If I had to pick the single-most-amazing holiday decorating tool, my vote would go to the humble, versatile, never-fail wreath.
Here are a few tips from my book, “Nell Hill’s O Christmas Tree”:
Great greens: If you’re like me, you’ve switched from fresh greens to faux because they are so easy to work with. Invest in lifelike greens like pine boughs, boxwoods or even magnolia leaves.
The right tools: Fishing line or 26-gauge green wire secures adornments to the wreath base and are virtually invisible. A hot-glue gun helps you make quick repairs.
Freshen old wreaths: Lengthen your wreath’s lifespan by looping a new garland around it.
Don’t skimp on bows: For a natural look use rustic burlap. More elegant ribbons are black-and-white checks and plaids, wool plaids or wilting satin. Make elaborate bows to attach at the point where the wreath is hung, Let the loose ends hang down to the top of the wreath or to the its midpoint, then cut them in a V shape or at an angle.
Something different: My new favorites include square boxwood wreaths, wreaths festooned with green apples or ones made of spiky pine needles dotted with silver or multicolored glass balls.
Mary Carol Garrity is the proprietor of three successful home-furnishings stores and is the author of several best-selling books on home decorating.