The other day I remembered one of my first school projects – a turkey made with a pine cone and a construction paper cutout of my hand. That little turkey decorated our Thanksgiving table until I was well out of high school.
The memory of my childhood pine cone turkey inspired me to head out to the woods around the Garden Home Retreat to collect pine cones to make a wreath that I could use for my own Thanksgiving celebration.
This project will create (1) small pine cone wreath.
Dry Pine Cones in Small to Medium Sizes (These can be purchases at craft stores if you don’t have any pine trees nearby.)
12-inch Foam Wreath
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue Sticks
I tried hot gluing the first few pine cones to the foam wreath, but it was difficult to make them stick. So I wired a single ring of pine cones on the wreath to create a base, which gave the other pine cones something to “grab” onto and made the hot glue more effective. If you run into the same problem just wrap a length of floral wire around the pine cone, twist once to secure, then tie the pine cone to the wreath.
Hot glue smaller pine cones to the wreath. Be sure to hold the pine cone in place for a few seconds until the glue starts to set. Don’t worry if the pine cones don’t fit together tightly, you will fill the gaps with sheet moss.
Glue sheet moss to the back side to cover the wires and any glue.
Finish up by poking pieces of sheet moss into the open spaces between the pine cones.
Spray with sealant to help preserve the pine cones and add a little polish.
This wreath is best suited for indoor use, but it can be hung outdoors in an area sheltered from the elements.
One of my favorite holiday activities is wreath making. I like the symbolism of a wreath. The unbroken circle represents wholeness and continuity and because they’re generally made of evergreen material, it’s also a symbol of everlasting life. Now you don’t have to use traditional Christmas or holiday greens to create a wreath, a stroll around your garden will reveal a variety of materials that are perfect for the job.
This mixed berried wreath that is an attractive decoration anytime during the fall and winter. And if edible berries are used it can serve double duty as a wreath for the birds to enjoy as well. Here is how you put it together.
- clusters of mixed berries
- 14? foam wreath
- floral wire
- floral U pins
- evergreen leaves
- Gather berries from your garden. For this wreath I used Chinese photinia, rose hips and pepper berries. I purchased the pepper berries from a crafts store. Look around your garden and see what is available. Your berry selection can help define the style and color theme of the wreath.
- Once you have gathered the berries, cluster them in small bundles of 3 to 5 stems, depending on their size. Cut the stems to make them an even length and then bind them together with a little floral wire. You can purchase green floral wire on a spool at a crafts store.
- Next begin pinning the largest berry clusters to the wreath with the floral U pins. These large clusters will be the filler. Make sure that all the stems point in the same direction. Overlap the berries to hide the stems.
- After the wreath is evenly covered, fill in any open spaces with the smaller berries and clusters. Simply pin them to wreath as before.
- To create a focal point, tuck in a few large evergreen leaves at the bottom curve of the wreath. I used Chinese photinia leaves and created a circle that fanned around a group of berries.
- Hang the wreath with a loop of wide ribbon and enjoy!
Options for Wreath Materials:
Pepper berries (also available at florists)
Chinese Photinia berries
This wreath is a good example of turning trash into treasure. Rather than tossing out your wine corks, save them for this project.
Tied with a red bow, this wreath is perfect for Christmas, but it can be displayed year round with seasonally appropriate ribbon or just plain.
If you don’t drink wine, try calling a local restaurant and ask for their discarded corks.
Materials for Making a Wine Cork Wreath:
12-inch foam wreath
120 wine corks, plus or minus
Sheet Moss (optional)
Instructions for Making a Wine Cork Wreath:
Starting with the outer edge, glue the corks end-to-end, in a single row around the circumference of the wreath.
Continue adding corks until the entire wreath is covered.
Fill in the gaps between the corks with bits of moss.
Attach a bow and you’re done!
The Garden Home Retreat is especially festive in winter because we really deck it out for the holidays. I like to have a new inspiration every year. For instance one year the color theme was orange and chartreuse inspired by clementines and another it was cream and brown from the salt dough ornaments we used to decorate the tree.
Whatever the decorations, fresh cut greenery always serves as the canvas. It wouldn’t be the holidays for me without the scent of evergreens.
When it comes to greenery my favorite is the wreath. The circular shape and symbolism of everlasting life are appealing to me and I use them in a variety of ways beyond hanging on the front door.
Here are three ideas from the Garden Home Retreat you can try at your own garden home.
Using a Wreath as a Table Centerpiece
Set a wreath in the center of a table and embellish with fruit, glass balls, pinecones – anything you have on hand. You can place candles, a bowl of more greenery or a vase in the center of the wreath. Here I’ve used a wreath from my Silver Collection and a silver epergne filled with an arrangement of Noble Fir, pinecones, silver balls, green apples and artichokes.
Personalizing Wreaths for a Gift
Wreaths make wonderful gifts. I like to personalize them to make them unique for the recipient. I buy a wreath already decked out with a bow, berries etc and tie on embellishments with green floral wire. I have a friend who collects nutcrackers so I made her a nutcracker wreath. She can save the wooden figures for decorating next year.
Indoors and Outdoors
I use wreaths both indoors and out. I hang a trio of them on my kitchen windows and on the foot boards of beds. Outside I put them on gates, windows and, of course, the front door.
This Christmas season pick up a few extra wreaths. You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll find a use from them in your holiday decorating and gift giving.
Succulents are more popular than ever in the gardening world and now they are bringing their bold shapes and forms to the floral shop too. They have become a popular addition to floral arrangements and even bridal bouquets.
Creating a bouquet with succulents is simple. All you need to do is add a stem so you can bundle the “blooms” together.
Materials for Making a Succulent Bouquet
- Cut flowers
- Floral stem wire (available at craft stores)
- Floral tape
Directions for Making a Succulent Bouquet
Remove the succulent from its nursery pot and gently wash away the soil and cut back the roots.
To create a “stem” insert a piece of floral wire into the base of the succulent and bend to form a loop.
Wrap the base of the succulent and top of the floral wire with floral tape.
Assemble your succulent flowers and a few cut flowers from the garden into a bouquet.
Hold all the stems at the top as close to the base of the flowers as possible and secure with floral tape. This will cinch the blooms together into a tight bouquet.
As a final step wrap the stems with a pretty ribbon.