04 December 2013

Decorating the cabin:Part One

Decorating the Cabin: Part One/Garland

Back in September I made a pine cone garland to go over the cabin door.

The original garland back in September.

You can see that tutorial here.

Amazingly, the pine cone garland is still alive and still hanging over the front door- in spite of some pretty heavy duty winds and lots of snow.

But now I am ready for some festive Christmas decor.
And I'm not interested in spending much money or doing too much, because we will head back to Texas for Christmas day.    But I do want the cabin to feel joyous while we are here.

So this morning, working against the clock and the snow fall to come, I reworked the pine cone garland.

First I gathered a large amount of greenery. I'm sure these greens have specific names but I'm calling them pine and fir. And that is probably incorrect. Whatever.

Two different kinds of greens.
A great place to start!

Then I spread my original garland out on the front porch so I could work on the entire length at once.

The original garland about to get
gussied up for the holidays.

I also gathered my supplies:
Wire nippers
Floral wire

Today's cast of characters.

If you do not already have a garland to use as a base, you can start with a length of jute or wire. Cut the jute/wire the length that you wish your garland to be.  If you are using a light weight wire you might want to cut three lengths and braid it together- making your base a little sturdier. (If you do this, be sure to cut your wires longer than you want your finished project. Twisting/braiding will take up some of the length.)

I cut about 25  ten inch lengths of floral wire to start. You'll probably need more than that before all is said and done, but 25 will get you started.

Wear the gloves or risk poking yourself with the wire ends and pine cones. (Like I did...)
(Also, if you don't wear the gloves you will need to schedule a manicure post-garland, post- haste.)

Starting at each end I lay down some airy fir greens, twisting the existing pine cones around a bit just to hold it in place.

Start from the ends and work your way in,
overlapping as you go.

Next I placed the pine, overlapping the fir,  again laying it down and twisting a pine cone or two around the stems.

Alternating fir and pine I worked from each end to the middle. At this point I was just laying it out and not wiring anything into place.

Stop, admire your work and revel in the glorious evergreen scent.

Once you have reached the center and are happy with your lay out, start tying your wires about every 6 to 8  inches.  Tie them around the greens to secure everything in place. Once everything is secure, wrap  the wire ends up and down each individual stem- securing the greens to the jute and pine cones. If you just tie it without wrapping up and down, your ends will stick out and your greenery will fall off.

Just for balance I tried to make the center heavier and fuller, tapering down the sides to the airy fir at each end.

For the center I twisted three wires together and then into a loop which was tied around the garland center. The loop is used to hang the garland and help secure the centerpiece.

Three wires, twist them together, 
make a loop.

Once all your greens are tied on, hang your wreath back up. The exact center will still look a little bare where the greens meet.

Then make a bouquet of greens/dried flowers and stick it into the center spot, either through the hanging loop or tied to that loop. Whatever works and makes it stay put.

Make a little bouquet for the center.

A smaller bouquet is wired to the bottom of the center- filling it out and covering any bare spots that might be showing where it is hung.

If you are an over- achiever, add a bow.

I wanted a very simple cabin-y look and stuck with just greens.
(Also it started snowing and I was working outside.  Nothing like snow everywhere to make you decide you are done.)

Admire your finished product.

Carlos staring out the door and me standing in the snow.

Joy to the world.

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