Archive for November, 2011

November 29, 2011

DIY Boxwood Aromatherapy Wreath

Boxwood is a popular green garden hedge and topiary plant.

Boxwood from my garden cut into a globe shape

Using Boxwood for wreath making is a popular choice because they keep their colour and shape relatively well when dried. They may dry a slighty darker green colour and shrink a little so you need  a bunch of sprigs to make a full wreath, or you may want to use it as edging, like I did in some of the wreaths that I have made.

Chili cone wreath with Boxwood

I decided to clip some of my Boxwood plants from my garden to make a wreath for my front door. I clipped them into globes because they are small. You can buy your own boxwood to make your own topiary plant to put in a plant container pot or plant it directly in the garden, and then you can use the clippings for wreath making and botanical arrangements. My Boxwood plants are pretty bald now so I have to let them grow back for a while before I make any more wreaths.

Boxwood close-up

For making the boxwood wreath I used a straw form as a base, that I bought for a dollar.

strawbase wreath form

I wrapped red satin ribbon around it so that some of the straw form alternated with the ribbon. I used a hot glue gun on the boxwood stem ends and wedged them into the cracks of the straw form and underneath parts of the ribbon. A toothpick or skewer can help you place things so that you can avoid getting burned with hot glue.

Be careful when using a hot glue gun! Have a bowl of cold water ready to dip your hand in if you come into contact  with the hot glue. Use lavender essential oil directly on any burns that occur along with aloe vera gel for effective treatment.

Boxwood wreath almost finished

I secured some of the boxwood sprigs with floral pins. I put the wreath on a round ‘Lazy Susan’ flat on the table so that I could easily spin it around while I worked on it. Hang the wreath on the wall to finish it, it gives you a better angle on where to fill in the holes. I tied a big red satin ribbon around the bottom of the straw form half way through making it, so that it wrapped around some boxwood sprigs which helps to hold them into place and then some still filled out around it. I tied the double bow when I finished making the wreath. The double bow is easy if you do rabbit ears for the second loops. At first I added red jingle bells with twisted paper clips, but I found that the floral pins worked better and I fastened them through the straw. It took me about an hour to make.

Boxwood Wreath

I hung it on the front door and the last step was to add essential oil to make it into an Aromatherapy wreath. I added Balsam fir essential oil to the straw sides to give it a fresh evergreen forest smell that greets visitors when they enter. Balsam fir is a popular choice for Christmas trees and for me the smell is synonymous with the holidays, but I don’t cut down trees so this works out even better because it is really all about the aroma! You can add your own choice of essential oils like citrus oils such as orange or other tree oils like Spruce. Use your favourites.

Battery Tealight in Boxwood Wreath

 I taped a battery-powered  tea light candle to peak out in between the ribbon near the bottom just like an old-fashioned traditional wreath but without the fire hazard of burning a candle.

Boxwood wreath with jingle bells

Here is the finished version. It still smells wonderful and it has dried well. I added another bow and some large jingle bells to accompany the red jingle bells in the wreath.

Cheers! Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Holiday!

November 28, 2011

DIY Aromatherapy Pinecone Wreaths

My mother asked me to make her something new out of pinecones because she loves the pinecone tree that I made her when I was a kid, it lights up and she still gets it out every year for the holidays.
You can collect your own or buy them. If you collect your own wash them well. If you soak them they will close up, and when they are dry they will open. You can use wire forms you make yourself or buy preformed.

I used foam circles I recycled from
spice rack packaging. I wouldn’t buy foam forms but recycling them
works. I prefer working with natural straw and grapevines wreaths.
You can make a centrepiece or a wall hanging wreath
Foam recycled circles Foam recycled circles
I wrapped the foam with green
craft ribbon. To hang it I used a white ribbon and tied it around the form before I added anything and made the bow later. I added silver jingle bells with floral pins after I put all
the cones on. I added essential oils of cinnamon and clove to make
an aromatherapy wreath and freshen the air. When the wreath is finished Add essential oils, so it doesn’t rub off on your hands.
Lighted Pinecone Wreath Lighted Pinecone Wreath

I used cinnamon and clove essential oils, I love cinnamon cones!!!! One form had holes in it, so I strung
mini multi-coloured LED lights through it and then wrapped some ribbon around it to hold the lights on. I glued pinecones of all sizes and shapes. I used large and small spruce cones which are more cylindrical than the more rounder pinecones from the pine trees. I used 5 different types of cones. I wrapped a white
ribbon around the side with a double bow to hide the cord and placed it on my side table. I added a white beaded wire that I had lying around. I can put a thin white candle in the
centre in a glass small candle holder. If I put the candle in, I don’t add essential oils.
Chili cone wreath with Boxwood Chili cone wreath with Boxwood

For another wreath I wrapped the outside with green craft ribbon. I glued
on some boxwood around the outside and then put floral pins in to keep it in place. I decorated it with Thai red
chili peppers I grew and dried myself this year.  I finished it with a simple red ribbon. I added some essential oil of balsam fir to add that wonderful evergreen tree smell. I have some
leftover pinecones that I am going to make some ornaments out of
for the tree. Check it out here -
DIY aromatherapy Pinecone ornaments http://earthelixir.ca/2011/12/09/diy-aromatherapy-pinecone-ornaments/
Thanks mom for fuelling my creativity (and this blog).

I hope you enjoy making pinecone art
as much as I do.

Happy Holiday
Crafting!

Due to the risk of
fire it is best not to use candles with essential oils because essential oils are combustible, and dry pinecones with
added accelerants are used as a fire starter.

