Grapes of Wrath

This past winter has been a tough one on us in East Tennessee, the winter storms have downed many trees and created treacherous travel conditions. Although the winter snow if beautiful, finding trees down on your property line creates a larger task: cleanup. Luckily, as we were clearing a large downed tree, we came across this giant bundle of grape vine that had been growing on the top of the tree. Why would I say luckily? Well, no one was harmed when the tree came down, and having an abundance of grapevine meant trying my hand at making my own wreath.

Tangled grapevine

In my past, I’ve made a variety of wreaths from many different bases. Having the base of a wreath be natural grapevine, means that the wreath is more environmentally friendly than Styrofoam or other wreath bases. A grapevine wreath can be décor on it’s own or can be decorated with embellishments from faux flowers to other items. The first step is to process the giant web of tangled grapevine for usable lengths. Some advice when processing wild brush, I wear long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection to protect myself. I grabbed my best pair of garden shears and headed outside.

When processing the vine, I tried to find the longest lengths possible, this makes it possible to create a larger wreath. Although some places recommend using similar sized pieces, I found that having a variety of thickness in the vines catered to my aesthetics. After cutting multiple lengths of grape vine, create a circle with a single piece. Weave the ends around themselves, it’s easiest to process the vine when it is damp. Mine had been sitting outside in damp conditions and did not need soaked, however you can always soak your grapevine for about 30 minutes to an hour to make it easier to manipulate.

Once your first circle is created, weave in other strands until you have the size wreath you wanted to create. While weaving the strands in, its best to create a tighter twist around the circle to keep all pieces connected. If your circle starts to look a little more like an oval, I found that by pushing some pressure on it from above to the ground helped make it round again. Keep twisting, weaving, and adding vine to your liking. I finished my ends by tucking in as much as possible and then closely trimming the ends.

Finished wreath

Once your wreath is the size and shape you want, it needs to cure. Curing allows for the moisture to dry out of the wreath and helps create a sturdier structure. Lay your wreaths flat to cure and let sit for at least 24 hours, however the longer you can let them cure the better. After curing, your wreath is ready to hang or become a canvas for additional decorations.

The best part about this craft?! Thanks to Mother Nature, it is completely free.

Until we create again,

Gracie Love

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