scraptastic decorations

For the past five years or so I've collected all my green trimmings throughout the year and then at Christmas I string them into wreaths. It's simple and meditative and is so fun to remember the sweaters I've cut up that year.

But dang it hurts my fingers to poke floral wire through felt.

So I've been on the look out for a new technique to transform these great little green bits into something festive.

Enter Pinterest and the bottle brush tree trend.

I found this tutorial on how to make the bottle brush trees from yarn or rope or whatever. Being the scrappy rascal I am, I knew I could use some variation on this method for my scraps.

I wanted a little green to mix in with my ornament display for the holiday fair I was doing that weekend. So when we got home from Thanksgiving with friends, I twisted up a couple trees with the cork from the bubbles we had just drank. It was harder than it looked, fumbling with two pliers and sending felted bits across the room. I figured this would be just a personal experiment.

But they've been a real conversation starter at the market. So I decided to make some for you to take home.

This week I went into production and wouldn't you know it, when you make 18 of something, you get pretty good at it. I mastered the double plier twist by just using one pair of pliers. And after I struggled with the cork, I finally learned you should steam the corks before you cut them.

You can collect three of these scraptastic trees for $15 at the market.