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Creative Crafts Make It a Country Christmas – Wreathes, Grave Blankets

November 1, 2014

440px-Pine_boughsCountry Christmas crafts are what Christmas is all about for many. It’s homemade dinner and desserts, the simple things that seem so far from the rest of the world. Many think Christmas country crafts ideas need be difficult but this is just not the case.

Growing up on a small farm in Illinois our family Christmas was earned with the sale of Christmas trees raised on the farm. Occasionally someone not in the Christmas spirit would cut a tree, then drop it and cut a 2nd tree they wanted more, leaving the first one to spoil if not noticed. If it didn’t sell right away, or for the trees cut high that had branches left on the stump, we didn’t like seeing waste. We made our personal Christmas money taking this boughs and branches and making real country Christmas crafts with them.

Today we don’t have Christmas trees but do, still, make simple wreathes and grave blankets as time and demand allows. For those wanting to make their own, some basic supplies and time are needed.

Poultry netting was used to make a circular base for a wreath, the branches cut and woven into the holes of the netting. With practice it meant cutting a section of netting off then making a “tube”, securing it together with wire. The ‘tube’ was then made into a wreath shape, then the greens woven in. Lastly a wire was attached as a hanger, and they were set up for sale with it paying for many presents we bought for family and friends.

You can also make the same principle by using a few heavier, but flexible, branches and forming that initial circle, wiring them securely to each other, then adding in others to the desired fullness of your wreath. Add a pretty red bow and you have a beautiful, homemade Christmas wreath for the front door that costs you nothing but time and a little wire.

For the odd branches that were too short or otherwise not useful for weaving into wreathes we made short swags that would hang on customer’s doors. Less expensive to make – and cheaper! – these were popular with those who wanted something different or not as heavy as a wreath. With the right sized greens, ribbon and wire gathered these can be made either as a cross but more commonly just wired together “until it looks right” then a bow attached.

Another similar Christmas craft idea was clipping a flat section of poultry netting about 3 feet by six feet. For this one simply roll the edges slightly to create a “frame” for stability then weave the greens into the wire. Once the entire section was filled to where you couldn’t see the wire, sometimes red ribbons were wired onto the corner or center. The finished product was a beautiful grave blanket that were sold along with the wreathes and swags.

These crafts are easy and individually creative. If you have access to pine bows – we had and used Scotch pine and white pine as those trees were most fragrant – these cost you only the wire and ribbon.

Because the branches you’ll be working with are small enough to be flexible you don’t need a saw but a good pair of pruning snips help adjust the size of branches where needed. This can be a family activity and real pine decorations are as much of a country Christmas welcome as you could want.

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