Enjoying Natural Holiday Decor
Frugal Holiday Decorating Ideas
Potted Christmas Trees
Natural Holiday Decor
People keep suggesting pinecones, berries, branches, and flowers from the outdoors for holiday decorations. However, when I try this, they always have tons of bugs that come out when they warm up in the house. I don't mind a bug or two, but fifty bugs on my dinner table make me want to buy fake flowers! What am I doing wrong?
Bake Before You Decorate
You can rid your outdoor decor of unwanted bugs by placing your pinecones, branches, etc. on a cookie sheet and baking in a 200-degree oven for 1 to 2 hours. Of course, you will keep a watchful eye over the oven. I set the timer for every 15 minutes. There is an added bonus. The warmed effects will fill your home with a crisp fragrance. If you want more of a Holiday scent, spray the items with a cinnamon oil and cloves mixture! Works wonderfully!
Brandy in Powder Springs, Georgia
Freeze Items First
I freeze my pinecones and other outdoor decor that I collect. After a day or two of being frozen in a plastic bag, all the bugs should be dead. Just shake them out when the items thaw.
Boil and Dry Evenly
As for pinecones, when I bring them into the house to use for decorating or crafts, I first boil them in a large pot of water. It only takes about 5 to 6 minutes, when the water is brought to a full boil before adding the pinecones. After they are in the water for the 5 to 6 minutes, remove the pinecones from the water and lay them onto newspaper to dry. When you remove the pinecones from the water, they will be closed up. As they dry, they will again open up completely. Make sure you turn them a couple of times a day to help them dry evenly. It will take a couple of days to completely dry, but it is well worth it. I have never had problems with bugs.
Bug Be Gone
Put everything in a garbage bag. Then spray bug spray into the bag (outdoors of course) and seal it tightly. Leave for a couple of days. By this time, any insect should be dead. I have had no problems with insects. I also do this for any firewood that I bring indoors.
Joan in Ontario, Canada
Bugs Hate Mothballs
Place all your natural goodies in a plastic garbage bag. Next, drop in several mothballs and tie the bag tightly. In a couple of days, all the bugs should have vacated your items, and you are now ready for decorating.
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- Top 10 DIY mistakes made by home 'handymen'
- How to hire an affordable, reliable housesitter
- Helping your adult children with housing
- 10 ways to cut the cost of cleaning
- Installing bathroom in-floor heat
- Natural homemade laundry soap recipes
- How to reduce heating bills this winter
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- Should I borrow from my home equity?
- How much can additional payments save me on my mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?