Forest jewels

Easy & elegant wreaths

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From the Monterey pine belt to bristlecone country, conifers yield cones whose tawny beauty is worth celebrating. In this wreath, several kinds of cones are glued to a twig base. Gather cones in your yard or buy them from florists' suppliers like Columbia Pine Cones & Botanicals (888/470-6989 or www.pinecones.com).

TIME: 90 minutes

COST: About $15 (plus $40 for a box of assorted pinecones if your garden doesn't supply them)

TOOLS AND MATERIALS
• Spool of coated 22- or 24-gauge florist's wire;
• Wire cutters;
• 18-inch twig wreath base (from a craft store);
• About 120 pinecones (ours measure 2 to 3 1/2 inches long);
• Glue gun;

DIRECTIONS

1. To make a hanger, wrap a 9-inch length of wire around the top of the wreath base; twist ends together. Loop a 3-inch length of wire through the 9-inch length; twist ends together.

2. Using the glue gun, affix pinecones, one at a time, around the inside of the wreath base. Alternate big cones with small ones, gluing some right side up, some upside down, and some on their sides. Repeat to cover the outside of the frame, then the front of the wreath.

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