How to Use Grapevines

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Grapevine wreath
Grapevine wreath (Image: Joe Zlomek)

Grapevines can be used in many different types of craft projects such as wreath making, basketry and flower arranging. Each type of craft requires the grapevine to be chosen, handled and prepared in a different ways, according to the need of the craft. These specifications aren't difficult and don't take any special equipment, but they can take some time and patience.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Gloves
  • Tub
  • Vise

Choose your vines. If you are making flower arrangements, choose thin, young vines that are growing at the end of the plant. If you are making other types of craft projects choose the thicker, older vines that are growing from the lower part of the plant.

Strip the grapevines of their skin unless you are using them for flower arrangements. When the vine dries, the skin will start to peel off on its own and will make a mess when used for other crafts. Hold a sharp knife at an angle and run it along the vine, removing only the green skin. Wear gloves when stripping grapevines of their skin.

Dry the grapevines for crafts that are meant to last for a long time, such as baskets or wreaths. Lay the vines out on a flat surface in the full sun for several days until the vine is hard.

Soak dried vines to make them pliable. Put the vines in a tub of warm water and let them sit for a couple of hours. You can use a bathtub to do this. They will be ready to use when you can gently bend them without any breakage. Moist vines can be twisted, braided and woven.

Twist the vines together by gathering the ends together and putting them in a vice on a table's edge. Take the other end of the vines and gently twist them with your hands. To make the vines stay twisted, let them dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Very old grapevines are quite thick and can be used like any other type of wood.

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