Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Favorite Pinecone Wreath - I Just had To Make One

I know that I've told you many times that when I was a child on several occasions we had projects for making Christmas decorations. It might have been a Styrofoam church or paper garland or just about anything else.

Well, on one of those occasions my Mother decided to make a pine-cone and acorn wreath. She wanted a wreath that was 14" round that she could hang near the front door. She also wanted it made in such a way that she could add some seasonal floral to it and change it out with the seasons.

So, she gathered all the pinecones and acorns. Well, make that - she had all her children gather all the pinecones and acorns from the woods around our house. She washed all the pinecones and acorns in the sink and then she painstakingly dried the pinecones in the stove - unlike me who dries them in a box over a year's period.

When they were done drying she sorted the pinecones and acorns by size and then picked out the ones she wanted for her wreath. She laid them out on the floor in a circular pattern so she would know which pinecone and acorn she would be placing where.

She had bought a 14" double rail flat ring and plenty of wire. She was going to wrap the wire around the back of the pinecone and then wire each pinecone to the double rail flat ring. My Dad drilled a hole in each of the acorns so she could fasten them to the metal frame of the ring.

Well, little did she know that the pinecones and wire would quickly start to hurt her hands. In trying to tie the pinecones to the wreath she ended up cutting her hands with the wire. However, she wouldn't give up and was determined to finish her wreath - cuts or no cuts.

So, she spent the better part of a weekend making her wreath. My dad also lent her a hand when her hands just couldn't tighten the pinecones anymore. When all the pinecones had been wired to the wreath and she was pleased with the results she sprayed it with varnish to seal it.

For the Christmas season she added a few poinsettia flowers that she could easily remove after the holidays. The wreath was beautiful when she was done and I know she and my Dad were very proud of their work. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of how it came out so I can't show it to you.

My Mother's wreath moved with her from house to house and every season and  for over 40 years she would change the florals on her wreath with the change of seasons. Well, several years ago when my Mother was moving she handed me a large bag with something in it that she wanted me to fix. Inside the bag was her pinecone wreath. It was finally showing its age and needed some sprucing up - along with a few replacements to the pinecones and acorns.

It was really in tough shape and I knew that it was going to take a LOT of work to fix it up. Plus, in the back of my mind, I could still see all the cuts on her hands from all the wire. I certainly didn't want that to happen to me.

Fortunately, for me, with the invention of hot glue guns it wouldn't be as much work to wire the pinecones to the ring. Some would be wired, but some of the pinecones and acorns could be glued to each other.

So, I told her I'd try my best to fix it for her. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to fix her wreath. It's still sitting in a box in my basement. I have every intention of doing this for her. It's just a matter of finding the time.

Sadly, with my Mother's passing this year she won't be able to see her beautiful wreath restored to all its glory. Hopefully, when I finally do repair it she will be smiling down at me and the results.

Despite the fact that I can still remember all the cuts on my Mother's hands about twenty years ago I decided I wanted to try making a pinecone wreath of my own. While shopping for craft supplies I had come across a bag of white tipped pinecones that had been sprayed white on the tips. They just looked so lovely I just had to buy them. I thought they might look good in a pinecone basket and I bought them already spray painted it would save me the time of having to spray them myself.

This was all during the time when I thought it would be a great idea to collect all the pinecones from the lawn as we had a wealth of them that had fallen from the white pine and evergreen trees that year. I've posted about them in a post on my Linda's Blog entitled "The Pinecone Baskets - Now That's A Good Idea!"

This time I wasn't going to use a double rail flat ring. I was going to use a 8 1/2" oasis foam ring, some floral picks, and hot glue. I would wrap some of the floral picks around the back of the pinecones and then stick them in the foam. Then I would add hot glue to hold them and then hot glue them to each other. No cut hands for me. No sirree!

I had decided that my wreath would have a combination of the white tipped pinecones and some of the pinecones from my yard.  I also wanted to add preserved spiral eucalyptus (dark green, dried teal colored floral berries, and 1/2" red holly berry head wire stems to my wreath.

I decided which pinecones I wanted to use and then laid them out in an arrangement.  When I was happy with the pinecone selection I started putting the wreath together.  It took several hours to complete, but when I was done I was happy with the results which are shown in the picture at the beginning of this article.

This wreath has become my all time favorite wreath and hangs on the wall in my living room year round.   

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