I have a lot of wild grapevine on the property and make grapevine wreaths in the fall for gifts and to give to people.
If you have grapevine available or can get some, a wreath is easy to make.
I start by pulling the vine out of the tree it grows in. Some grapevine is very long and gets deeply entangled into the trees. For this reason stand back while you are pulling the vine just in case a branch comes with it.
When I have pulled the vines down I select the pieces I want to work with. I like 1/4 to 1/2 inch widths with supple bark that will remove easily or if the bark looks good I will leave it on. I do not like knotty grapevine; it doesn’t shape well and has a mind of its own.
I have my handy clippers nearby to cut off extra grapevine branches and to cut the vine into easy to handle pieces, 15 to 20 foot for me. Others like 10 foot sections.
At this point a lot of people will soak the vine to make it easier to shape. I find it’s usually pliable enough but it can be soaked in a tub or old washtub overnight if you wish. I have also left it out overnight if I knew it was going to rain and that made the vine easier to work with.
Making the Grapevine Wreath
Once the vine is cut and you are ready to work with it you can remove all or some of the grapevine bark. There are curly cues that come off the vine and I cut about half of them off. The rest I use to tie the vine in place or as added decoration.
Its time to decide if you want a round wreath or an oval wreath. Once you have decided; wrap the first ring of the wreath. Continue wrapping grapevine until you have the desired thickness for the wreath. I have made wreaths with only a few wraps and made them as thick as a foot. The thin ones are more delicate and show off the decorations and the thicker ones are usually bigger and I weave them more for a thick rich look.
When you come to an end of a grapevine tuck it into the other vine and add another vine by tucking it into the vine. I often start with a few grapevines wrapped together then will take another vine and weave it around the grapevine base. This holds the base together and gives the wreath a thicker look. It also makes it easier to tie in decoration to the wreath.
Many people just wrap the grapevine without weaving it around the base and when they get to an end of a piece of grapevine they wire it in place. The decision is yours and as you make more wreaths you will develop your own style.
I make wreaths as small as six inches and as large as four foot. They are great for all seasons but I must admit fall and winter grapevine wreaths just seem the prettiest to me.
If you don’t have your own grapevine here are several suggestions.
- You can take a drive and see if you see any growing along the road. Always ask before you cut.
- Visit a grape vineyard if you have one nearby. They need to prune their vines and if you stop at teh right time the grapevine is often free!
- There are seveal diffent vines or bushes that will work. Some people use raspberry and blackberry vines. I find them to be to prickly. Willow bush will work and the red twig willow is very pretty. People have even used tall weeds. They just tie them together. You do this when they are damp so they will not break.
- You can also buy grapevine at crafting stores and outlet centers.
The most important thing to remember when making a wreath is to have fun!
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