As a child, I used to follow my mother deep into the woods near our lake cabin and harvest long strands of grapevine. Our feet would crunch deliciously on the leaves underfoot as we drug those vines back to our home in the cool autumn air. A few weeks later, those vines would become beautiful wreaths for the holiday decorating.
Decorating with grapevine is a beautiful, natural way to decorate your home during any season, but for the holiday season, it just seems perfect.
When we lived in the house with the nice front porch, I would go into those same childhood woods and harvest from the same trees my mother and I harvested from. I would take those vines and thread them over and around the railings on my porch in large frolicking loops. With golden garland to shine in the daytime and twinkling Christmas lights to shine at night, I created a festive atmosphere from grapevine that didn’t cost me a dime.
Grapevine grows wild just about anywhere, but it is rather fond of evergreen trees. The picture at the top of this post was taken next to our lake cabin (note the characteristic leaves for those of you worried about accidentally making a poison ivy wreath–don’t laugh, I know someone who did just that!). I also found a goodly amount of grapevine growing wild on my chain-link fence right here in the city!
I carefully pulled the long strands from the fence and laid the vine out on the ground. This time of year is good for harvesting grapevine because it is still fairly pliable. If you wait much longer, you won’t be able to get a tight wreath from it. However, if you are going to use it the way I did for my porch, you can harvest well into November.
Next, I plucked all the leaves off the vine, which my daughter gathered into a lovely bouquet.
After the vine was stripped of its leaves, I wrapped it over and over again in a circular shape to create my wreath. As you can see here, I only had a small amount, but I’m using mine as decoration for a candle. If you are going to make a wreath, you will need as much as it takes to create the thickness you desire.
I took my “wreath” inside and let it dry in that shape for about 2 weeks. It turned brown and became stiffer, holding it’s shape quite nicely.
I’m not going to give you concrete examples of what you can do with your grapevine other than the few ideas I’ve offered here because really the possibilities are limitless and your imagination is the best guide of what you can do with this lovely bit of nature. In fact, even if you do nothing but add a candle or put a bit of ribbon around it to hang outside your door, there is something elegant in its simplicity. One of God’s little creations that makes me smile.