No budget Christmas decorations

I got called in on a little project at work last week and I thought I'd share it here. Some of my colleagues were looking for a way to put some appropriate, inclusive, seasonal decorations around the office. After a little calling around, one of them got someone from the grounds crews to drop off a massive bag of clippings from trees and shrubbery (we want...a shrubbery!). This is the point where I was called in. I was presented with the clippings and some empty vases and told to get to work.

Some of my friends at work know that I have a blog, but they might have missed that I have never shown a flower arrangement. That's because I don't know how to arrange flowers. I protested a little bit, but my colleagues told me to get to work.

Hoping for genius to strike, I suggested we sort the branches by type. There was evergreen, ivy, red berry branches, yellow berry branches, magnolia (maybe those are the red berry branches?), and some other greenery.

Instead of arranging, I decided to start by putting like-branches together in a few vases. I was pretty happy with myself.

Then I started getting into it. We used pine cones in the bottom of the bases to keep the twigs in place. I bundled a bunch of boxwood together with a rubber band and tried to carve something out of the mess with some regular scissors.

I didn't get pictures of every arrangement, but I here are a few from around the office:

I thought the first one I attempted was a little too "modern" for my office. Everyone seemed to like it, so I kept going.

Cost: $0


  1. I can't quite tell from the photos, but it looks like you have both red- and yellow-berry holly. That's boxwood in the blue and white vase. That's magnolia with the holly in the modern arrangement in your office.

  2. Love it! When we got our Christmas tree from Home Depot they had piles of excess branches that had been trimmed from the bottom of the trees. We were invited to help ourselves and we have our patio pots protected with this holiday looking "mulch". Once our tree is ready to come down we always trim off the branches and put them outside. What gets thrown out is just the center trunk.

  3. Love how you shaped the boxwood into looking like a little topiary!! Great job.

  4. can't go wrong! I get free greens from my yard and the tree sales place too.

  5. Hi Jeannine,

    I met you last weekend at Jeannine's baby shower but did not get a chance to tell you that I read your blog! I was the redhead to your left when she took our picture on the sofa. Cheers, Mel

  6. That's really funny how that came about, but you did a great job!


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