A wreath made of chili peppers adds spice to your home, whether it's to warm up your winter holiday décor, lend some sizzle to summer entertaining or brighten up your kitchen all year long. With the red, twisted, dried peppers resembling flames, the completed wreath takes on a sunburst shape that's quite appropriate to the fiery peppers.
Things You'll Need
- Dried arbol chile peppers, about 1 pound
- 14-inch straw wreath form
- 24-gauge florist wire
- Raffia ribbon
Select your straw wreath form, which you can find at your local craft store. The straw wreath is very solid, making it a good foundation for the chili peppers. The color of the straw is also a good backdrop for the red peppers. The one in this example is 14 inches in diameter.
Arbol chiles are the ideal peppers for making wreaths – unlike many other peppers they do not lose their color when they dry. You can find bags of dried arbol chiles in Latin and larger grocery stores. Two 8-ounce bags are enough to complete this wreath.
Cut a piece of florist wire so it is long enough to wrap around the circumference of the wreath form, with a few extra inches on both ends for tying. Select a 24-gauge wire, which is stiff enough to pierce the peppers, yet thin enough to thread easily.
Poke the wire through each pepper stem. Choose peppers that are still whole and discard any that have cracked or are broken. You do not want the seeds of the peppers spilling out. Keep the little stem that's attached to the peppers.
Continue to add peppers to the long piece of wire. The peppers should slide easily along the wire as you add the peppers. You will need about 150 peppers to complete the strand.
When the strand is full, twist the ends of the wire together to lock the peppers in place. Position this strand of peppers on top of the wreath form – the peppers should dangle over the edge. Tie this strand to the wreath with pieces of raffia ribbon, which will disappear against the straw on the wreath. Secure it in at least eight locations along the strand.
Cut a piece of wire so that you can assemble a second loop of peppers about an inch smaller in diameter than the first one. Twist the ends of the wire to secure the peppers in place. This will be the second layer of peppers.
Place this second loop of peppers on top of the first layer of peppers. Attach the strand to the wreath form with raffia ribbon at several points. This second layer will press against the stems of the first layer and help prop up the peppers.
Cut a piece of wire that's the length of the inner circumference of the straw wreath form. Thread peppers on this wire to create a third, smaller strand of peppers. Twist the ends of the wire to form a loop.
Place the third layer of peppers on top of the first two, and secure it to the wreath form with raffia ribbon. You may have to adjust a few of the peppers that fall out of alignment, as all the peppers should be pointing outward.
Decide which part of the wreath will be the top. On the other side, tie a wire loop for hanging.
Create a bow with raffia. Tie the raffia bow to the wreath.
Tips & Warnings
- Wear gloves while working with the peppers, and work in a well-ventilated area.
- Dried peppers can burn, so do not rub your eyes or scratch your skin after touching them. Wash your hands thoroughly after making the wreath.
- Keep the wreath away from pets and small children.