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Constructing a Harvest Wreath
Gathering Your Materials
Hanging a wreath on your front door is a great way to welcome the holiday season and your holiday guests. Most homes have had a Christmas wreath on their front door at one time or another, but may people don’t think about kicking off the holiday season a month or two earlier by adding a harvest wreath. Harvest wreaths are easy to make and feature a variety of plants including fruits, nuts, vegetables, and other autumn accents. Making your own wreath is a great project to do with your kids. You can gather most of the items you need in your own backyard or by taking a leisurely hike with the family through a neighborhood park or nearby state forest. If you decide to gather materials to make your own, be on the lookout for the following:
- Maple leaves
- Jack-o-lantern plants
- Dried chili peppers
- Tiny gourds
- Tiny pumpkins
- Miniature Indian corns
- Dried corn husk
- Dried autumn flowers such asters and mums
- Pussy willows
- Gnarly twigs
- Dried milkweed pods
In addition to the natural items you will feature you will need the following items to complete your wreath:
- Wreath base – you can use a circular Styrofoam wreath or a grapevine wreath
- Floral wire
- Hot glue/ hot glue gun
- Colorful accent ribbon (optional)
- Wire cutter
Constructing Your Wreath
Be sure that you collect enough dried leaves to cover the base of your wreath. Arrange dried leaves so that the wreath base is no longer visible and so that they make a nice bed on which you can nestle other items. Use floral wire to wrap around the stems of each leaf, tethering them together. Pull the ends of the wire through the wreath base and twist to tie on the back of the wreath. If using a grapevine wreath, wrap the ends of the floral wire around a grapevine to secure the leaves to the wreath. Cut excess wire, if any, using a wire cutter.
Arrange fruits, nuts and vegetables into small bunches. When you have decided where to place them on your wreath, tether bunches together using floral wire. If your plants have stems, wrap the wire around each stem as you did with the leaves. If not, you may pierce the plants with 1 – 2 inches of wire and secure to wreath using the exposed end of the wire as you did with the leaves. If you have delicate plants or plants without stems that you want to include, such as the blooms from a jack-o-lantern plant, add a small amount of hot glue to the bloom and attach it carefully to your wreath. Use enough glue to affix the items, but not too much that the item will wilt or discolor. Glue should not be visible on the finished product.
Some of the most interesting wreaths are a bit chaotic, with leaves, husks, twigs and other longer plants sticking our around the edges of wreath, creating a more natural effect.
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