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Visitors make wreaths at Lehigh Gap Nature Center

  • ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Lee Sivak displays a heavy grape vine wreath base.
    ELSA KERSCHNER/TIMES NEWS Lee Sivak displays a heavy grape vine wreath base.
Published December 12. 2013 05:00PM

Visitors to the Lehigh Gap Nature Center created their own winter wonderland recently, as they created fragrant Christmas wreaths, snow globes, bird feeders and more.

The annual Christmas craft day took place last weekend. Greens were piled outside for the wreaths, and were brought by several different people.

In addition to wreaths, visitors could make pinecone bird feeders and tree ornaments.

Bill Mineo and his wife Lorraine have been coordinating the wreath projects for several years.

Bill Mineo said the bases are made by wrapping grape vines in a circle being careful to leave a point on one side, which will be the top and is used for hanging the wreath.

Lorraine showed how one made with Virginia Creeper vines is useful if the wreath has to fit between doors or some other tight space.

Small branches of greens are clipped, being careful to leave a bit of the branch that can be pushed into the grape vine base.

To make a wreath, start adding the branches at the top and go around in the same direction, said Mineo. From the back the branches can be tied to the base with a double knot left over right and then right over left.

Mineo was using Juniper branches which are soft and pliable.

Using a variety of different types of branches, some with short needles and some like white pine, which has long needles, adds interest. The white pine is also easy to work with.

When getting back to the beginning, branches are put in sideways and wrapped to make a thick clump to cover the bases of the branches that were used first one wrapped toward the back and one toward the front.

Mineo warns not to try and make the wreath symmetrical because it is difficult.

For a wreath that will hang outside where it keeps better, there should be more weight so the wind does not blow it down.

The clump can be covered with a bow. Pinecones and berries can be added for a decorative touch. Mineo also tucked in a few holly branches. He said that the berries he brought were from multiflora roses.

As the wreaths were created, the room was flooded with the Christmas fragrance of greens.

During the event, Donna Gasser and Jeanette Rinker helped make snow globes. To make a snow globe, begin with a clear ball, put greens inside and then fill it with water.

Add glitter to make the snow effect and then glue the top on. The outside of the ball can be decorated with paint. A ribbon to hang it with is the finishing touch.

To make a bird feeder, spread peanut butter on a cone and roll it in birdseed. A string or ribbon can be tied around the top of the cone to use as a hanger.

Cheryl Moser helped people make ornaments from Christmas cards.

She brought pages of templates printed from a Christmas template page on the Internet, which are used as backing for the designs cut from the cards.

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