Fall is just around the corner, and if you have a garden you know what that means: Fall garden cleanup! But why not make it fun? Today I’m sharing an amazingly simple wreath that I made last year using garden clippings that would otherwise have gone into the compost bin.
The wreath didn’t cost anything to make. I also didn’t need to use wires, cages, or any other man-made materials so, once the season was over, the entire wreath could be composted.
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Creating The Wreath
I’d been meaning to get rid of an overly-ambitious grape plant that I’d placed along a fence. The fence was not enough structure for the rambling beast to climb on, so I needed to prune the beast back several times every summer.
But then I saw some beautiful DIY grapevine wreaths on Instagram. Since I had plenty of grapevines, I decided to try making my own.
And it was so simple.
Start With Green Vines
I used freshly cut vines that were still green and pliable.
After removing the larger leaves from the vines, I started by wrapping two vines around each other.
And then carefully forming them into the shape of the wreath. I just kind of wove the ends around each other and tucked them in to secure them.
Then I wrapped in more vines, one by one, making sure to wrap them around any loose ends that needed to be secured so that the wreath wouldn’t unravel. To make sure they didn’t snap, I tried not to force the vines or wrap them too tightly.
They were fun to work with. The tendrils gave the wreath a lot of personality.
I made two of these basic wreath forms and gave one to a friend.
I put the second one in my greenhouse for a few days until it dried.
What if I didn’t have grapevines to work with? I’ve been meaning to experiment with other safe, non-toxic green, flexible vines and twigs. This year I’m going to try making a wreath with the long branches of my butterfly bush – while they are still green and pliable of course.
Add Accent Foliage
The wreath form had dried to a mellow brown color and was very solid.
By then it was time to prune my hydrangeas, so I cut several hydrangea flowers on long green stems and wound those stems through the gravevine wreath – again using no wires.
The photo below shows the back of the wreath, and you can see the green hydrangea stems winding through the wreath.
I shook the wreath a few times to make sure everything was secure.
I hung the wreath on the door, and the hydrangeas gradually dried on their own. I’m not sure if every variety of hydrangea would dry so nicely, but I was lucky with this one.
The wreath looked nice and fresh for weeks.
Turns out that stupid grape plant has value after all. So it gets to stay.
A Holiday Wreath
I could have simply tossed the wreath into the compost bin once the season changed. But it was still pretty solid. I was feeling too lazy to create a holiday wreath from scratch, so I just removed the hydrangeas and re-decorated it for Christmas.
For the holiday version, I used Deodar cedar twigs that I’d found on a walk. The long, flexible twigs worked well to wind around the grapevines.
But I cheated this time and added wired pine cone springs (which helped secure the cedar sprigs) and a few other man-made materials that I already had on hand.
Not the best Christmas wreath I’ve ever made, but I went with it anyway.
You can’t really see the grapevines, but they are under there!
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