christmas market) but I would like to give it a go and there seem to be lots of online courses out there for inspiration. The ring might be made out of metal (like mine) or willow, either way these can be kept to make your own wreath again.
The decorations such as pine cones, orange slices or any plastic/metal adornments can be kept for a future wreath; to decorate presents or to add to your tree or garland. I keep mine in a shoe box in the loft with the rest of the Christmas decorations. The florist wire can also be kept for future craft projects. It might make sense to keep the wire on your pine cones and other decorative elements so that you don’t have to fix the wire next time (this can be a bit fiddly).
Feed the birds:
Birds are in need of extra food this time of year so creating something out of your used wreath for them is timely. Pine cones can be used to make bird feeders; a mixture of lard and bird seed can be squished together and stuck to the outside of the pine cone. If you have any berries on your wreath then you can add these too. The feeders can then be hung from a tree or bird feeder in your garden (or maybe a friend’s garden if you don’t have access to one yourself).
You could also reuse the wreath ring for the birds too. Attach the moss, some of the foliage, the pine cone bird feeders and berries with string (not wire this time) to create a special bird feeder wreath. I also attached wool to provide extra warmth for their nests. You can keep the wreath topped up with goodies right through to spring when they will be in need of energy and nesting materials to support their young.
If you have planted any spring bulbs or if you have any indoor plants then you could use the moss to cover the soil top in their pots. This gives a woodland effect so looks especially good on daffodils, snow drops, hyacinths or other spring time flowers. Simply cover the surface of compost with the moss and give them a mist with a water spray to finish.
Decorate your home:
Some of the foliage could be used to decorate your home. Depending on what you have on your wreath (and what state it is in) you could add eucalyptus to other flower arrangements or you could make decorative candle holders out of the more delicate greenery (I like to use glass jars filled with water and foliage as a base for a candle holder, see below). Pine cones could be turned into garlands and can be displayed throughout the winter and autumn months (not just at Christmas)
If there is any natural foliage left after all of this then you could add it to your compost (if you have one) or dispose of it via your local refuse service, check with your local council first.