How to Make a Redwood Rose Wreath

After I rang the doorbell, I stood on my friend’s porch waiting for her to answer. I shifted my weight and mindlessly surveyed porch decorations. And then I saw them: there on the walkway were the prettiest little pinecones I’d ever seen. They were tiny, tight rosettes, like the little radish roses my mother used to carve for relish trays. The ground was littered with them and I wanted every single one! They were so pretty, so cheery that I knew they should be gloried in some tacky decoration that I’d dream up.

And so they are. The little rosettes turned out to be the seed pods of a Dawn Redwood tree and here’s the decoration I dreamt up. It’s a simply styled wreath that lets the redwood rosettes be diva-for-a-day. And if you can’t find these seasonal little gems, then replace them with another natural element: shells, pinecones, poppy seed pods, star anise, rose hips or chinese lanterns would all be glorious. I’m including the instructions for my sweet Redwood Rose Wreath below. Enjoy.

Redwood Rose Wreath

Materials: redwood “rosette” seed pods or another natural element (I used 60 rosettes – 20 large, 40 small – for a 7″ diameter wreath), 22″ coaxial cable*, twine, 34″ long (2″ wide) bias strip of dupioni silk, needle and thread, hot glue and glue gun, white glue, glue stick, clothespins.

1. First make your wreath base by forming your length of coaxial cable into a ring, and I’m going to use graphic, sexy-hot directions, so stay tuned. (To do this, first strip 2″ of one end of cable by cutting the outer plastic sheath and removing it; I used a pair of kitchen shears. [Think of it as “circumcising” the cable yuck: you’re not cutting all the way through to the electrical wire core; you’re just removing the outer layer.] Then with a pair of pliers, pull the exposed core out another 2″. Cut off 2″ of this exposed core, leaving 2″ remaining. [This is the male end]. Form a ring by inserting the male end into the female end. Awesome. “I’ll have what she’s having.”)

2. Draw a 2″ line of white glue on your coaxial cable ring and tightly wrap the twine around the ring, securing with clothespins as needed. Repeat until ring is completely wrapped.

3. Cut a 45 degree angle on both ends of your silk bias strip and overlap edges to form a loop (being careful not to twist). Secure with glue stick and let dry.

4. With needle and thread, stitch a running stitch down the center of the entire bias strip. The end of your running stitch should meet the beginning. Pull to gather.

5. Using your coaxial cable ring as a guide, gather the silk bias loop to the same circumference as the ring, evening out your gathers.

6. Glue a line of white glue on your gathered silk’s running stitch and adhere to the coaxial cable ring. (I added a weight atop the this gathered silk/coaxial cable ring base and let dry).

7. Hot glue your redwood rosettes in a pleasing pattern along the center of the wreath, covering up the running stitch. I glued a large rosette in the center, and then a pair of smaller rosettes next to that. Repeat pattern until your entire running stitch is covered.

*Coaxial cable is often used for television and radio systems. You can find it in the electronics/technology department of most hardware stores.