|Thanksgiving has its roots in a traditional autumn festival. The crops are in and the bountiful harvest has yielded a time of plenty. We give thanks and celebrate our good fortune, with a wary eye to the hardships of the coming winter.
The cornucopia or horn of plenty is an ancient symbol of abundance. According to Greek mythology the horn originally came from a goat. Zeus accidentally broke the horn of the goat while playing, and returned it to her remorsefully. The horn became magical, giving the holder anything they wished for. It was often depicted in art as filled with an abudance of fruits and flowers.
In North American the cornucopia is most often associated with Thanksgiving. Follow the directions below to make your own rustic cornucopia to decorate the center of your Thanksgiving table.
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You will need: 64 sticks about 10" in length. The width does not matter as long as it is easy to work with. White or wood glue. Spray clear coat. Leaves, fruits and nuts of the season. Although the project can be completed in about one hour's working time, you will need to wait for the glue to dry after every four layers. So allow yourself about two days to finish the cornucopia.
Cut the 64 sticks and lay them out on a flat surface. Roughly arrange the sticks from the fattest to the thinnest. You will start with the fattest sticks and work to the thinnest. Place the four fattest sticks in a square with the second two resting on the first two. Glue these in place and allow them to dry before moving it around.
Place the four fattest sticks in a square with the second two resting on the first two. Glue these in place and allow them to dry before moving it around.
Then start to build up your cornucopia. Each square will be slightly smaller than the one below. After you have glued about 6 - 8 sticks in place you should stop and let the piece dry. If you add too many you will find that the sticks will begin to shift around under the weight.
Keep adding sticks and slowly narrowing the opening. Don't worry that everything is perfect. This is supposed to look homemade and rustic.
After the final layers have dried, add several coats of Clear Coat, both inside and out. This will add a nice sheen and also help to preserves the sticks.
Place the cornucopia in the center of your table and decorate with things that you find in the yard. Autumn leaves, berries and branches are perfect, plus acorns or any other seasonal item. Let the kids join in the search. Have the items spilling from the opening in a true horn of plenty fashion.