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Nature Center Christmas craft day treasures

The Lehigh Gap Nature Center, Slatington, was green with wreaths during Christmas craft day Dec. 7.

Greens, brought by several different people, were piled outside to make the wreaths.

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

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

The bases are made by wrapping grapevines in a circle being careful to leave a point on one side, which will be the top for hanging the wreath.

Lorraine Mineo 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 base.

Start adding the branches at the top and go around in the same direction, Bill Mineo said.

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 different types of branches, some with short needles and some like white pine with long needles adds interest.

The white pine is also easy to work with, he explained.

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 used first – one wrapped toward the back, the other toward the front.

The clump can be covered with a bow.

Pinecones and berries add a decorative touch.

Bill Mineo tucked in a few holly branches.

The berries he brought were from multiflora roses.

Soon, the room was flooded with the Christmas fragrance of greens.

Mineo warned everyone not to make the wreath symmetrical because it is too difficult.

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