Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tutorial: Christmas Cinnamon Stick Wreath...

I have noticed that this above photo from last year is one of my most pinned pics on Pinterest, which reminded me that I wanted to do a tutorial to show you how I made it.  It's really a lot more simple than it looks (and smells really, really good!) and as far as materials go, as long as you've got a good supply of cinnamon sticks and a hot glue gun, you're good to go!

So, here's what you'll need to make a Christmas spice wreath:

My wreath measures 28cm (11") wide and used around 105 cinnamon sticks, but the amount you will need will depend on the size you choose.

* Craft-grade Cinnamon sticks, around 8cm (3") long.  Food-grade cinnamon sticks tend to be quite flaky and are not suitable for this project - just look on the label
* A hot glue gun (and plenty of spare hot glue sticks)
* Star anise (or other natural objects to decorate the wreath if you want to - dried berries, dried orange slices, small pinecones etc)
* A dinner plate and bowl, to make your template
* A pencil, and a piece of cardboard - like a cereal box - that is slightly bigger than your plate

The template:

Find a plate and bowl and draw around them to create the template as shown.  The gap between the plate outline and the bowl outline should be between 5.5 (2") and 7cm (2 & 3/4").  My cinnamon sticks were 8cm (3")and the gap was 6.5cm (2 & 1/2"). 

The wreath is created in six rounds.

Round one:  The inside circle.  Lay out four or five cinnamon sticks around the outline with a small gap in between.  

Lay more sticks on top covering over the gaps.  When it all looks good, lift the top sticks up one by one and glue them down with a fairly generous dollop of glue.  

Once it is dry, hold it up to check that it is structurally sound.  You should do this after each round.


Round two:  Do the same again for the outside circle as shown.

Round three:  Keeping the outside and inside cinnamon stick circles on the template to keep the shape of the wreath, lay more sticks on an angle between the two circles and glue down, as shown.

Round four:  Do the same again, but going the opposite way.  Don't try to be too perfect about it, it needs to be a reasonably balanced composition but not too uniform.

Round five:  This is the "eyeball" round.  You can be a bit more random here.  Lay more sticks on until you get the look you're going for and then stick them down.

Round six:  Flip the wreath over.  Place sticks between the two outside and inside circles as shown.  This will give the wreath a more full look, with less gaps, without adding any height to it.  You can lift the wreath up and look at to see where there are gaps that need filling in.  

Completed underside

Again, you need to "eyeball" it, until it looks right to you.  This is the time to use all the misfit cinnamon sticks - the ones that are broken or that weren't suitable for the upper layers.  

Your wreath is finished, but you can continue on to decorate it if you want. 

I used whole star anise, placing them to get the look I wanted then gluing them down.

Clear away all the fine threads of hot glue that may be remaining, or use a sweetie to bribe a small child with little fingers to do it for you.

You can use as a table centrepiece with a candle in the middle or place a small arrangement of flowers, such as white lillies in oasis in the centre.  I also think this would be lovely with a wide piece of gingham ribbon threaded through it's centre and hung on the front door.


  1. Thanks for the wonderful idea, and obviously for the tutorial!!!
    I'm writing from Colombia, South America!!! I'll let you know how it turns out... Have a great day!

  2. I LOVE THIS!!!!! I had ordered some 8cm long, thin cinnamon sticks for a craft project but when they arrived they were too thick and no good for what I needed them for. They sent free replacements but they were still not right and so I was left wondering what else I could use them for. This is perfect!!! I was so pleased at finding this that I began to dance around my kitchen to Hanson's MMMBop! (That's the mad English for you!) Thank goodness that it's Sunday and I can get started on this immediately! THANK YOU :-)

  3. I LOVE this so much I'm willing to brave my hot glue gun again to try it!!



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