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Citrus rings and apple wreaths.

Citrus rings and apple wreaths Long before evergreen trees came to symbolize Christmas, holiday arrangements of fresh fruit and foliage brightened mantels and accented doorways in many English and colonial American homes. Our variation on this centuries-old idea makes decorating simple. You mount apples or citrus on nails hammered into a burlap-covered board, then trim with greenery.

After Christmas, remove the fruit, wipe the nails clean, and store the board to use again next year.

Fruit that's unripe or just picked will stay fresh-looking for up to two weeks. Best bets for foliage are camellia, cypress, eucalyptus, magnolia, and other evergreens. Besides a saber saw, hammer, scissors, staple gun, and craft glue, you'll need:

* A pice of 1/2-inch plywood, about 23 inches square (depending on which shape you choose; see diagrams on these pages)

* 20 to 45 2-inch-long (6d) finishing nails

* 1 yard 45-inch-wide green burlap

* Heavyweight picture wire and eye screws

* 20 to 45 pieces of fruit

* Branches of foliage

* Cranberries (optional)

To make the board, start by drawing the pattern onto the wood. Then cut out the shape, using a saber, jig, or band saw.

Cut a piece of burlap about 3 inches larger all around that the wood shape and glue it to the front of the board. After glue dries, fold fabric over and glue and staple it to the back of the board.

Hammer nails into the front of the board, leaving enough space between them for fruit. (The fruit fits better is you stagger the rows of nails slightly). Using eye screws, secure picture wire on the board's back for hanging. (Finished boards are heavy, so be sure wire is firmly attached.)

To decorate, spear fruit on nails as shown above; then arrange foliage to fill in, tucking ends of branches beneath fruit. String cranberries on thread and weave them around fruit.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Dec 1, 1989
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