Saturday, November 21, 2015

How to keep mantle greenery fresher for longer

First, I'll share a quick before and after of our fireplace, because I'm so darn pleased with our new mantle!  (which really isn't new.  My wonderful Daddy made it for me over a year ago.  I developed the plans, and  he made it perfectly!  It has sat on the bedroom floor against the wall for over a year...but that's a whole other story!)

In any case, here's the sad before photo...

And here's what it looks like now, all gussied up for Christmas!

A close up of the lovely beam mantle.  
It's made of 1x10x4" boards that cost me less than $4 each at Home Depot.
It took 4 boards in total, plus a few hinges, so it opens on small hinges at the top.  
It will hold the seasonal decor that will go on top of it throughout the year. 
This is a double duty mantle. :0)
Thanks Daddy!!

This was my problem.   I was so excited to have this lovely mock farmhouse beam mantle (which even holds all of its out of season decorations inside!!!), that I went out to the back yard...and the front yard, and gathered some fresh cedar, and blue spruce.  

I can't obviously have the boughs in water when they're laying on the mantle, and I don't particularly want to disassemble this every few days to a week and re-do the whole thing.  
Plus, I might kill my cedars if I have to do that.  

So, I came up with this!

It's fantastic, because it even stores right inside the mantle, and I remember to spray it at least 2-3 times a day.  Plus it smells amazing every time I mist!

You could certainly use any number of essential oils to scent this however you like. You truly only need a drop to a few drops of each.   When this bottle runs out, I might try clove or peppermint rather than the nutmeg and mix it up throughout the season.  
If I had a glass bottle, I'd blend in some citrus oils, or go with Christmas Spirit or even Thieves.

I have a plastic bottle now though, so citrus is out as long as I'm using that.  

I'm at about 5 days in now, and they are still lovely and fresh, not dropping any needles at all.  I do expect I'll have to change them at least once before Christmas, but I'll put it off as long as I can.

For this particular blend (which I love!) I used the following:

1 drop each of  Cedarwood, Nutmeg and Idaho Blue Spruce
and 2 drops each of Cypress and Balsam Fir.

The bottle holds about a scant cup of water.  

I did consider adding about a half teaspoon of glycerin, and if this doesn't keep the greens fresh as long as I'd like, I'll add that next time.  For now, the blend is super simple: water and a selection of festive essential oils.  It smells fantastic and is a great way to 'diffuse' without a diffuser even!

Do you bring fresh greens in at Christmas that can't be watered?  
How do you keep them fresh as long as possible?

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  1. So Beautiful!! Dad and you do great work together!

  2. Thanks Eileen. I should take a picutre of all the storage in there, but I was lazy when I stained it, and I didn't complete the inside. I suppose I should just rub a bit of stain in there to really complete it.