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Christmas ornaments grow in July

I know it’s not even close to Christmas (despite what Mountain Mama would have you thinking last week), but none-the-less there’s something Christmas related that has to be discussed this time of year: Christmas ornaments. Specifically ornaments made from flowers, because NOW is the time to be collecting your future Christmas Tree Baubles.

This idea comes from fellow OutsideMom Heather in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It’s an ornament she makes out of a flower known as Queen Anne’s Lace (or wild carrot).

It’s the perfect ornament because it looks so much like a snow flake. And they’re beautiful! It blooms this time of year and can be found almost everywhere in the US and Canada. I happened to notice last week that it’s flowering in the Sierras, so I collected some.

Here’s how to make your ornament:

1. Take a hike.

2. Collect your flowers. Queen Anne’s Lace is the best option, but you can also try Cow Parsnip (beautiful name isn’t it). Collect lots, they’re fragile so you’ll want to make plenty incase they meet an untimely death.

3. Press them using a plant press, a phone book (since you don’t use phone books for anything else nowadays), or in between sheets of newspaper with books stacked on top.

4. Keep your flowers in the press until Christmas just to make sure they stay intact.

5. When it’s time to decorate your tree pull them out and wrap a piece of thread around one or two of the flowers. No glue needed, although I suppose you could try a dot of glue if you so desired.

6. Hang them on your tree away from small hands, and enjoy.

Heather says it’s likely they will only last you one season because their so fragile. But hey, then you have an excuse every summer to collect more!

What other natural objects do you use to decorate for the holidays?

7 Comments so far

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  1. I love this idea! Just so happens I know where a big field of Queen Anne’s Lace is pretty close to our house… now I have an activity for our afternoon! Thanks!

    • Kristal – I’m so glad, because I actually thought of you as I was writing this post… :)

  2. Malissa

    Great idea! They are in bloom near me as well and on my daily 3 mile walk down our rural road the other day, I thought I should pick some to ‘color’ with my kids. We used to put them in a vase of water with some food coloring in and the flowers would draw up the color and the white leaves would become tinted with the color. That would be fun to do and THEN press them!!!! :)

  3. Bonnie

    Great idea! I’ve used small and large pine cones spray-painted gold and sliver as well as long pine needles sprayed gold and sliver as well–use lots of pine needles instead of fake icicles. Hang the cones upside down using an ornament hanger and use thread loops for the pine needles. Its simple, but makes a really pretty tree. You could press (and spray?) various leaves as well. Wow! you really got me thinking! I have collected pinion cones after they dropped their nuts, baked them at 250 for an hour or more (on a lined cookie sheet!), let them cool and put them in a basket for a great holiday aroma (plus, the pitch in the cones melts and lacquers the cones to a beautiful shine). They would make good ornaments, too.

    • Bonnie – Wow, I’m glad I got you thinking! Good ideas! But whatever you do, don’t forget the pickle ornament… :)

  4. […] don’t forget to use that Queen Anne’s Lace you collected last […]

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    I'm Lindsey. I'm an environmental educator, my husband's a biologist. The outdoors is infused into everything we do; which explains why I'm better at mud pies than home decorating. More About Me

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