I’ve never made a wreath before! That’s why when my friend Rose asked me to join her for a wreath-making class at the Guadalupe Park Garden Conservancy in San Jose, I was excited.
What I had in mind is totally different than what I experienced. I assumed I would be making a typical wreath with the usual pine-tree leaves and just tie them around a pre-fabricated wire circle. Little did I know I would be in a nature-inspired wreath-making workshop like no other!
This two-hour wreath-making workshop was the most fun class I have been to in a while! Well, what can go wrong when working with piles and piles of natural elements with the fresh scents of pine, rosemary, and nature all around?
First off, there was no pre-fabricated wire to work with. Uh oh! I wondered how we would get that perfect circle? Our teacher explained that we actually build our wreath from scratch with grapevines!
Huge piles of grapevines from a vineyard in our Los Gatos hills were donated to the garden club. Our teacher explained that we take 4-6 long strands of grapevine to make a wreath.
What are these piles of leaves, berries and branches for I wondered?
As it turns out the folks who have done the class before grabbed armloads of these natural embellishments to add to their wreath.
Uh oh! Rose and I just headed back inside with the grapevines. We were too busy making our grapevine wreath and thought we could grab the foliage later.
By the time we got back out, everything was almost gone – pinecones, pine branches, holly branches, succulents, berried branches – all GONE!
I looked around and scrambled to pick up what remnants were leftover. All I could find were liechen branches, rosemary, furry ferns, and a few dried seedpods.
Folks, may I humbly mention that the teacher was so happy with my wreath that she kept holding it up to admire 😊
I ended up making it with remnant evergreens and twigs that no-one wanted! The lesson here is to think out of the box and sometimes it’s okay to create something different.
Because I didn’t have a pre-conceived idea of what my wreath should look like, I built it as I went along and added layers of leaves and twigs, kind of like painting.
Here is a look at our wreath-making process
First Step. Pick 4-6 grapevines and start “cracking the grapevine”
First step is to make the frame for the wreath with strands of grapevines. Beforw we can use the grapevines we had to “crack them” first. This is the process where we gently bend the grapevines to soften the twigs so that when we actually make a circlular wreath with them the vines don’t break.
Second Step: Make the framework
Second step involved making the circular wreath. No wires here either! Just start making a circle by intertwining the vine and keep adding a new vine and intertwining that vine until a sturdy wreath is made. This becomes the framework for the fun part of the project – adding all the gorgeous natural embelishments.
Third Step: Layering branches, twigs and moss on the wreath
Any and all natural elements can be added to the wreath. This is done by using thin wires that are used to attach the twigs, leaves and berries onto the grapevines.
Last Step: Adding the bow!
A few close-up shots of my wreath.
Here is a look at other nature-inspired wreaths from our workshop.
Our final product!
Wreaths ready to be hung on our doors!
A very special thank you to my dear friend Rose for inviting me to join her on this extraordinary nature-inspired wreath making workshop !! ❤️😘🍂
Happy Holidays Everyone! 🎄