How to Craft Natural Vine Wreaths
Natural vine wreaths can dress a home door, windows, a fence or use indoors to celebrate the changing seasons. Once you make one, your imagination and creativity will unleash your hidden talent.
Crafts evolved in another place and time as a means of producing something useful, decorative, or amusing from readily available items during off growing seasons when there was leisure time. One of the simplest crafted decor items is the vine wreath. Not many crafting projects can be done today without spending money to complete. This is a good one that can.
All you need for this project is a pair of sharp clippers, protective gloves, tick and mosquito repellant and land owner permission to track down vines. Fences around farmlands and property to be developed are good candidates. Vines of all sorts are readily available in most areas during every season. You want to be careful that the vines you select are not poisonous like poison ivy. In winter when leaves have fallen, it can be difficult to differentiate. Make note of vine locations or mark with loosely tied colored ribbon for future cuttings. Be aware that attached berries such as bittersweet are beautiful but indoors around children and pets could be a problem if ingested.
What Vines Can Be Used
The most popular vines are wild grape and ivy. Honeysuckle and bittersweet are also widely used. Any vines that can be bent without breaking can be used including thin branches and saplings like willow or white pine. Leaves and berries can be stripped or left on to dry for a more rustic look. Ideally lengths should be at least twice the circumference of the size wreath you wish to make.
Creating your wreath where you cut your vines is very efficient. You leave behind unwanted berries and leaves to do in nature what would naturally be done. Berries would seed themselves in their ideal environment or provide food for ground creatures. Leaves and unused stems will decompose providing future nutrients.
Decide ahead of time what size wreath you would like to create. Measure your forearm from elbow toward hand for wreath diameter. My length from elbow to wrist is roughly 15," elbow to inside thumb is 18." This diameter is perfect for my windows.
Many vines already grow intertwined around each other. Take advantage of this natural phenomenon and cut these at least 4'-6' in length to use as your wreath base. Cut several single vines at similar lengths for wrapping.
Wrap vines around your elbow and thumb with wrist extended or bent to create the diameter you desire. Use enough vines to create the width of the wreath, around three inches is good. Hold ends in your wrist. Insert a single vine or two into base several inches before loose ends of your base and begin winding around to hold shape. Insert ends into base to lock it. Repeat with additional single vines until you are pleased with shape and wreath holds on its own.
Beginning with thickest vines, form shape of desired wreath. Where you meet to complete circle, begin wrapping around and around until you get to end of vine. Tuck in end and begin a new vine. Continue this procedure until wreath is the desired thickness and it holds its shape on its own.
You now have your completed wreath to take home with you. Your wreath can be hung simply on a nail or hook. You can hang it by adding a thick ribbon, cloth, or raffia loop.
Your caft wreath can be embellished to suit the season or your personal decor. Silk or dried flowers and leaves, pinecones, berry clusters, bows, grasses, shells, and trinkets can be wired, tied or inserted between vines. The possibilities are endless. Wreaths can be used to surround a large candle or collection of candles as a table centerpiece. Small natural vine wreaths with an inch or two diameter can be crafted as matching napkin holders. Let you imagination take over. My neighbor inserts living flowers into her vine wreath. As flowers fade, she swaps them out for new ones.