Make your own partridge in a pear tree

Gather your kids to create this fun project

(Newport News, Va.) Daily PressNovember 16, 2012 

  • More ideas For more holiday craft ideas, check out these books: Christmas Decorations From Williamsburg A gift-perfect, 135-page hardback copyrighted by Colonial Williamsburg in 1991. It features traditional wreaths, swags, kissing balls, mossed topiaries and centerpieces made with fresh fruits and evergreens, as well as dried botanicals. Recipes included, too. $19.95. Colonial Williamsburg Decorates for Christmas An 80-page softback, copyrighted in 1981, with how-to steps for basic boxwood and pine wreaths, fruit cones and dried-herb wreath. $10.95. The Art-Full Tree: Ornaments to Make Inspired by the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum With 143 pages of ideas with materials lists and instructions, as well as patterns, stitch guides and photographs of original art in the museum to help you create folk art for your own Christmas tree. $16.95. The books are available at williamsburgmarketplace.com; or by calling 800-446-9240.
  • More information Supplies • 4 wood sticks, 14 inches, 8 1/2 inches, 7 inches and 5 1/2 inches long • 6 faux pears • 2 1/2 inch clay pot, sponged with any color acrylic craft paint to give it vintage look • 1 small faux partridge • Wood glue • Clear-drying glue or glue gun • Plaster of Paris or a similar material to fill and secure clay pot • Decorative small gravel or moss • 1 stem faux leaves or fresh bay leaves • 1 small faux garland, optional

Don Haynie can take a lot of little nothings and turn them into a big something.

Give the floral designer sticks from the yard or woods, a small clay pot and faux pears and within minutes he whisks the pieces into a centerpiece he calls “Partridge in a Pear Tree.”

“Any kind of twigs work,” he said.

“Lilac is a hard wood that’s good. Vitex, also called chaste tree, is nice. Old wood from a fig works, too. Just go out and prune in the garden and you’ll come up with what you need.”

Haynie, who had a floral business in Warsaw, Va., and formerly ran the Buffalo Springs Herb Farm in the Shenandoah Valley, now shares his time and talents with Colonial Williamsburg, especially during the holidays, helping decorate colonial taverns with botanical creations.

He recently created a “Partridge in a Pear Tree” topiary for Williamsburg’s annual Holiday Symposium. It can be made in any size – larger for the center of a table or for the ends of a sideboard, with smaller ones as accents. You can also change the look, using faux apples or ornaments and colors to coordinate with your decor. For instance, a red bird would look good with rosy-colored apples. Bells and red bows can even be used to embellish the topiary.

Miniature pine cones could be used for Thanksgiving, then switched out for something more Christmas-like.

“It’s a good project for kids to do and is fun to make,” he said.

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