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Friday, October 25, 2013

Hickory Nut Wreath

An old, good friend of mine posted pictures of this beautiful wreath she made, so I surprised her with a comment: "Guest post for blog?!" She said yes! This is her first time writing a blog post, and since I surprised her with it, she didn't really get a chance to take "professional" photos. But you want real anyways, right?

So, without further ado.. A Tutorial for a Hickory Nut Wreath by Paige

This past Sunday after church, we went to my husband’s parents house to help with some home improvement things. Well, if you have kids, you know they have to help (like the help I'm getting now from my youngest). My mother-in-law and my daughter started collecting all the hickory nuts in the yard as busy work, and they separated the outer shells from the nuts.

Then my son had to help. So he got in on the action by un-separating them and throwing them back into the brush. After a bit, we had a huge pile of naked hickory nuts, and my MIL (mother-in-law shorthand) asked the kids and me what we could do with them.

Now, I have a huge obsession with painting things. I suggested that we paint a few and mix them with the natural colored ones and throw them in a vase and you could use them as fall decoration.

But then I had another thought.

I have seen so many wreaths made from shells and other things, I thought "why not make a wreath out of them"!

She thought it was a good idea, so we collected up the nuts and brought them in.

Here is how the wreath came together:

First, collect up the nuts you want to use, I think we ended up using about 5-6 pounds of them (we collected about 10). Make sure they are relatively clean, you don't have to wash them, but if you want to you can. I didn't wash mine, it was part of the aesthetic.

Then gather your materials. For mine, I used a sturdy, straw wreath form from Joann’s craft store for $2.99, some spray paint (Krylon Colormaster in Satin Nickel and Metallic Silver on this one), something to cover the wreath form since the nuts don't fit together perfectly, and a high temp hot glue gun to secure the nuts to the wreath. I used scrap burlap to wrap the wreath, and found that the cooler temperature glue gun cooled too quickly for this, so hot worked best for me.

After collecting all the materials, I took some nuts asides and separated them for each color I wanted to spray paint. Once dry, I combined them with the unpainted nuts to mix them together.

While waiting for the nuts to dry, I wrapped the wreath with the scrap burlap, using the hot glue to secure.

Now for the really time consuming, possibly dangerous part: glue the nuts to the burlap covered wreath form.

This took me longer than normal because my three year old daughter insisted on helping, so I had to be careful not to get the glue near her or me (Safety first!). You can glue them however you want, I chose to intersperse the painted nuts throughout by not letting the painted nuts touch other painted nuts. Try to make sure that you fit the nuts as closely together as possible so that very little burlap is showing.

I realize it is impossible to do this everywhere, hence the reason for the burlap background.

The next steps are completely optional:

Find some silk flowers and glue to the wreath (I found these at Joann’s on 70% off clearance).

Make a burlap or ribbon hanger. I suck at making bows, so I just tied a knot- I think it adds to the rustic charm.

Now you have a very beautiful and very heavy seasonal wreath. You could also carry the wreath to other holiday seasons by spraying the whole thing (minus the flowers) a metallic, white, or other “holiday” color.

Thanks Paige for that awesome inspiration and tutorial!

Wasn't that super easy for such a big statement?! I'm lazy, as we all know, and would have probably skipped the spray painting and left it all natural and rustic. But all glossy white with some iridescent glitter on it and a silver bow for winter would look super sweet, too! And if you don't have hickory nuts in your backyard, go ahead and gather acorns or anything else for this. But make sure there aren't any holes... you don't want worms coming out!

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