Thursday, October 16, 2014

Making a Pine Cone Wreath

My hydrangea's are dry.  I wrote about drying them a few weeks ago.

When they are dry, I usually remove the old flowers from the vases and replace them with the newly dried flowers.   Then I take the old ones outside to my grapevine wreath.  I just stick them in anywhere in the wreath to get a final use out of them during the fall season.  As fall draws to a close and winter sets in, I take them out of the wreath and put them in the compost pile.  One hydrangea blossom gets a lot of use.

This year as I was decorating for fall, I remembered one of my past projects.  When my daughters were young, we didn't have social media or computers or cell phones.  They didn't watch TV from morning to night.  They played with friends and used their imagination.  We often did projects together.  I remember a project we did in the fall with my friend Judy.  It was a fun activity.  We made pine cone wreaths.  To start with we would go on adventures to find the pine cones.  We liked looking for all different kinds and shapes of cones.  We would separate them into the different types.  It was an inexpensive activity.  The only thing we had to purchase was the wire ring and some wire on a spool.  I imagine I have a picture of one of those wreaths somewhere, but I have no idea where.  I decided to recreate one of those wreaths this year.  I didn't have my partners out in the woods collecting cones, but I had fun searching by myself.  I discovered I had every kind of cone I needed right on our own property.  I guess I knew I would make another wreath some day because I kept one wire ring.  I moved it to Princeton, and it has been sitting in the garage waiting for me for twelve years.

After sorting the pine cones into long, round, small, large and the ones that need to be thrown away, I started shoving them into the wire ring.  First all around the outside and then the inside.

When that is accomplished it is time to fill in the spaces.  I usually wire a cluster of two or three cones together and start anywhere on the wreath.  I put the wire through, pull it tight and secure it in the back.  I sometimes wrap the wire around some of the cones that are only held in by tension.  I shake the whole thing when I'm finished to make sure nothing falls out.  If it does, I just put it back and secure it better.

  I work my way around, filling in as I go.

Pine cones make pretty rosettes if they are cut apart.

It's starting to take shape. 

The last step in the process is to glue small cones, acorns, walnuts or chestnuts in all the gaps.  I use a glue gun.  It's fun to walk around the yard to find things.  I was very disappointed this year because it is an off year for the oak trees.  I couldn't find any acorns this year.  Some years we have so many that we can hear them bouncing off the roof.  I had to use what I had.   We brought back some gum tree pods from South Carolina.  I am going to glue some of those on this wreath.  When everything is in place, flatten all the wires in the back and tuck them in.  Attach another piece of wire to form a hanger.  Sometimes I spray the final wreath with clear varnish.  If it is going to hang outside, that is a good idea.  Otherwise, the rustic look works well too.  Now I have to find a place to hang this one.

Check out this blog for fun things to make.<p class=”alignnone” title=”Featured on”><a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”attachment wp-att-26915″><img class=”aligncenter wp-image-26915″ title=”Featured on” src=”” alt=”Featured on” width=”200″ height=”200″ /></a></p>

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