1. To extend the life of our fresh greenery and wreaths we use Bonide’s Wilt Stop. This is an all natural nontoxic product derived from pine tree resin. It creates a protective barrier to seal in the moisture. It’s easy, just spray before bringing in the house (It can also be used on live trees, cut flowers and more!) An old florist trick for keeping your needles on the branches and your greenery fresh is to mix 1 part floor wax (Johnson‘s) to 3 parts water, submerge your greenery for about 30 minutes and then let dry.
2. A good way to keep bows looking new from year to year is to actually untie the bow and roll the ribbon back up. A discarded cardboard roll from wrapping paper or paper towels is a great vehicle to roll your ribbons on. Then re-tie your bows each year.
3. If using a pre-lit tree you can extend the life of your lights by plugging each section into a surge protector instead of plugging each section to one another.
4. To achieve a Williamsburg look, gold leaf pieces of fruit and mix them into your decor. This is actually quite easy! All you do is fill a bucket, jar or bowl with water and spray gold paint onto the water surface. Then, dip the artificial or fresh fruit one piece at a time into the water; the more you dip the heavier the gold leafing will become. It may be necessary to add more paint for every couple pieces you dip. The best paint to use is Design Master 24 Karat Gold, available at craft stores. It is designed specifically for florists and can be used on fresh components.
5. The natural or woodland look is very popular this year. An economical way to get this look is by adding grapevine to trees, wreaths, or garlands. Take a grapevine wreath and cut the outer bindings off. Then soak in a tub of water for about 3 hours. The vine will become flexible and you can pull it apart and unwind it to work pieces into your decor. Grapevine looks great spiraled throughout everything.