I designed this centrepiece for a cowboy-theme Christmas banquet. To keep costs down, I went to our pasture for some small birch trees, and to my garden for wild bittersweet vines and grapevines. Armed with my trusty glue gun, some Christmas corsages from the dollar store and my sister for help, we made 20 table centres.
Birch log – long enough to be cut into three pieces measuring 6 inches, 5 inches and 4 inches (other varieties of logs
would work as well) Power drill with a 1-3/4-inch
Forstner bit Approximately 7 fairly straight sticks of various lengths clipped from the branches of a
tree Vines – wild bittersweet and
grapevines work well Small bit of florist’s wire or a large twist-tie Small Christmas items or
Hot glue gun 3 tea lights
Cut the birch log into lengths of 6 inches, 5 inches and 4 inches. Try to cut so the pieces will stand fairly straight. Then, using a 1-3/4-inch Forstner bit in a drill, drill into one end of each log to a depth of 1/2 to 3/4 inches (deep enough to accommodate a tea light). I used a drill press but any drill will work. I was cutting and drilling green wood which is easier to cut. Glue the logs together with hot glue.
Glue the sticks into the spots where the logs join together, with the tallest sticks beside the tallest log and the shortest sticks beside the shortest log.
Take a good length of vine and circle it round and round the logs in a wreath fashion. The vine should be very free form with loops or curlicues to add interest. The wreath should touch the logs in several places so it can be hot glued to the logs. Secure the vine with wire (a flower can cover up the wire later.) Hot glue the vine wreath to the logs in about three places or more so the wreath and logs become one unit that is easy to pick up and move.
Decide which Christmas items look best or disassemble the corsages if using, and hot glue the pieces onto the wreath. Little decorative birds are especially effective, as they can be hot glued onto a vine or branch and they look very natural.
Place the tea lights into the logs, light and enjoy!
Note: If green logs are used, they will be easier to cut and drill, but will leave moisture on a surface. To protect the table, place the centrepieces on a mirror or piece of glass with a paper towel folded up beneath the logs to absorb the moisture. This paper may have to be changed until the logs dry out.
– Blythe Kneeshaw farms in the Carberry area