The great thing about Cedar branches is you do not have to do much to them except add some fragrance oils. But you can also string them up much the same way as you do the homemade fire starter rope (see blog entitled Homemade fire starter rope). Also, when cedars like Douglas fir start drying out, they are GREAT to use as a homemade fire starter. You really need to step back when you add the "dry" ones to your fire. That is one of my favorite "post" Christmas treats. I love to throw the dried out cedar branches on the fire to hear the "crackle" and smell the aroma.
But the cedar aroma is too woodsy alone. I like to spice up my homemade fire starter cedar branches with scents like cinnamon, banana nut bread, and apple crisp. I found a great online store that sells 1 oz pure fragrance oils, all 1500 scents for under $5. If you will check out the other blogs, there are banners that will connect you to this online store. Simply type in fragrance oils in the search for box, once you access the website, and an alphabetical list from A-Z will pull up. Browse through and check out the Christmas time fragrances. There is a list of my favorites in some of the other blogs.
I use live Christmas wreaths that I make up each year myself. If you go to Home Depot or Lowe's, they will give you "FREE" tree trimmings after they rope up their Christmas trees. One of these fav stores of mine even has a big box labeled free Christmas tree trimmings that you can pick up after they place them there from trimming the trees. Many years back, I made an initial investment in wire Christmas tree wreaths. Each year all I have to do is load up the Jeep with free tree trimmings from my favorite home improvement store and head home to make up Christmas wreaths. If you buy the green floral wire from Wal-Mart, that is really the only investment you make for your wreaths, well that and wire cutters and small pruners for cutting the branches. But at Christmas time, every window in my home is decked out with live cedar Christmas wreaths.
So this year, why not add fragrance oils to your wreaths? Every time you open the front door to go in from shopping, scents like warm apple pie will greet you. I also hang my wreaths outside on the covered porch bannisters. There is nothing that will get you in the holiday mood more than smelling banana nut bread as you walk by these wreaths on your way to your car to go shopping. Only a drop or 2 on each wreath will last the entire Christmas season.
This is so much cheaper than scented candles which you will pay anywhere from $15-20 for the stronger scented ones. Also, unlike candles which can only burn while you are attending them, fragrance oils will last even while you sleep. And 1 bottle of $5 oil will last you throughout the entire Christmas season for all your projects.
With the economy going like it is, this year is the time to invest in homemade gifts scented with fragrance oils. Check out my other blogs for great, cheap Holiday ideas! Enjoy.