Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Sweetgum Wreath

A couple weeks ago Skeeter mentioned my sweet gum wreath in her post, (click here) well it got me to thinking.....humm, maybe this is more than a craft post. So here it is, this is the first row of sweet gums glued together. Boy! Am I ever grateful for the big box of sweet gum Skeeter sent me. We here in New England do not have too many of these trees. I did a little research on them and found there is a Northern Sweet gum tree that survives my zone, it takes mayyyyybe....20 to 25 years to flower and/or produce sweet gum balls! Okay, so I need something quicker.

I still enjoy these mature sweet gum as if they are my own, thank-you Skeeter.

Here we see a second row of sweet gum and a tossed around idea of what direction to go to next.
Didn't quite work. I had left the stems for in the middle of the wreath and felt I needed to do something with them....but the geese are not it!

Well, this is closer. Oh, I forgot to say, I'd left the stems in a pinwheel pattern on the outskirts of my wreath but decided to trim them. The wreath looked more like a ginormous spider.
I finally settled on something from in the garden, my very own Hydrangea. It is perfect for the delicate flowers that are needed for the center of my wreath.

And my supply of flower blossoms? Something I cut last August, AND had a wonderful time arranging!

Some purchased statice and a few straw flowers, this is a pride and joy.....

and for the time being, on my bedroom door,

pink and white tulle with a small satin ribbon,

isn't Mother Nature wonderful?

umm, not so much in the storms though. In The Garden


  1. Good morning Dawn, the first wreath with the hydrangea flowers almost looks like butterflies --cute.

  2. Thats so pretty! I've never seen sweet gum before.

  3. Good morning Janet! I was shooting for the delicate look of nature.
    Hi Sunita, I had never held a sweetgum ball before, they are really hard!

  4. That is really pretty Dawn! We have sweet gum here in Texas. It is one of the few trees here that have pretty fall colors.

  5. Great job! So, instead of fussing and you know saying a few ugly words about all of the gumballs around here, maybe I'll make something too! Thanks for the idea.

  6. Dawn,
    You are so talented! A good use for sweetgums, too. My greyhound, Charm, just hates getting sweetgum balls stuck between her toes!


  7. Dawn, it looks great! I really like the addition of flowers. Softens it and adds color and a different texture. I did something similar years ago (in Alabama) but mine was a combo of sweetgum, the pods from cotton, small pine cones, and misc stuff.

  8. Looks awesome Dawn! The kids love those --they enjoy tossing them around, hehehe. But, I think I would prefer they make something crafty out of them --ah BOYS, hehehe. Have a great day -spring break here so schedules are off. Ciao!

  9. Really cute Dawn. I knew if anybody would know what to do with them you would. You are so talented. Keep us up on any other projects with the gum balls.
    Wasn't Skeeter sweet to send them to you.

  10. Dawn, Nice wreath...I think it's a fantastic and creative use of gum balls....The direction you chose was perfect.


  11. Hi Dawn, what a great idea! I think going with the natural flowers was a good idea. We have sweetgum trees here in southern Michigan, but the balls aren't quite as large.

  12. Ms. Dawn, that's a most lovely wreath! You and my wife have great wreath making skills. She loves doing it and it's plain to see that you do too. She sometimes offers hers for sale at summertime craft shows and other happenings during the warm months. Have you thought about doing that?

  13. Yes, mother nature is the best. As is your wreath!!

    Ouch Cameron, poor Charm.

  14. Hi Tina! Wow, you are so much like my sister, making all that beautiful art from common nature things. I must have been sleeping when God passed out the aritic talent, but I sure do appreciate those of you with the gift of creating art treasures!

  15. Hi guys,
    Meadowview thymes, I'd love to see the fall color of these trees, the Northern one sounded interesting and big.
    Darla, I've heard these can also be made into a garland, spray painted gold after they are strung, glitter too.
    Cameron, Do you partake in the greyhound rescue? We have longtime customers that spearhead the project up here in Maine, they tell me about it all the time, HUGE commitment.
    Roses and lilacs, I do lit baskets full of pine cones, hemlock, spruce and pondorosa pine. Thanks for the idea of adding sweetgum!
    Anonymous, surpose sweetgum balls are softer than a horse apple? Bad husband when he was a kid! LOL
    Hi lola, Yes, that was nice of Skeeter to send them to me. You, Skeeter, Tina and my mother have already seen my wreath! Thanks for the second comment on it.
    Thanks Gail, I never know what I'm going to do until I do it.
    Monica the garden fairy, I love crafting things from nature, and seeing things from nature for that matter!
    TC, I'm on Etsy, has your wife heard of it? It's not pricey at all and it's the largest craft show.
    Hi mom, ditto from Lola's comment!
    SAM, Dawn here. I'm Tina's sister from Maine. I apparently got the sewing/crafting gene and my sister got the growing and blooming gene. LOL

  16. It's very pretty, and I like how it looks on the door. I wish I was crafty!

  17. I simply love your basket. It is gorgeous.

  18. Hi Dawn, you are a real artist. I love the final look with the hydrangea petals, nice and simple and sweet with the spiky balls. Lovely.


