• 12-inch, wire-wreath frame
• Various shapes and sizes of Florida leaves and twigs
• Satin metallic spray paint (in fall colors)
• Glue gun and glue sticks
• Decorative mirror that fits inside the center of the base
• Flexible copper wiring
• Two-inch brown or oxblood colored ribbon
1. Weave palm fronds
Select various leaves, mossy twigs and one palm frond. Using a freshly trimmed palm frond, separate 1-inch segments and weave through every tier of the wire frame. Make sure each leaf is woven in the same manner as the leaf before. These will dry out overnight and shrink; you’ll want to bulk-up the wreath by adding a few more leaves the next day. (We originally wove bushy Indian grass throughout, which we would not recommend. They shed everywhere and are too delicate.)
The frond will essentially be folded in half over the inside tier of the base. The left side will go under, over, under, over; the right side will go over, under, over, under.
2. Spray paint leaves and base
After the palm fronds and leaves have dried out, they are ready to be painted. Spray-paint the backsides of the leaves, let them dry, and then do the front. We used two types of leaves in addition to the frond. We painted about 10 leaf groupings gold and the other selection of leaves bronze. Spray the back of the wreath base of woven palm leaves gold, let it dry, and paint the front.
3. Attach gold leaves
Lay the leaves around the wreath base to determine what placement looks the best. We used hot glue to attach the gold leaves to the first two tiers of wiring around the perimeter. You might also use copper wiring around the stem and base for extra support.
4. Attach twigs and copper leaves
Lay out the twigs to determine what the placement will be — we put ours in a square frame. Glue one stick down, and then begin gluing one on each side. It’s easiest to see where the stick touches the frame and other sticks and then apply glue in those places. (Spanish moss attached to the sticks adds a neat effect.)
Then, we attached the copper-painted leaves and applied one grouping to each corner of the frame; we secured these with copper wiring. It’s best to go back over your work and make sure everything is stuck in place — if not, use more glue or a little wiring.
5. Tie mirror and add bow
We found a mirror with two prongs on the back that we strung ribbon through. We looped it through the base and tied it in a knot.
Take your thick ribbon and tie a nice-sized bow with long tails using a bunny-ear method of tying. Attach the bow by looping wiring through the back of it, twist it a few times and, then, weave it around
the top of the twig frame. You could also use a spray glass frost and stencil to monogram the mirror with a letter or leaf shape.
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Food and fun
The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance and its Young Leaders Alliance have something to talk about: the organizations collected 764 pounds of nonperishable food and $1,295 cash to benefit The Food Bank of Manatee/Meals on Wheels PLUS.
River Club’s Cheryl Kaufman says she’s still pinching herself.
A little “Ho! Ho! Ho!” can go a long way this holiday season.