Grapevine can be shaped into many forms, with the garland, or wreath, being one of the most versatile. Plain or decorated, the grapevine wreath is a lovely enhancement to primitive, rustic and country decors. Creating the wreath requires zero to minimal supplies and no experience. Decorating items can be acquired by a walk in the woods, down the aisle of a craft store or around your yard.
Purchase grapevine by the roll in a craft store or gather it from your yard or, as Sonoma County Master Gardeners suggests, along roadsides in wine country at pruning time.
Cut with sharp shears, and pull the vines free, keeping the tendrils intact and removing the leaves, recommends Mother Earth News.
If frost hasn't arrived by pruning time, any leaves you collect can be preserved with glycerin so that you may add them to your wreath.
Preparing the Vines
Unless you harvest the canes and use them before they have dried and become brittle, soak them in water overnight, or until they bend easily.
Shaping Your Garland
Methods for shaping grapevine vary greatly among crafters. One of the easiest is the candy-cane style, which requires zero supplies. However, the more grapevines you add to it, the smaller the center becomes (along with the outside). To ensure the center remains the size you desire, use the container method.
Grapevines vary in thickness, from less than an inch to over 3 inches. The thicker the vine, the less vines needed.
Holding the end of a long, thick vine, loop the vine in a circle as you would a garden hose or a string of lights. Make this circle as small or large as you want the final product to be.
Begin looping the vine around again, but stop halfway. Continue holding the wreath with one hand and the vine's end with the other.
Wrap the unlooped section of vine around the first circle, pulling it through the center and out on a diaganol. Continue wrapping in this spiral fashion as if you were wrapping the red stripes of a candy cane.
When near the end of this second vine, tuck the loose end into the wreath. Now you have a grapevine wreath without any ties or wires.
If you wish to make it bigger, tuck the end of another vine into the wreath so that it's secure and wrap it candy-cane style around the entire wreath, tucking it in when you reach the end.
Things You'll Need
1 container that measures across a little smaller than you want the wreath. For a circular garland, a large coffee can or a uniformly cylindrical bucket works well.
3 grapevines -- number, length and thickness determines the size of your wreath.
Secure the container to the work table with duct table.
Leave one of the three vines its original length. Cut 6 inches off the second one and 12 inches off the last one. You do this because the form you are wrapping around grows larger with each vine.
Wrap the shortest vine around the container, and tuck the end under the part of the vine where you started. Take the vine that is 6 inches longer, and wrap it the same way, tucking it into the wreath when you reach the end. Then do the same with the third, which should be the longest vine.
Remove the wreath from the container.
Inspect for loose ends, tucking them in securely.
Decorating Your Garland
Allow a few days for your wreath to dry before decorating, recommends Bonnie's Plants.
Nature-inspired, rustic or primitive embellishments suit the grapevine well, but this doesn't mean you can't paint it. For example, spray paint three wreathes white to make a snowman for a country style garland.
Turn a thick wreath into a diorama, populating it with miniature animals, people, trees and even buildings. For a winter wreath, you add miniature trees and animals and dust with white glitter. Create a pastoral scene with a miniature red barn, cute farm animals and a carpet of greenery. Use moss, twigs and toy baby woodland animals for a spring wreath like Hannah Milman demonstrated with her spring diorama on the Martha Stewart Show.
For a Tuscan kitchen or patio, add artificial grapes and grape leaves. For a fall wreath, use nuts, twigs, preserved leaves and miniature squirrels. Or weave in fairy lights and a strand of cranberries for a beautiful holiday centerpiece. A culinary or fragrance wreath might feature dried herbs.
Use a hot glue or floral wire to attach decorations to the grapevine. Hot glue works well for dried flowers, moss, twigs and plastic toy animals, according to Hannah Milman. If using floral wire, Bonnie's Plants recommends 24-gauge for lightweight items such as silk flowers and small pine cones.
If the glue or wire show, cover with items that fit your design, whether moss, herbs, dried flowers or fabric ribbons.
If your grapevine garland will be exposed to temperatures below freezing, keep in mind that the hot glue gun variety of glue may break loose.
Displaying Your Grapevine Garland
Unlike some wreathes that easily fit on a nail, a grapevine wreath may not hang straight, and in trying to fit it on, you could break it. Sonoma County Master Gardeners recommends attaching a heavy gauge wire or a moss colored chenille craft wire, aka pipe cleaner. Slip the wire around vines in the back and at the top, wrap a few times and twist at the top, and hang from a fixture. Or attach to a framework such as a balcony using the wire or pipe cleaner.