Election Section

Natural holiday trimmings

By Carol McGarvey, The Associated Press
Friday November 30, 2001

It’s special to bring out treasured holiday decorations each year, but it’s also fun to have family members cooperate on some new ones to add to the mix. Besides lending a holiday look to a home, it adds to the festive spirit of those living there. Pine cone parade 

Take a walk to gather pine cones, and visit a craft supply or hobby store to find short colored bottles without stoppers. Get some colored raffia for a finishing touch. 

Spread newspapers on your work surface. If desired, paint edges of the pine cones with white acrylic paint for a touch of “snow.” For a bit of glitz, sprinkle the wet paint with glitter and let dry. 

Wash and dry the bottles, and place a pine cone on top of each. Add a drop of hot-melt adhesive with a glue gun to secure it. 

Tie several strands of raffia around the neck of the bottle and form a bow. Group the bottles for effect, or use singly around the house. Fruit pyramid 

For a showy centerpiece of the colonial style, use galvanized buckets in graduated sizes at a craft or floral supply store. Three buckets is a workable number, depending upon the spot where the centerpiece will be placed. 

Pack each bucket full of floral foam. Stack the buckets, aligning the handles. 

For lower levels, choose three kinds of fruit in graduated sizes, such as pears, lemons and apples.  

Secure fruit to the foam with florist’s picks. Arrange so that all fruit points in the same direction. Top with a pineapple, and use two picks to secure it. 

Tuck greenery — boxwood clippings, myrtle sprigs or other fresh greenery — between pieces of fruit to hide the foam, and drape over the edges of the buckets.