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Wreaths from scratch - 2009

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Well, like most of you I gather things from soup to nuts. Right now we are clearing vines. So whats a gardener to do with the cut vines?

Why wreaths of course!

So heres my technique, please show me yours!

I am starting with wisteria.

I cut the vines and let them lay so the leaves dry for a couple of weeks.

Here are some dry. You do not want to let the stems dry out and still want them flexible otherwise you will get anglers in your wreaths, whicj well if you want that that is great, but for the nice round basses, you want to be sure to wind them when they are still green!

The leaves on the wisteria will dry further and shatter off later.

So heres to going from scratch to finish! Winter, spring, summer or fall, the decoration is your call!

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Well here is my "mold" for my wreath making.

Its an egg basket.

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Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

Nice work in progress. Never thought of making a wreath and now you may be an inspiration for me! I am always cutting the wisteria, perhaps I shall go to work on that.

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks!!

Well, this weekend we harvested also grapevine wreaths.. soooo, I got a wagon load.....so I got a little work cut out!

That was soooo fun trying to pull the wild grapevines out of our trees. Some were intermingled with poison ivy... itch itch anyone!? Well, good fortune for me, I am not allergic, but I pity the harvesters that got vines like me! I have some poison ivy vines that are 70 plus feet tall growing in my oaks and then the babies that surrond the trees are mego million incovering ground.

I love the egg basket for a form because its firm and just the right size for wall and door hangers! Its the best thing I have come up with to do this project, but if someone has other methods DOooo TELL!

Well, here we go!

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

take about 3 strands of vine and poke the end through the basket about an inch as shown in the picture...

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Then wind the long ends of the vine around the basket to the thickness of the wreath that you desire, If you have to add more thickness just take another few strands and stick the ends through the wreath material to lock it in and keep winding!

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

After you have wound up enough vine on the wreath base for the thickness you desire take floral wire and bind the wreath together in 3 to 5 equally spaced places around the wreath. The number of times you bind it will depend on the wreath but use an odd number of places and be sure to evenly space them for greatest binding power and looks.

The kind of wire you use will depend on the effect you are trying to acheive or if it will even show in the end product.

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Once your binders are in place you are ready to remove the wreath from the basket.

Just give a little twist to dislodge the stems of the vine that started the wreat lose and it should come of easy!

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Whalah!

A nice round wreath everytime!

Now the wreath is ready for seasonal adornments!

Easy as pie!

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Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

First I need to figure out something to wrap them around??? I have some large round pots think I can make that work? Guess I could tape the first ends to begin.

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Sounds like a plan...duct tape, the handigardeners friend! LOL!

Your turn, show us how its done! I need to gater some silks to put in some of the finished wreaths I made!

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

Well I haven't done it yet, just following your lead. I chucked the really really long wisteria across the road in the field and will have to go fetch it and see if it is fit for winding or too stiff.
Then again same ole story, working every day and then to the cabin for the weekend so not sure where the time will arrive from.
^_^

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Well my wisteria stayed pliable for about 3-4 weeks.. just finished winding them and got to hit the grapevines... oY, now thats currently a tangled mess!

You can wind them green green too yano!

Only thing I got on your plan is how are you going to stick your binders through on a pot? Maybe tape them too before winding? Just a thought! ;>)

Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7b)

My (adopted)granny used to grow grapes and she took a pile of the vines and put them in a tub of hot water to make them more pliable. She never used wire to hold them together, just wrapped them tight and tucked the end in when she made her wreaths.
Yours look great! I wish I had some grapes growing around here. I have bittersweet, waiting patiently to see if they'll have berries this year.

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

I like that idea, natural binding! Do you have a sample to show?

I will also use raffia to tie mine instead of wire.

I did some grapevines today leaving the leaves on them. They were cut Sunday and today is Tuesday and the leaves are soft yet, but somewhat dry.

Here are three of the earlier ones. The two to the top right are made of wistera. The lower left is a last seasons trumpet vine and as you can see, they about look the same other than a slight variation in color. These two kinds of vines seem to stay pretty supple for a good period so if you dont have time to bind them right away that is good. Otherwise, like your (adopted) grannie, soak them in water.

On my egg basket it is a good size that if the vines are a tad dry you can still take your time and gently wind them and sometimes they will crack, but other times they don't so depending on your mood of creation later, no two are alike no matter how you do this!

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Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

Well, I'll see if I can drag them outta there or just get some new. Good idea about the binder idea although I have some thin floral wire that will likely work and then I can just better reinforce when I get it off the pot.
I do have a square milk carton metal container at the cabin like your round, could just make a square wreath?

