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Oven Baked Pine Cone Wreaths
Pine cone Wreaths with Ease
It's October again and I love walking into those shops that smell so delicious! You know the ones that just scream Autumn! They have heavenly wreaths and candles everywhere! You know exactly the ones I mean. When you take a deep breath you want to eat the air. I tried for years to make a fabulous pine cone wreath just like the ones in "those" shops. I was so determined. I gathered all of the woodland odds and ends thinking it would be so easy. I would just wire it all together. Maybe hot glue? Not as easy as I thought. Then one day I was out at the park and noticed that after a heavy rain the pine cones appeared to be more closed than usual. That gave me an idea! I gathered the cones and brought them into the kitchen to give this a try. It worked! I gathered everything I needed, except for the metal ring. I bought that from a craft shop. Instead of wiring or gluing the cones into place, I twisted them into the ring. The ring has three sections. I staggered the cones so that each of the three sections had just about equal cones. I made certain that the cones were fairly close together with no gaps. If the cones weren't wet or closed enough I left them in water for a few hours in a bucket to let them close up a bit so that they would twist in more easily. If the cones were really long I twisted them in half until they there were two and used them both.
When the wreath was nice and full of cones, I placed it on aluminum foil on the largest cookie sheet I had. I then placed it in the oven on a very low temperature 170 to 200 degrees seems to be just perfect. Make certain that the wire ring you pick fits into your oven or you will have to leave it out for over a week near a furnace vent to dry. Keep a close eye on your wreath to make certain that the cones don't burn. If you need to leave the wreath in the oven overnight, turn the oven off and turn it back on the next morning. I watched as the pine cones opened and expanded themselves together. The entire house smelled amazing! Then back to the area near the pond to cut the dried Queen Anne's lace, thistle and gather the nuts, thistle, buckeyes and other ornaments to decorate the wreath.
It was so much fun adding the "garnish" to the wreath. I used a little hot glue to keep the nuts and thistle, etc. in place. I'm planning to make a little smaller wreaths next time so that I can use it on my kitchen table for a center piece. This one barely fit into my oven but it was well worth the time. Last time I sprayed the wreaths with a light coat of polyurethane and they lasted for a number of years. I bought some boxes at a bakery and they made lovely hostess gifts.