  19. Good afternoon all! I am still on break but popped in here for a sec to say hi! Love the hydrangeas so much! The sweet gum wreath is very nice too-something you can do with those pesky things. ttyl

  20. What a lovely wreath. I'd much rather have those spiny balls hanging on a door than underfoot - ouch! I really love the amazing fall color of the sweetgum trees that grew in our neighborhood back in California. Sometimes I used the green balls in flower arrangments. They're very interesting.

  21. Hi guys,
    Bright and sunny here in Maine (for the time being at least) My snow is melting!
    gardenerprogress/Catherine, I love being crafty and learning things about making crafts, they are pretty to see too.
    Hockinghill gardener, thanks!
    Frances, I thought of more dried flowers but anything else would of overwelmed it, don't you think?
    Hi Tina, don't work to hard!
    VW, I'll bet the greenish sweetgum ball would be a interesting addition to a flower arrangement. The things other than flowers (mushroom, pods, etc) always grab my eyes.

  22. That is the best use of gumballs that I've ever seen. You can have the enormous amount that falls from my my one lone tree each year. :)

  23. Great idea...we have these everywhere in South Alabama. I have used them for other decorative purposes in the past...but a wreath is very clever!

  24. Dawn, I laughed when I read your snow is melting. No snow here for a while. Friday before last when I went to town the Dairy Queen in Topsham was opened and also Fat Boys. Today when I went to town food vendors on the mall and a lotta cars at the town commons. My crocus have been blooming for 2 weeks and dd's are half up. Hard to believe that those few miles make such a difference.

  25. Wow, our neighbor has a tree that produces tons of these sweet gum pods! I always though of them as a nuisance. I didn't even know that you could anything with them! The reef is really beautiful, I think I may have to give this a go!

  26. I don't mean to bother, but how did you get the sweet gum balls to stick together?

  27. Hi guys,
    Perennial Gardener, thanks for the compliment! I'm sure if I had one of these trees in my yard, I would thinks of these as pesky. They probaly stick to everything.
    Dirt princess, thanks again! I had fun doing this wreath.
    Mom, look closer in those copper pictures, I took them yesterday. You can see the snow out the door and window. Until today, still a foot of mush and banks as high as my waist. We lost a good deal today, let it rain!
    Hi Zach, If you look in the first picture you'll see in the upper right hand corner a odd looking electrical thing. It's a hot glue melting pot and just big enough to dip the gumballs into. I never touched the glue or burned myself. The wreath becomes self stable once done.

  28. The wreath is very pretty. I never thought of making such. We have a tree here and they are awful to walk on.

  29. Lovely wreath! It turned out very well.

  30. I love the flower arrangement and of course, the Wreath. You did an awesome job with it. Wasn't it Tina or Skeeter who made reindeers out of gum balls? Is this a relative of the same tree?

  31. Good morning!
    Dot, I can imagine these are painful to feel under a barefoot, ouch!
    Thanks, sweetbay.
    Chandramouli s, I believe it is Skeeter's mother in law that made the reindeer and yes, same thing. Creative lady!

  32. When I saw the word wreath as part of your post title...I got so excited. Love making wreaths.
    Yours is the greatest!!
    Very cool.

  33. Dawn, those pesky gum balls never looked so good to my eyes! It looks like they found a nice home with you...

  34. We are surrounded with these trees in our neighborhood. I knew they had to be of value somehow. One time I tried using them as mulch. I heard that they would keep squirrels out of the flower beds. Well, that didn't work.Plus I ended up with a massive amount of seedlings! This is a much better use.

  35. Amazingly Lovely!!! Thank you for showing us your thought process as well. To see it change from "Country" to that masterpiece with the delicate blooms at the end was cool :-)

    My mom taught me how to use these as individual ornaments to give as gifts when we were kids. Spray Painted and with glitter :-) So I've been doing the same with my little Elem. school age kids as well. Think I'll grab a bunch more this season to make this wreath for me :D

  36. Hey guys! Does anyone know of where I could find sweet gum trees? I live in metrodetroit-ferndale. I've recently become obsessed with the sweet gum balls for decoration. I'd also like to tap one (make salve out of the sap, doesn't hurt the tree). So maybe one that's in a park and not someone's lawn. Thank you!!

  37. Ashlie, Not familiar with Detroit but I would expect any good nursery would be able to order you some sweet gum trees. Failing that perhaps you could order some online?