Sunday, November 6, 2011

How I made a pinecone wreath

I can't remember where Keith and I were but somewhere we saw a pinecone wreath and both really liked it. Unfortunately, it was really pricey. So I am going to show you how I made one for $3.50

The reason I was able to make it so cheaply is that the only thing I had to buy was ribbon. Keith and I frequently take walks around our neighborhood and in parks so I knew where to collect pinecones and vine. Everything else I already had. Except for the hot glue gun which I borrowed from my mom (Thanks mom!).

What you need:
Thin, bendable vines
Pinecones - every shape, size and color!
Hot glue gun, thin wire or string, ribbon, snips for trimming the vine, and any additional embellishments you want to incorporate.

See that pile of unruly vines? They shall become our master piece!
I did part of this tutorial on the floor because the vines kept crawling off the table and it was driving me insane.

As you can see from the leaves, I tried to choose vines that were green. Of course this is not mandatory, it just means that they will be more flexible and easier to shape. Some of the vines were brown and dry though and they worked just fine too.

1) The first thing you want to do is pluck off all the leaves, prickers, and any small 'branches' that will catch and make it difficult to shape the wreath.

2) Take a manageable length of vine and bend it into a circle, tucking the ends around itself. As far as size is concerned - Do what your heart desires! There are no limits! Just make sure it is a comfortable size for you to handle and that it will match the size of your pinecones.

3) Continue to add lengths of vine, wrapping as you go. Keep the weave a bit loose. By this I mean don't force the vines to lay super close to each other.  The loose weave will leave spaces were you can tuck the pinecones in giving your wreath dimension.
Keep wrapping until you have a wreath that looks something like this:

4) Using wire or thread secure the wreath by tying some of the vines together.  I think I did around 20 ties. My high tech stability test method was to give the wreath a shake. Anything that shifted or popped out was tied down.

5) Now for the artful arrangement of pinecones! Start with the largest cones first, gluing them around the wreath so that it looks balanced. Once you are happy with the amount of large pine cones on the wreath step down to slightly smaller cones and do the same thing. Continue to tuck cones into the wreath and fill in any gaps.

6) Use any little pinecones dead last to fill in tiny gaps and cover any vine you don't want showing.
If you are going to add any pretty objects to your wreath you would do that now. 

7) To hang you can either attach a length of wire around the vines in back or loop the ribbon through the vines and hang up!

All finished!
For now I've left my wreath plain but once we get a tad closer to Christmas I'll be adding some sweet vintage flair and probably a bit of something sparkly :)

PS: hot glue will remove sap from skin. Not that I'm recommending that you stick your hand on a pile of hot hot glue. I'm just saying, if you do, when you peel it off it will take the sap with it.

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