Nothing is more symbolic. Throughout history, wreaths have been crowns and decorations. They’ve been used to celebrate the harvest, kings and virgins. Christmas and funerals. The circle stands for infinity and eternity; it is without beginning or end. How wonderful it is to honour our plants in this noble form—and easy!
Almost any pliable long stems can be woven into a wreath. We have lots of wild grape vines in our region that grow along ravine banks and roads and they are a perfect material for wreaths. Ornamental grasses, vinca, or any trailing plant will do, depending on the season.
It is easy to from a circle by hand, but if you want to work with larger, thicker stems, it’s not too difficult to build a frame that will last forever. Easy for me, because Miles and I love Home Depot, and everything is available there, inexpensively, to create your frame. And once you’ve built it, think of the things you can weave. Every season and holiday offers new possibilities.
I left the corkscrew tendrils on the vines because they add interest. Vines are more pliable when fresh, but you can soak them in water before using if you need to store them for a while.
This is a shopping list for frame materials:
- 1 square piece of plywood, slightly larger than the diameter of wreath you want to weave
- 12 6″ screws (I use 1/4 inch here)
- 12 nuts
- 24 washers
Draw a circle on your wood the size of your desired wreath, using a middle nail, a string (the length go your desired radius) tied to it and a pencil on the other end.
Drill 12 holes, evenly spaced, and slide screws through the bottom. Bolt into place and your frame is ready to go.
Wrap your vines into the middle of the circle to the desired thickness of your wreath. Tuck ends in between the vines as you finish and begin with each length. Leave the tendrils to fall where they may. Save some of the most pliable vines for the end and weave them around the wreath to keep it together. After you pull the wreath from the frame, you may want to wrap around it a few more times to give it extra stability.
Don’t worry too much about neatness; the beauty of this type of wreath is its rustic appearance. I decorated mine with some cotton ribbon and old cow bells I found at a flea market.
This wreath is inexpensive, weatherproof and offers a great craft to do with kids. They can have fun decorating it with flowers, grasses, evergreen boughs or even sumac cones.
The vine wreath may also be made into a gorgeous holiday centrepiece or Advent wreath, decorated with evergreen boughs, holly and candles.
Now that the Halloween candy wrappers are swept up, I think it’s okay to hang my wreath on the front door…