Naturally Beautiful Fall Wreaths
Crisp morns and golden light--it's the time of year when back roads rule and discoveries are limited only by the setting sun. Why let a day's memories fade? Make a wreath to celebrate a special find, as we did. Here are three that were inspired by a day trip to the mountains.
Stacked with rolls of sweet-scented hay, the open-sided barn, big enough to host a dance, stirred our imagination. For a moment, we second-guessed city life. But instead, the country came home with us.
- Start with a length of barbed wire long enough to loop back on itself. Wearing gloves, fasten the ends by twisting with a pair of pliers.
- Form a base by securing leaves to the bottom one-third of the barbed wire with florist wire. Add berries such as pepper berry, cotoneaster, nandina, or pyracantha.
- Loop florist wire through the bottom of a bird's nest, and then twist it around the wreath base. Tuck in dried hydrangea blossoms. Finish with quail eggs, either found or purchased from a crafts store.
The Amish wagon sideboards were the color of red that only time and honest work reveal. The inscription of the previous owners' names makes them even more special.
- Choose an oval grapevine wreath for your base. A round one will work too.
- Weave rose hips, cut from the garden or purchased from a florist, through the grapevine to secure. They should radiate out from the point where you will place the bow.
- Add the bow, just off center at the bottom, and then finish with pheasant feathers.
Acorns were everywhere--it must have been a good year for them. On the way back to the car, we couldn't help plucking a few from the soft beds of moss that edged the trail.
- Using a glue gun, attach moss to a straw wreath.
- Insert lichen, prefitted with skewers cut to 2 inches in length, into the wreath to form a shelf. Add more lichen as desired. Attach sticks with a glue gun, and then tuck in a leaf or two.
- Display acorns on the lichen shelf, securing with a glue gun, if desired.
Most of the materials needed to make our wreaths are available at crafts stores or from www.afloral.com.
- Barbed wire--For new wire, try a farm-supply store, and then spray-paint it with Krylon Brushed Metallic paint in the color of your choice.
- Bird's nest--If you can't find an abandoned one outdoors, try the floral department at a crafts store.
- Florist wire--Check at any crafts store.
- Quail eggs--Try eBay (www.ebay.com) to purchase the real thing, or opt for faux look-alikes at crafts stores. If you use real eggs, you'll need to blow them out as you would chicken eggs.
- Pheasant feathers--Check at any crafts store.
- Dried hydrangeas--Dry your own, or look for them at crafts stores.
- Moss--Any type will work. We used light green reindeer moss from Smith & Hawken (www.smithandhawken.com). Most crafts stores also carry this product.
- Glue gun--You can find one at any crafts store. A hot-melt glue gun creates a stronger bond.
- Lichen--Try crafts or floral-supply stores. Tip: Preskewered lichens are a snap to work with.
- Acorns--They're easy to find in fall, but you can also buy them on eBay.
- Straw wreath base--Look at any crafts or floral-supply store.
- Oval grapevine wreath--Check out crafts or floral-supply stores. A round wreath works just as well.
- Rose hips--Check the garden first. Many roses, such as rugosas, have wonderful, showy hips. If you have no luck, contact your local florist or a floral-supply company.