Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gold Scavengers Wreath

Natural decorations are great for so many different reasons. They bring a natural beauty to your home, they are usually free if you collect everything yourself, and they can last for years if stored and cared for correctly. Again keeping along with my money saving efforts I decided to go natural with any new Christmas decor I'm adding to my collection this year. I wanted a wreath to hang over the mirror in my dining room so I decided I was going to use cinnamon sticks to create something beautiful and fragrant. But as I was telling my close friend at work, she enthusiastically informed me that she has been collecting components from the outdoors for years but has never found the time to make anything with them. She graciously gave some to me and it completely transformed my thought process. The pieces she gave me are some of the most beautiful items I have ever seen come from nature. 

I couldn't believe my eyes when she showed me these delicate branches. They are dried pods of some sort. We are still unclear of what plant produces these star like pods but aren't they incredible? The pine cones she brought me in a tin box and when she opened the box to show me what was inside I think I squealed with glee. These pine cones are produced by the cedar tree and mimic the shape of roses in full bloom. They are stunning.

So now that I had all the details, I needed the base for my wreath. So I dug up some old wreaths I had in storage and plucked off all the tacky fake florals and underneath, to my surprise, was a beautiful, natural willow branch wreath. Perfect for what I wanted to create. The problem I had though was when I put all the natural browns together nothing really popped. All the details of the star pods and pine cones disappeared. So being that this is a Christmas wreath, I thought a little gold spray paint would do the trick. And why not add a little sparkle with some gold ribbon.

Then I just started playing around with shapes. Manipulating the ribbon and hot glueing it in certain places when it felt right. I knew I wanted the pine cones to be in a mass and off center. Almost like a large applique. I probably could have stopped here and it would have been beautiful. But I still hadn't used any of the branches.

So I tucked the branches in close to the pine cones, kind of like they were sprouting these branches. I wanted them more compact near the pine cones and more spread out near the top. Again I glued them down when it felt just right. 

The finished product is a beautiful gold wreath, using natures most spectacular elements and a little touch of gold for elegance. I think it's perfectly at home hanging on display in our dining room.

See how else I used these materials to create more holiday decorations in my upcoming blog posts!