Acornwoodsdesigns.com dark red/burgundy pip berry garland, 24” length
Floral foam cube, 4”
Wire: heavy-duty floral, 22-gauge rusty
Burgundy/check homespun fabric
Applesauce, 1/4 cup
Ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons
Small manila tag
Spanish moss, small amount
Drill with 5/64” bit
Wire cutters and round-nose pliers
Acrylic paints: medium red, brown
Fine-tip markers: red, black
Walnut stain ink pad
Clear spray varnish
Heart-shaped cookie cutter, 1”
Rolling pin and cookie drying rack
Adhesives: glue stick, brown floral tape, clear-drying white craft glue, glue gun and sticks
scissors, ruler, paper towels, water, fine sandpaper, wax paper, soft cloth, paintbrushes, foam brush, craft knife, newspaper (to cover work surface)
1. Sand entire box with sandpaper to remove any rough areas. Wipe box with soft cloth.
2. On covered work surface, thin medium red paint with small amount of water. Paint entire box red mixture using foam brush. Let dry. Lightly drybrush box with brown paint, wiping excess off with damp cloth. Let dry. Spray box with varnish. Let dry.
3. Use hot glue gun to adhere foam cube into box. Use craft knife to trim cube if needed. Attach moss on top of foam with floral pins, leaving area on center unpinned.
4. Remove excess berry sprays from bottom of garland for 16" length of garland with nine berry sprays at top of stem. To do this, unwrap wire from garland stem and remove individual berry sprays, being careful not to remove too many.
5. Starting with bottom spray and working upward, bend sprays into tree shape as shown in photo. Wrap berry stems around main stem to help hold branches in upward position as you work along stem. At very top, pull berry spray upward to form top of tree, using photo as guide. Position tree next to box to check if height looks good proportion to box base. If tree is too tall, cut stem as needed using wire cutters. If tree is too short, add to bottom in next step using floral wire and tape.
6. Position heavy-duty floral wire against tree stem just below last berry spray. Wrap stem with wire and adhere together using brown floral tape to keep tree stable. Adjust size as needed by adding garland lengths to base and adhering with floral tape. Find center on foam cube; use point of scissors to make small hole for stem. Spot glue hole using hot glue gun; push tree into hole.
7. For hearts, mix together 1/4 cup applesauce and two tablespoons of ground cinnamon with one tablespoon white glue. Form mixture into stiff dough ball. Add more tacky glue if needed or more cinnamon to intensify aroma. On sheet of wax paper dusted with cinnamon, use rolling pin to roll dough to 1/4" thickness. Press cinnamon-coated heart cookie cutter into dough, cutting out 12 hearts. Carefully remove hearts and place on drying rack. Let hearts dry completely. (Note: Drying time might take up to two days.) Paint hearts medium red. Let dry.
8. Drill hole in top of each heart through center from back to front. Insert 2" length of rusty wire into hole; use round-nose pliers to curl wire end into circle knot on front of heart. Repeat process for all hearts. Hang hearts on tree by wrapping wire end around berry stems. (Note: Set one heart aside for box front.)
9. Tear homespun fabric into eleven 5/8"x4-1/2" and one 5/8"x22" strips. Wrap long strip around box; tie ends into knot on front. Wrap wire end of remaining heart around knot. Tie short fabric strips randomly onto tree branches.
10. Lightly ink edges on tag with walnut ink pad. Let dry. Use black marker to write "Love" on tag; outline wording using red marker. Attach tag onto bottom of tree using rusty wire; curl ends using round-nose pliers.