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From: VSAUER@delphi.com Virginia B. Sauer
Organization: Delphi Internet Services Corporation


NUT/CONE/POD CANDLE WREATHS

Gorgeous candle wreaths are quick, easy, and inexpensive to make
with nuts, cones, and pods. Although bright red candles are
ideal for Christmas, other colors enable them to be displayed
throughout much of the year.

If you do not have cones and pods in your yard, they are
available at many beaches and parks, friends are great at
volunteering to collect them at their country homes, there are a
number of mail order sources, and you can often "barter" them
either locally or with online members (e. g., swapping for
either services or for crafting materials they might like that
grow in your region). Try for as large a variety as possible.


MATERIALS NEEDED:

Newspapers

Corrugated cardboard (such as a carton) at least 17 inches
square

White craft glue (optional)

Glue gun or quick-drying glue (such as Duco cement)

Fabric or felt (at least 17 inches square), preferably dark
brown or the color of the candles

Gold braid, cord, or rickrack

Dark brown linoleum paste

Pinecones *

4 gold metal candlesticks (the small, inexpensive kind)

Large variety of cones and pods *

Unshelled nuts (i. e., nuts with their shells on) **

1 can high gloss polyurethane varnish (spray can or can with
paint brush)

4 tapered candles (preferably red, although other colors can
be used for different seasons)

Card on which you have written a warning reminding the
recipient never to leave lighted candles unattended


* Try for as large a variety as possible. If you do not
have pinecones and pods in your yard, they are available
at many beaches and parks, friends are great at
volunteering to collect them at their country homes, and
you can often "barter" them either locally or with online
members (e. g., swapping for either services or for
crafting materials they might like that grow in your
region). Horse chestnuts and black walnuts look
especially beautiful.

** Hazelnuts or filberts are particularly pretty on this


PROCEDURE:

-- As with any painting or varnishing project, select a workspot
with adequate ventilation, and which can be left undisturbed
while the wreath is drying (so that no one will constantly
inhale the fumes).

-- Spread newspapers over your working surface.

-- Cut a large circle (about 16" or so) from corrugated
cardboard, such as a carton. Cut out an inner circle,
leaving a relatively wide ring. (The wreaths do not look
nearly as nice when the ring is thin.)

-- Glue fabric or felt to one side of the cardboard ring. This
will be the back.

-- Glue gold braid or some sort of cord or rickrack to the inner
and outer rims to hide the cardboard.

-- Place cardboard ring fabric-side-down over newspapers.

-- Spread dark brown linoleum paste over the cardboard. (This
will attach the bottom layer and provide depth.)

-- Place pinecones, pointed side out, side by side around the
outer rim, slightly overlapping (i. e., having the tips of
the pinecones extend over the edges of the ring).

-- Place another row of pinecones, pointed side out, side by
side around the inner rim, slightly overlapping (i. e.,
having the tips of the pinecones extend over the edges of the
ring).

-- Place 4 small, inexpensive "brass-look" candlesticks on the
ring, arranging them so that there are equal amounts of space
between each one. Press them into the linoleum paste.

-- Glue an assortment of nuts, cones, and pods to the wreath.
(An attractive arrangement can most easily be achieved by
using the candles as a framework - e. g., a eucalyptus pod to
the right of the first candlestick, another eucalyptus pod to
the right of the second candlestick, a third eucalyptus pod
to the right of the third candlestick, et cetera, followed by a
lotus pod alongside the first eucalyptus pod, another lotus
pod alongside the second eucalyptus pod, et cetera.

-- Using a glue gun or quick drying glue (such as Duco cement),
glue nuts and small cones and pods to tops and spaces to add
decorative touches. Hazelnuts/filberts, horse chestnuts, and
black walnuts are particularly beautiful for this.

-- If your workspace does not provide adequate ventilation for
varnishing, let the wreath dry and take it outside when ready
to spray.

-- Spray or brush with several coats of clear high gloss
polyurethane varnish, drying thoroughly between each.

-- Insert candles in candlesticks. (If you are mailing or
transporting the wreath, omit this step and instead give the
candles along with the wreath.

-- INCLUDE A CARD CONTAINING INSTRUCTIONS NEVER TO LEAVE LIGHTED
CANDLES UNATTENDED.


VARIATIONS:

-- Although I much prefer the tapered candles, this can also be
made by not cutting out the center circle, omitting the
tapered candles and candlesticks, and substituting a fat
candle which is either glued in the center or given along
with the candlewreath.

-- Colors can be varied for different seasons and holidays ...
For example, this can be displayed throughot the autumn and
winter by alternating harvest gold, moss green, and red
candles - or even orange candles for Halloween.

-- Many people display these wreaths throughout autumn and
winter, rather than solely at Christmas time. In this
instance, you may want to add such things as mini corn cobs
if they are available in your area.

-- The candles and candlesticks can be omitted altogether to
make a hanging wreath to be displayed on the wall or door.
. Make the ring thinner than directed above.
. Before gluing on the fabric backing, use a piece of wire
to wrap a hook (such as a curtain hook) around the ring to
serve as a hanger. Make sure that the hanger is at the
top of the ring, above the circle. This will be the top
of your wreath (and the hanger will be hidden by the
pinecones). Proceed as above, dividing the nuts, cones,
and pods into three segments rather than four (e. g.,
visualizing the circle as a clock, with the hanger at 12
o'clock, one eucalyptus pod at 2 o'clock, one eucalyptus
pod at 6 o'clock, and one eucalyptus pod at 10 o'clock ...
one lotus pod next to the first eucalyptus pod, one lotus
pod alongside the second, et cetera).
. If the wreath will be exposed to strong sunlight, either
paint top of cardboard ring dark brown or cover with
surplus fabric, and substitute quick-drying glue (such as
Duco cement) for both hot glue and linoleum paste.