My mother gave me a wonderful gift, a check to hire someone to clean my house every two weeks. The gift saved my weekends, and an unexpected benefit has been Mickie, the woman I hired to do the (non-toxic) cleaning. She is the salt of the earth, and an honor to know.
Mickie and I were talking about Christmas trees on her recent visit, and she had some real pearls of wisdom that truly puts a used fresh-cut Christmas tree to great use, ideas that had never occurred to me.
Make fragrant balsam pillows to freshen your closets, and more, from your used Christmas tree, with these directions, here:
Balsam and Fir Herbal Pillows
Most Christmas trees are made of Balsam or Fraser fir, and they make wonderfully fragrant herbal pillows to freshen any closet or drawer. They are so easy to make and with an entire Christmas tree at your disposal, all you need is some fabric and you can make these herbal pillows in no time. Plus, this is a fun winter project.
1. Donít water the tree for the last two days before you take it down.
2. Put the tree outside to dry out even more for a few days before you strip off the needles, making sure the tree is sheltered from moisture.
3. Lay a sheet down on the floor, as this will keep the mess to a minimum.
4. Bring in the tree, tap it up and down a bit to get all the loose needles to fall off.
5. Lay the tree down on the sheet.
6. You will get sap on your hands, so gloves are recommended. Start at the bottom to pull needles off.
7. Put all the needles you pull off into an old pillow case for storage in a linen closet or fabric box. Everything will smell like the balsam.
8. Make pillows out of muslin or gingham or any fabric that breathes. An old flannel sheet will do wonderfully well! Just make sure not to make the pillow out of a fabric that is too loosely woven or the needles can escape.
Tip: As needles fall off the tree when it is in your house, collect the needles instead of vacuuming.
Christmas Tree Bird Feeders
1. Donít remove all the needles for pillows. Place your tree outside in a sturdy bucket for birds to hide.
2. Hang suet and other bird feed on the tree, making simple bird feeders.