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How to prepare forced bulbs for the holidays


There’s nothing like walking into a home filled with the scents of Christmas…paperwhites, peppermint, gingerbread and evergreen. In an instant, you know that the holidays have arrived.

This year, I am inspired by both the simplicity and beauty of natural holiday decor (thanks in large part to the wonderful ladies at Thanksgiving Point’s Emporium).

The practice of celebrating the holidays surrounded by nature is not a new one. The practice of bringing nature into the home to “survive” the winter dates back to the Pagan celebration of the winter solstice.

For additional inspiration, one need only turn to the pages of Martha’s winter issues:

Recently Updated Lovely, right?

So this year, I am planting a few for use in my home and even more for gifting to coworkers and neighbors.

One of the best things about planting forced bulbs is you probably have nearly everything you need for these little plants on hand and whatever you don’t have can be obtained fairly inexpensively. Ohhh and it’s quick, you still have time for this one…

Start off with a simple container.

Paperwhites Holiday Gifts This is a great opportunity to reduce, reuse and recycle. You can plant paperwhites and amaryllis in nearly any type of container. How about used tin cans, plastic planters from last summer, old flower vases or a Christmas tin?

I also priced out terra cotta planters at my local Home Depot (How cute would it be to have your children decorate the pots with paints first?). They are really inexpensive and can be purchased for as little as 50 cents.

Next up the supplies.

I had the pebbles and soil already on hand, but again you can pick these up fairly inexpensively – about $3 for a bag of each at your local big box. The bulbs vary in price. I found paperwhites for as little as $1.25 (although the folks at the big box indicated you can pick them up for even less right after Thanksgiving), but the amaryllis were a bit more at about $5 per bulb. The decorative moss isn’t necessary, but it’s a nice little touch. You can pick some up for between $2-5 depending on the size of bag you want to go with.Neighbor Christmas Gift 2

Five easy steps to completing your holiday classic:

  1. Take your container and add a healthy scoop of pebbles to the bottom.
  2. Next up the soil. Fill your container until it is about two-thirds the way full.
  3. Once you’ve got your soil in, add your bulb with the flat end nestled in the soil.
  4. Use decorative moss as a filler to pretty-up your project.
  5. Decorate the outside of the container with a bit of fabric and some greenery.

Tadah. You’re all done!

I came up with five different packaging options from just around the house…

Christmas Gift5-2

  1. This is just a green plastic planter that was out in my garage, wrapped it in red tissue and finished it off with a bow.
  2. This is just an old glass vase, wrapped with a ribbon and an ornament.
  3. This is an old chili can, wrapped in paper. I used tape and a glue stick on the cans, but I think it would look better if I had used Mod Podge.
  4. I planted amaryllis in another old glass vase and finished it of with just a bit of red ribbon.
  5. Another plastic container, this version is finished off with a bit of burlap and a couple springs of greenery.

Lots of options here folks!

Once you’ve finished things off attach a fun gift tag…I’ve created a couple of tags for use with my gifts, click on the image below to download if you’d like to use them.

Burlap Inspired Holiday Gift Tags 2010 Gift TagsPaperwhite Can

Linking up:
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5 Responses to " How to prepare forced bulbs for the holidays "

  1. Kara says:

    This is such a fun idea! And thanks for sharing the cute little tags!

  2. Victoria ObSEUSSed says:

    I like your upgrades to this gift idea. Thanks for sharing the beautiful packaging & tags. I'll have to plan it for next year.

  3. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    Did you know paper whites don't even need dirt? We gave them to neighbors one year just in vases with pebbles and they sprouted just fine!

  4. Sarah@AlpinePoppy says:

    For real, I am your 100th follower! Wow! That is quite an honor. I love forcing bulbs, my amaryllis should bloom any day now. Great post, I am happy to be your new friend :)

  5. Steph says:

    I could totally make this… minus all the cute decorations. I would just have to buy adorable pots

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