Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fresh Pine Wreath

16. I love the smell of pine and cedar...the smell "is" Christmas!  Candles scented with pine are yummy smelling...but there is nothing like fresh, cut, crisp, cold, prickly pine.  

Each year when we choose our Christmas tree, I always scoop up the abandoned branches cut off the bottom of purchased trees.  The thought of the treasured branches being stepped over and cast aside makes me want to rescue them!  They can be used in so many ways.  A nice fresh pine wreath, decoration in a fresh pine centerpiece, surrounding a pillar candle...the options are endless.  Years ago, I would collect pine branches, dry them and create a Christmas Pine Potpourri filled with cinnamon sticks, mini pine cones and pine oil with red holly berries.

At our local garden shops the fresh pine wreaths are beautiful but very pricey.  The faux wreaths look really good decorated and can be reused year after year.  But decorating with a fresh pine wreath brings a special aesthetic charm to your home.

My rescued pine branches were ready to become a creation of beauty...so I pulled out the wreath frame, floral wire and my pruners and got to work...
layering pine branches & cedar branches and wrapping floral wire tightly to hold the branches in place.  The first layer is usually skimpy but creates a very good base.
I went around the wreath three times with branches but wanted to keep it tight, not spread out and bushy.

Then I attached a red french ribbon bow with long streamers.  Because the wreath will be hung outside, I tucked parts of the ribbon under the wire to keep the ribbon in tact.
On the underside, take your floral wire and wrap it around four of your fingers about 8 times to create a loop for hanging on a nail or door hook.  You could also lay the wreath on a table and place a punch bowl in the middle or a cake pedestal filled with Christmas cookies or a cake.
I placed the wreath in my front window and it was a perfect fit!

Try creating something from fresh pine or cedar.  You might have a pine tree in your backyard or a cedar bush in your front yard.  Grab your pruning shears and clip away.  Or just add several small branches as a decoration on a platter of cookies or in a fruit cup.

"Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree...how lovely are your branches."

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