November 20, 2011

DIY Festive Grapevine Wreath

I believe it was the ancient Greeks that traditionally made festive wreaths to mark special occasions and celebrations. Bay laurel wreaths crowned Olympic champions as a sign of victory.

Grapevines are my favourite type of wreath to make. I made this huge grapevine circle to form a wreath and wrapped it around itself using the last of the grapevines from my backyard.

Grapevine wreath

It’s natural simplicity makes it perfect to decorate it with anything, without using a glue gun or pins or anything! I like it because you can change the themes easily, because nothing is permanent. For Halloween I put black rubber snakes throughout it.

For a more festive theme now that the snow is coming I am going to fill it with greenery.

Grapevine wreath with greenery

I used pine twigs because the natural curve of the branches seem to naturally follow the form of the wreath. I also used rosehips and berry branches I pruned from one of my shrubs to add some berry colour. I didn’t need to use a glue gun or have to pin anything, I just weaved it into the grapevine and it stays there naturally. I usually work on a wreath facedown on a table and then hang it up to put the finishing touches on it, but I decorated the grapevine wreath while it was hanging because it is so big.  I hung the grapevine wreath with a branch it curled around itself and slipped it though the crack on the gate, but you could use any kind of hook or ribbon.

You can get creative and use what you have access to, or buy lights, ribbon or add your own accessories for themes. I like mine au natural of course.

Grapevine festive wreath for gate

This grapevine wreath greets everyone at my front gate. I will add some ribbon or other greenery I find interesting, and I can change it up at a moment’s notice making it ez-pz!

I thought I would update a picture of the grapevine wreath decked out with red velvet ribbon and bow with a jingle bell ornament.

Holiday Christmas Grapevine Wreath

Happy Holidays Everyone!

November 18, 2011

DIY Dried Botancial Aromatherapy Wreath

Dried Aromatherapy Wreath

Our Aunt sent us the most beautiful bouquet of roses just before she died of cancer. I dried the roses and decided to make a wreath out of them. I am going to give the Aromatherapy wreath to her surviving twin sister, who is still having a hard time dealing with the loss of her identical twin. I know she likes lavender too so I put some dried lavender flower heads from my garden and added some boxwood leaves as greenery. I added essential oil of lavender to the dried flowers to make it smell even more wonderful.

I used a round 12’ straw wreath form.

Straw Wreath form 12'

I used a wire ribbon to form the double bow for the front, and a solid green ribbon to wrap around the wreath.

Bow

I added the dried roses first with a low temp. glue gun. Have a bowl of water ready if you burn yourself with hot glue, especially if you use a high temp. glue gun. The low temp glue guns make the glue stringier, but you don’t burn yourself as bad. Have lavender essential oil on hand in case of burns.

 I added clove essential oil to the middle of some flower heads for antifungal, antibacterial action and to make it smell great while I worked on it.  I love the smell of clove and roses together. Add your own favourite essential oils.

I added boxwood leaves around the sides of the roses to fill in and cover the straw form. Boxwood is a good choice because it dries well. The leaves will shrink when dried so it is better to use the straw form than wire, because the wire one may fall apart.

I filled in any imperfections or holes with lavender flower heads and added French Lavender essential oil to make it a true Aromatherapy wreath.

To hang it I used green wire and twisted it around itself to form a hole, and attached the wire to the top of the back of the form.

wire hanger

I hope this gives you some inspirational ideas to work with to make your own Dried Botanical Aromatherapy Wreath.

 

 

 

November 9, 2011

Botanical Arrangements

Bring the garden inside with dried botanical arrangements.

This time of year when the garden is finishing and plants are preparing for sleep, I miss having the aroma of fresh plants around. It is getting cold here and before its snows (dare I say it) I raided the garden to see what was leftover. I want to make some botanical arrangements to bring inside to adorn my tables and bring in some fresh scents. If you live in the city and don’t garden plan a walk in nature.

Lavender, Rue, Yarrow dried arrangement

I found some Lavender flowers, dried right on the stock. If I had picked it earlier the colour purple would have been brighter, but it still smells wonderful. I pruned some lavender leaves and added them to the bouquet.

The Rue flowers were starting to turn into interesting green headed seeds that look like tooth molars.

Rue seed heads look like green molars

It shouldn’t be flowering this late but I had cut it back and it bloomed again on Halloween. Rue plants help to keep away cats from doing their business in your garden, and it works because it has a strong smell. Be cautious with Rue, it is poisonous ingested in large doses. To complete the fantastic threesome, I added some Yarrow with its feathery leaves.

This is a dried flower arrangement put in a vase with no water. It will dry and it will keep its aroma for a long time.

Dogwood and Pine in sake vase

I can see why red dogwood twigs are a popular choice, they keep their brilliant colour even when dried. Dogwoods are great ornamentals or grow in the wild near marshy wetlands. I cut some twigs and matched it with a small pine tip and put it in a saké vase for a simple natural look.

Sake vase with pine dogwood and nut

I added a halved nut I found in my backyard from a squirrel no doubt. This is a dried arrangement with no water, making it maintenance free. If you add water make sure you change it often, or it can start to smell.

Dogwood, Spruce and greenery

I also put the red dogwood branches on a larger scale in a vase and paired it with a Spruce branch tip and a green creeper from my yard that dries green and keeps its shape. I put it in a vase with rocks in the bottom and I added water to this one to keep it fresh longer, but it will dry nicely as well.

All of these arrangements smell wonderful and will last for a long time with no maintenance.

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