Those spiny balls, seed pods, dropped by your sweet gum tree can actually be put to good use. This is a guide about uses for sweet gum balls.
This wreath is made from the seed pods from the sweet gum tree. This is a pattern for all you Southern folks that have these seed pods to clean up every fall from your yard. They may be available in craft shops in the North, or perhaps you can find a place to buy them on line. Here in Arkansas, they are easily gathered.
Approximate Time: under an hour
Add a bow to the front. I have added a small wood bow because I work in wood, but you could use a ribbon bow. I have put a candle in the center made from a 4-inch piece of white chenille stem wrapped around a skewer (a knitting needle would also work for this step) The flame for the candle is available at Hobby Lobby in the Christmas decorations. They are tiny Christmas lights, made from plastic, and come on a string; I just cut them apart for this project. Glue the flame inside the chenille stem candle, and then glue the candle to the bottom center of the wreath. A hot glue gun works well for this step. You can further dress up your wreath with a little artificial snow. Or add some red beads in clusters of 2 or 3 to represent holly berries.
If you have sweet gum balls, try using them to put in the bottom of your flower pots.
By Jodi from TX
Are gumballs from the gumball tree poisonous?
By Linda from Tryon, NC
American Sweetgum trees can be found throughout must of the eastern US. The balls of the trees are modified fruits that house the seeds until the balls ripen and release the seeds. While you can't eat the balls or the seeds, pioneers once peeled the bark and scraped the resin-like solid to produce chewing gum and medicines. Good luck.