Christmas Tutorials

by | Oct 29, 2013 | crafts, Decorating, Holiday, Tutorials, Winter | 24 comments

The Christmas tutorials I wrote for are live now!  I know a lot of people have been waiting for these, especially the preserved boxwood wreath.  I promised I would link to them when they became available, so here they are…

Preserved Boxwood Wreath

boxwood wreath - beauty shot 1 (960x1280)

Boxwood Topiaries

Boxwood Topiary - Beauty Shot 2 (960x1280)

Boxwood Kissing Ball

Kissing Ball - Beauty Shot 1 (960x1280)

I bought all of the preserved boxwood in bunches from a wholesale floral supply website, but they are currently sold out of the bulk boxes.  I’ll keep an eye out for them to come available again and order some for my online shop.  You can preserve your own boxwood…I just didn’t have any bushes to clip branches from!  I found THIS TUTORIAL on preserving your own, which is a much more economical option.  While purchased preserved boxwood is expensive, it will last for years if kept away from direct light and intense heat.  I give mine a spritz maybe once a year, but I think they’d be fine even without that.

And, I use boxwood year round.  For example, the kissing ball became a topiary when plopped into an ironstone bowl…

missmustardseed-15 (427x640)

I know some people think it’s a holiday thing, but I love the pop of natural greenery in a room that won’t die if I neglect it.  Which I will.

Fresh Magnolia Wreath

Magnolia Wreath - Beauty Shot 3 (960x1280)

Magnolia Wreath - Beauty Shot 7 (960x1280)

This was made from fresh leaves I picked off my mother-in-law’s magnolia tree.  I found some fresh magnolia leaves for sale on eBay HERE.

The last article is on ideas for gifts using vintage/found items.  This one was the most fun, since I got to rummage in my basement and think of how to use things in a way that would make a thoughtful gift.  I also had some fun using Epsom Salt “snow” as a prop!

Vintage Gift Gallery

Vintage Gift Gallery - 7b (960x1280)

Vintage Gift Gallery - 2c (960x1280)

Vintage Gift Gallery - 4a (960x1280)

I hope this gets the creative juices flowing for the upcoming holiday season…


Some of the tutorials I wrote for the master bedroom makeover, like the ruched pillow shams, are still not live on the site, but I’ll let you know when they are!

DSC_8085 (480x640)



  1. Dana@chocolateandsunshine

    Congrats on your HGTV tutorial. I want the kissing ball. Fresh greenery livens up a space anytime of the year and your room with the blue and white rug is so fresh with the greenery in your ironstone. Really pretty!

  2. Anneke at This, That and Life

    If there is anything I love to decorate with for the Holidays, it’s fresh greens. Thanks for sharing!

  3. At Rivercrest Cottage

    love all your boxwood decorative touches so I’m heading over to HGTV for the tutorials. Thanks!

  4. Kellene Ellexson

    Oh I love it all!!!!!

  5. Judy

    Miss Mustard See-You rock!! Love the vintage gift ideas!! Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Ann Lacouture

    Hey Marian! I’m wondering if you can give me some details about how to actually preserve the boxwood before making the wreath. Do you use dyes? What kind? Citric acid and glycerin or just glycerin?

  7. karen

    Hi Marian,
    I love boxwood in all forms…..natural greenery or MMS paint….thanks for the tutorial! Can you share where you got your place card holders that you using on the dining room place settings? THANKS!

  8. Angie

    Wow – all of these tutorials are amazing!!!! Simply beautiful as always 🙂

  9. Laura

    Love all the boxwood tutorials! Where did you buy the boxwood branches that you used? Thanks!

  10. Natalie

    Thanks for the update. Really looking forward to the ruched pillow shams tutorial!

  11. Anne Boykin

    Dear MMS, How exciting! You’ve inspired me with your boxwood – I have it in just about every room of my house and it always looks good. Hugs, Anne Boykin

  12. Marisa

    You make my head spin with all the great ideas. I can’t believe we have boxwood everywhere and we trim and throw away the stems 🙁 Boxwood are cheap and they grow like weeds. I will have boxwood wreaths, topiary, balls, my gosh the possibilities are endless. Thank you for this post.

  13. Jan`

    Marian, Will you have the glass glitter for sale in your online store soon or do you have another source you can suggest. Thanks for your amazing blog. You inspire me everyday. God bless you.

  14. Garden, Home and Party

    Where do you buy the preserved boxwood branches?

    I love everything you do. Your design style is one of my favorites, formal training or not!


  15. betty duckworth

    I have been reading and using your talent for some time now, I made the slip covers for my wing chair from painters cloth ad you did on your tutorial. I am so in love with blue and white and you show a beautiful blue and white rug in your room. I would love to have one like that to complete my breakfast room. Is there a chance I could buy one somwhere? Hope hope

  16. Nancy

    Was that fudge in the chamber pot?!!!!!

  17. Holly McCall

    I would love to know your process of preserving the boxwood branches!!! I tried it this summer and it was a no go. 🙁 Please share the secret!

  18. Shirley@Housepitality Designsy creations and ideas are always magnificent……I had sprays of hydrangeas and magnolia stems recently, however, the magnolia leaves turned brown quickly…would love to know how you keep them looking so great!!!

  19. Beth

    I love everyone of the boxwoods and hope to soon be having them in our home. Kinda off topic, but where did you find the rug in the picture of the kissing ball in the bowl? I have been looking at the same rug for about a year in other colors, but I have never found it in that deep of blue. That would match my home a lot better than the others I have found! Thanks!

  20. Kim

    Hello! I have followed your blog forever but haven’t left comments before….not sure why…always in a hurry, not much to say cause I love everything you do, etc. but anyway, I have been waiting for these HGTV tutorials to post. Specifically the boxwood wreath one. You see,,…I have access to plenty of boxwood. Oh yes. And in August I studied and researched and purchased everything to make myself some gorgeous preserved boxwood. I actually did everything just like the tutorial you linked to. Lets just say that hours spent cutting and hammering and mixing and filling did not work for me. 3 weeks later I had a LOT of dead boxwood. Don’t know what I did wrong…..but I obviously did. So I will now be searching for somewhere to get the boxes of pre-preserved boxwood you mentioned. I just ordered a cow head off Décor Steals last week, and SO HELP ME!!!… she will be wearing a boxwood wreath by Christmas!!!! Love you and your Blog!!!!
    Kim in North Carolina

  21. Cindy

    I love your magnolia wreath… and thanks for the reminder about the tutorials, and the link for preserving boxwood. I want to try that!


  22. theresa a.

    question for you, i have a preserved boxwood wreath that i purchased from decor steals and i’m wondering if i can hang it on my front door? my front porch and the walk up to it is completely covered, so it won’t get any rain, nor does it get direct sunlight. just wondering if it will stand up to the temperatures this winter…any advice is appreciated!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


Subscribe today

and receive a FREE e-version of my planning sheets!

decorating, projects, and recipes for winter


Articles by Date


our sponsors

Bliss and Tell Branding Company