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

Now BB that is interesting - will you make that into an olympic wreath? I like the idea of several joined together, how unique!

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Well, that is novel, a square wreath! I like it! I like it DO SHOW!!

Here s a wildly shaped one I ended up with with the dregs of my grape vines....

Very unconventional and a challenge for design! Terri would probably do miracles with it!

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Hmm, an olypic wreath! Good idea there haighr. Well right now am just mass makingmy bases. That was just a sampling of material to compare! But I like the olypic idea very much too.

Cant wait to get adding the adornments to these later!

This is just a sample of a heavy wound grape I make with the leaves on... when you work with these later the leaves will shatter off so if you want the leaves pretty, you need to work with them fresher like adornments fixed on today. Sadly, I do not have time for this one so it will go in storage for later until I finish making bases.

(I am in to mass re-production!!)

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Heres a couple medium weight/width grapes...

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

3 lighter weight/widths than above....(not fastened together.. just grouped!!!)

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Ow! OW! .....OOWWWWW! Watch what yer doing there lady....!

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.......oOOoh! So sorry Mr. Stickwalker, but you really must quit hiding in my natural material!


LOL!

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Well you best put on yer glasseyes there Missy!

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Yeah, almost dint see ya there fella! Well, you git along now and go poke along elsewhere. Im off to the GPS5 to work on my other to do list!

But I will be baaaack!

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.......hehehehe...so will I Missy! Soooo will I!

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Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

You are so right BB, Terri would turn that into something so artful we would never dream of. I do like the idea of overlapping and joining a couple together, perhaps 3 down to cover a long section of a front door and the last one could hold a little welcome plaque? Hey this is some great stuff to put together for a craft show ^_^

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Well, shall we get to dressing them up? Im game. I am working on some for a friend right now. Could be a few days or so before I get them finished.

Sooo, whatcha got??!

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

So far rain BB. Supposed to go to the cabin this afternoon, perhaps Sunday I can gather some wisteria and perhaps return with that square milk crate.

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Sounds like a plan. Um when you get done with the rain dear, would you please send that cloud this way? We-ins is sooooo dry here!

Lawrenceville, GA(Zone 7b)

I'll be happy to send you some rain BB! We've had over 4 inches since yesterday am. It has been raining for days here and there is more in the forecast!

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Oh thank you Raggedyann!!! For GOOD measure I will take 8 inches please... but please make it gentle to last a week!

Yano, everytime I check the radar here, it SHOWS rain, but we never see it.. what is it, a glass dome over the area or something!! LOL! Man we need it BAAAAD.

Will let you know when it arrives!

Well, I need to get deadheading again and so will be back here as soon as I get some more material or something decorated... Do join us here and show yours!

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

Didn't bring them home this weekend but will soon, one is square and one rectangular? May go for the rectangular one?

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Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

And for the rectangle

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Well, Hiaghr, whichever you start with, they will unconventionally very interesting.

Well, we got a lilttle rain...2/10ths.

I have some silk sunflowers here someplace...hmmm I think I might just put them on one of my grape vines for starters! Have to go hunting for them...

Catch ya again!

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Lovely wreaths! Thanks for the tutorial, I will have to try that. I love the idea of the square wreath, too... I have seen those (maybe in Martha Stewart's wreaths magazine or book?)... very cool! For now, I have a very large grapevine wreath (not one that I made) that I am about to decorate for Autumn. I never thought of using all of these other vines. Thanks for the inspiration!

Brenda

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

Glad we inspired you Brenda, I haven't been back to the cabin since the photos of the square nor have I made one yet, but perhaps this fal I will. Hope to see you around the Cafe or the arrangements. Nice to meet you.
Hey BB, put on some coffee we got company!

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Thanks, Haighr!

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Hey guys! Its BITTERSWEET TIME!

Same process, different material!

Just pruned my vines! First time I have ever had the berries! WHOOHOO!

Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

From this

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

to this

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

And this!

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Watseka, IL(Zone 5a)

Ok, and for bittersweet chat... go here!

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1051929/

Laurel, DE(Zone 7a)

That looks great BB. Tasha just bought some of that for a table arrangement, should have sent her to your house.
I never got any further than taking the photos of the crates LOL! I just can't wait to retire and be at home and be able to take my time doing stuff instead of trying to cram everything into a weekend. I know be careful what I wish for cause there is always a ton of stuff to do at home, but at least I would have 9 hours a day more to accomplish the fun stuff like a wreath!

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