Handmade Christmas Wreaths, Handmade Picture Frames, Painting Reproductions, and other Business Startups

In this installment of a regular feature, readers wrote in to report establishing new businesses making handmade Christmas wreaths, handmade picture frames, and painting reproductions.

| November/December 1980

  • 066 painting reproductions
    One of many painting reproductions made by South African readers Joan and Frank Tyler.

  • 066 painting reproductions

The following are business startups that readers came up with after reading articles in MOTHER EARTH NEWS.  

Handmade Christmas Wreaths

In the fall of 1979, our family came across a terrific article that inspired the beginning of three separate enterprises. "Make Wreaths for Winter Dollars" gave detailed instructions for crafting beautiful double-sided garlands, and our daughter set right out to learn how to master the skill.

Before long, friends of the family dropped by, noticed the lovely creations, and became intrigued. They, too, decided to learn the craft and were soon convinced that it was the perfect holiday moneymaker for their local church school. By making and selling 100 wreaths, our friends cleared $500 to donate to the school, and our daughter was prompted to join the business world as well.

After the sale of her first 25 handmade wreaths had earned that young'un an impressive Christmas bank account, Mom and Dad were ready to jump on the bandwagon, too! We contacted a Christmas tree salesman, who — after inspecting some samples — was quick to place an advance order for 125 wreaths. We found we could obtain coat hangers (to fashion the basic ring form) from local department stores, and we had all the balsam branches and pine cones we needed right on our own land. Our only investment was the purchase of ribbon to use as trimming (we now buy it in bulk: $50 for 450 yards) ... a minimal expense, since each adorned wreath uses only about one yard. And our first order — which included 50 decorated and 75 undecorated garlands — earned us a fast $400!

What luck to have happened upon MOTHER EARTH NEWS' Informative write-up. It may very well have started a permanent family business!

William & Nancy Barbour
Worcester, VT

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