Eucalyptus is a fragrant bush or tree that is native to Australia. The aboriginal people were the first to use the leaves and oil for medicinal purposes. Both Eastern and Western medicine incorporate eucalyptus into cough lozenges and syrups, antibacterial creams and topical ointments. Eucalyptus leaves and branches are also used in cleaning and home décor. The eucalyptus leaves exude a strong fragrance and add a pleasing aroma to the air, while the round, fan-shaped leaves add a decorative motif to floral arrangements and wreaths. With a few tools, you can make a eucalyptus wreath for your home.
Things You'll Need
- 15 to 20 eucalyptus branches
- Large cooking pot
- Aluminum bucket
- Pruning shears
- Soft cloth
- Old newspapers
- Glue sticks
- Hot glue gun
- Foam wreath forms
- 3- to 4-inch wide green ribbon
Gather your eucalyptus branches and snip off the leaves with pruning shears about two to three weeks before you are ready to assemble your wreath. Snip the leaf away just at the point where the leaf meets the stem, drop the leaf into the bowl and discard the stem. Repeat the step with the remaining branches until you have enough leaves for your project.
Heat equal parts of glycerin and water in a large pot to just below the boiling point. Make sure that you mix enough solution to completely submerge all the leaves.
Remove the pot from the heat and pour the glycerin solution into an aluminum or steel bucket; a plastic bucket may melt after the heated liquid is added.
Add the leaves to the solution, ensuring that they are all coated and allow them to absorb the glycerin, about two to four weeks. Once all the leaves change color, they are ready to be removed.
Wipe away the excess glycerin from the leaves after they've absorbed the solution and place the preserved leaves in a bowl.
Spread layers of newspaper on your work area.
Insert a glue stick into the appropriate slot of your glue gun and plug it in to heat.
Gather your wreath form and bowl of leaves.
Place a drop of hot glue on the underside of a eucalyptus leaf and attach it to the top of the wreath form.
Place a drop of hot glue on the underside of another eucalyptus leaf and attach it to the form, overlapping the first leaf by ½ inch just below the first leaf. Complete the process until you have one complete overlapped row.
Place a drop of hot glue on the underside of a eucalyptus leaf and attach it to the top of the wreath form, just to the right of the first row, with the left side of the new leaf overlapping the right side of the attached leaf by ½ inch. Complete the process until you have a second complete row.
Continue the process until all the rows are created and the last row overlaps the first row by ½ inch.
Cut a 24 to 30-inch length of ribbon, depending on how long you want the wreath to hang, and insert it through the open form of the wreath, bringing the ends together.
Tie the ends into a small, tight knot and hang the wreath.
Tips & Warnings
- Ask for the technical grade of glycerin from your pharmacist.
- Take extra care when using a glue gun as the glue becomes very hot and can easily burn your fingers and skin.
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