Welcome Mat: Ideas for your tree after Christmas

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News
Even after Christmas is over, there are things you can do with your Christmas tree such as burning it as firewood, turning it into mulch and cutting off the branches to layer on top of plants.

Ideas for your real tree after Christmas

Oakland County Parks' annual Christmas tree recycling program is on hiatus this year but if you're interested in repurposing your tree in other ways once the holiday is over, you can, county officials say. They've teamed up with the Arbor Day Foundation for some suggestions that go beyond putting your real tree in the garbage:

  • Firewood: Because they are sap-heavy trees, evergreens tend to burn hot and fast, making them ideal for bonfires. Trees should be dried out for a few months before burning.
  • Mulch: Whether it’s with woodchips or needles, mulch is a great way to keep your yard trees healthy and moist during the cold season. Pine needles contain nutrients that enhance the PH of soil.
  • Ashes: Ashes from burned Christmas trees contain potassium and lime, which when spread in the garden help plants to thrive.
  • Natural insulation: Cutting off the branches and laying them in a garden bed will protect plants from winter freezes and spring thaws.
  • Fresheners: Green pine needles can be stored in paper bags or sachets to use as fresheners around the house.
Glidden by PPG has named Aqua Fiesta, a cheerful blue, its 2021 Accent Color of the Year.

Glidden names Aqua Fiesta 'Accent' Color of the Year

Every year, paint retailers pinpoint an "it" color of the new year but not Glidden by PPG. The paint retailer admits it went "rogue" this past fall by not naming a Color of the Year this year of last year. Instead, it's taking a different approaching this year to potentially help DIY-ers. Glidden has naming Aqua Fiesta, a turquoise hue, its Accent Color of the Year. Aqua Fiesta is a "cheerful and fresh aquamarine color that looks great in a bedroom, bath, living room or kitchen," announced the retailer. Last year, Glidden didn't name a Color of the Year and it didn't again for 2021, admitting it went "rogue." Glidden said it picked an accent color to help DIY-ers or those who may be procrastinating with home design projects. For a bedroom, living room or kitchen, Glidden suggests pairing with Whirlwind, a light gray it unveiled last year. If you use Aqua Fiesta in a bedroom, Glidden suggests adding in cream-colored bedding and white, fluffy pillows to complete the look. 

The Riven vanity is part of the new ED Ellen Degeneres Bath colleciton. Prices range from $1,329 to $2,219.

Ellen Degeneres launches new line of bath vanities, cabinets

Ellen Degeneres already has a successful line of furniture and home decor -- and, of course, a talk show -- but now she's expanding into the bathroom. Earlier this month, the beloved comedian announced the launch of ED Ellen Degeneres Bath, a line of bath vanities, cabinets and mirrors. The new line, described as "transitional elegance," includes several different styles -- pictured is the Riven design -- all of which can be configured in different ways, feature dovetail drawers and other details. "There are a lot of premium details I love," said Degeneres in a video on the line's website. She said her line will eventually expand to include rugs, lighting and flooring. For details on ED Ellen Degeneres Bath, go to bath.edbyellen.com.

Carhartt offers a wide range of tools that can be rented from its flagship store in Detroit.

Carhartt offers tool rental for DIY-ers

Good news, Detroit DIY-ers. If you have an idea for a project but are lacking the right tools, Carhartt in downtown Detroit can help. The company, which was founded in Detroit in 1889, has a range of tools for nearly every project, all of which can be borrowed for free (yes, free!). Tools include core hand tools, power tools and items for drywalling, plumbing, masonry, electrical and painting. Carhartt also has a community workshop that can be rented but it's currently unavailable because of the pandemic. To borrow tools, customers must create an account on carharttworkshop.com (go to "sign up"). For information, call (313) 982-8901.