Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
making a vine wreath
I wanted a wreath for our front door this holiday season, but I didn’t want to buy one or even buy the supplies for one. I wanted to work with what we had. I considered our resources and mulled over my options for a bit before deciding to try my hand at making a vine wreath.
This meant a trip to the area where the forest and our yard meet. I had help in the harvesting.
And our coming and going earned us a great many burdock burs to pick off ourselves. But we gathered up a sizable heap.
These are all wild grape and wild cucumber vines. Both of which we have in abundance here. For those in the south I’ve heard that kudzu works well too. Most of the vines we cut were around 10′ long.
I knew that I wanted to keep my wreath fairly simple, with sparse decoration. So I wanted it to have a lot of texture. I specifically looked for vines in a variety of shades and thicknesses, especially seeking out ones that had interesting looking tendrils.
I started with one of the thickest grape vines and made a loop of it, gently twisting and twining the overlapping ends. Then slowly started layering over vines on top, twisting them around and tucking the ends in where ever they fit.
I added many, many layers because I wanted it to be thick and sturdy. If I had one piece of advice to offer it would be to keep your work away from your pile of vines! Otherwise they grab at each other and tangle again and again. So, if you are working at a table, keep your supplies on the floor. If you working on the floor put them in a different room, or better yet, just leave them outside and bring in one vine at a time.
When it was done, I decorated mine with baby rick rack and some clippings from the yard.
I think the more official way to attach ribbons and things would be with a hot glue gun, but I wasn’t willing to permanently commit my rick rack to the wreath, so I just tied the ends to the wreath in the back. Everything else I slipped into the nooks and crannies created by winding the vines. This way I figure I can redecorate it with the seasons if I choose.