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How to make a wreath, Strawbery Banke-style

Both weekends of the Candlelight Stroll at Strawbery Banke, the historic-landscape staff and volunteers in the Jones House are teaching visitors how to create their own homemade decorations and treats for the holidays from items that can be found in many backyards.

Here is a guide to making your own Strawbery Banke-style cone and sumac wreath, courtesy of the museum's curator of historic landscapes, John Forti.

Materials

-- Pine or spruce cones

-- Red staghorn sumac seed heads (Staghorn sumac and poison sumac are not the same; poison sumac is very rare and has white seed clusters that are not easily confused with the red staghorn seed heads.)

-- Small pieces of evergreen filler

-- Wire wreath frame of any size (available at most craft supply stores)

-- Wire

-- Clippers

Assembly

-- Take a walk in nature with family and friends to gather botanicals.

-- Find cones and seed clusters of a similar size and length.

-- Create a strong wire loop to hang the wreath before adding botanicals.

-- Pre-cut two appropriately sized pieces of wire to secure each cone/cluster to the inner and outer cross wires of the wreath frame.

-- Secure wires tightly and discreetly behind the scales or seeds to hide the wire.

-- Continue the pattern until the wreath has come full circle.

-- Hang the wreath and enjoy for the season!

-Gretyl Macalaster


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