A raffia cornucopia lined with a bed of dried wheat stalks holds an abundance of golden squashes, apples, and pears. Set on a wide sideboard or chest, it's a natural Thanksgiving decorations that radiates good fortune.
In Greek mythology, the cornucopia -- Latin for "horn of plenty" -- was a magical goat's horn that filled itself with whatever food and drink its owner requested. It has become a universal symbol of bounty, and in America is closely tied to Thanksgiving.
- 2-foot-long wicker cornucopia (available at craft stores or floral shops)
- 2 yards of burlap
- Hot-glue gun
- 3 two-hundred-gram packages of raffia
- Spool of jute string
- Large binder clip
Pull the burlap around the wicker cornucopia frame, and tuck it inside. Trim any extra burlap with scissors, leaving enough to fold under at edges for a finished look.
Hot-glue the burlap to the frame, lifting the fabric in several areas to apply glue. Press firmly for several seconds so the burlap sticks. Inside the frame, fold the burlap edges under to make a clean hem, and glue to the frame.
Assemble a hank of raffia about 3/4 inch thick; using string, tie a knot around one end of the hank, and clip it to the table. Then wind the string around the raffia at 2-inch intervals to make a yard-long rope.
When you get to the other end, tie a knot. Make another raffia rope. Then, using a short piece of jute string, tie the two ropes together end to end to create one double-length rope.
Make a total of nine double-length ropes to cover a cornucopia of this size. For the lip of the cornucopia, make one double-length raffia rope, about 2 1/4 inches thick, tying the string around it at 4-inch intervals so the result is looser.
Tie the end of a raffia rope to the tip of the frame with string. Wind the raffia around, and apply glue as you go. At the end of the rope, tie it to another with string, and continue. When all but the lip is covered, ties a long piece of string to the end of the last raffia rope and wrap it around the frame; knot it.
At the basket lip, attach the thicker raffia tope to the last thin rope with string, tying at 4-inch intervals. (Note: If your cornucopia has a protruding, traylike base, as this one does, you can cover it with more raffia; but if you line it with wheat, the base won't show.)
Apply more hot glue where needed to secure the raffia ropes to the frame. To display, line the opening with stalks of dried wheat, and add long-lasting fruits and vegetables.