Wild grapevine is an invasive plant, often called a nuisance since it can actually kill trees. If you live in a wooded area, you’ve probably got some right outside your house and plenty of it! I think it’s beautiful and it’s perfect for crafting wreaths and other home decor. I also love how it lends an enchanted, storybook atmosphere to the woods. I can see Snow White running through the forest, grapevines reaching out to grab her– Oh, yeah, back to the wreaths…. We’ve got grapevines all over our farm, so making wreaths out of them is unbearably enticing. By the way, one more side note, wild grapes are edible, and did you know you can even get water out of the vines by cutting them at the bottom and draining them into a container? Just a handy tip for the next time you’re lost in the woods. If I ever get lost in the woods, I’m planning to sit down and cry. But you. You! You can cut down a grapevine and drain out the water and eat grapes.
To get grapevine down, some muscle is handy. 52 helped me drag these vines down. Okay, he dragged them down while I picked out which ones I wanted. I really wanted this one because it still had grapes attached. I called them berries, which drove him crazy. So I called them berries some more.
Then we wandered on down to the meadow bottom so I could look for things to put on the wreaths, at least temporarily, just for fun, because I like to play with stuff. The dogs came along, of course. You can’t walk a step on a farm without being shadowed by dogs. Which is nice, because dogs make any walk into an adventure, especially if one of them is a Giant Puppy and the other one is Mr. Crankypants.
I grabbed some moss and ferns and wildflowers to take home and play with my wreaths.
And Coco ran up and down the meadow 200 times because she was excited.
Then she noticed the creek.
She stopped for a drink–
–then abruptly wheeled around–
–because she had just remembered her new power over water.
So she ran up and down the creekbed 200 times to reinforce her dominion over it.
Dookie: “It’s not my fault this time. I told you the Giant Puppy was trouble.”
Then we hauled the grapevines we’d cut back up the hill to the farmhouse in the truck.
And I proceeded to make a huge mess on the porch while pruning off leaves and stray branches from the vines.
Right after this picture was taken….
….in which, to answer the question, I was not wearing any pants….I stomped my foot and said, “This is too hard! I can’t get it untangled!” (This is why I wouldn’t make it if I was lost in the woods. I’m such a whiner.) And I promised 52 that I would call them grapes from now on, not berries, if he would help me.
We fashioned half a dozen wreaths out of the bounty we’d hauled out of the trees.
I love, love, love the little curly doohickies on the vines.
Coco, back on the job with her goats, enjoyed snacking along with them on the fresh grape leaves we threw over the side of the porch. She thinks she’s a goat, too.
Then I played around a bit, decorating with the fresh things I gathered in the meadow bottom.
I really love the berries that came with the vines.
Berries. Grapes. What’s the difference? 😆
How to make a Wild Grapevine Wreath:
If you’re using fresh grapevine, the vines will be pliable and easy to shape. If the grapevine has been cut for awhile, you may need to soak it overnight in water to restore flexibility. Using sharp pruning shears, cut off extra branches and leaves, leaving the curls that will add charm to your wreath. If there are grapes hanging off your vine, leave those, too! Start with the biggest end of the vine and form a circle in the size you want for your wreath. Wrap the vine around and around several times then wrap the smaller end to help hold your shape. You can use wire to help hold things together, if necessary. Place centerpieces or candles inside smaller wreaths for table decorations or make straight wreaths to hang over doorways or windows. Let your wreaths dry for a few weeks before final decorating. (They may shrink slightly when dried.) Decorate with dried herbs, flowers, ribbons, or other seasonal items using craft/floral wire or a hot glue gun.
In the coming weeks, after the wreaths dry, I’ll be decorating them permanently in seasonal frivolity for autumn and Christmas. Some will be to keep, others to give away as gifts. (I’ll post pics of the finished wreaths as I get them done.) Grapevine wreaths are fun! You ever made one?
Those look like so much fun! I think I may have to convince Blaze that I need to make a wreath too! 😀
We have a huge grapevine behind the house, but it’s odd because it never produces any grapes! Grr!
And you were not wearing any pants. I knew it!!! Though admittedly, if I lived out in the country, with no neighbors around me… I wouldn’t wear them either. So I can’t bleam you honestly! Hee hee!
On September 18, 2008 at 3:59 am
liz in NY says:
I love making grapevine wreathes!Large or small they all look different. I also wove them around my dining room chandelier,and sometimes I will hang things from it. Thanks for sharing your life!!
On September 18, 2008 at 5:47 am
I’m going to try this!
On September 18, 2008 at 6:09 am
so jealous! Yes I have made one but I always have to BUY my wreath, BUY my moss, BUY my dried flowers, BUY my berries………so not fair…I even have to BUY the picture of a creek!
what a wonderful way to spend the day!!! I also BUY extra grapevine wreaths….unravel them and wrap it around my Christmas Tree like Garland….talk about a mess!!! I decorate my tree to look like one you would find in the woods…like in your backyard!
Tresh in OK
PS the word “grapes” is overrated…we all understood berries better! hahhaa
On September 18, 2008 at 7:40 am
Lisa L says:
Wow you are quite the farm girl now – making wreaths from scratch – I’m so jealous!!! Can’t wait to see them! Lisa L.
On September 18, 2008 at 7:45 am
On of the the very first things I did when we moved into our house almost 10 years ago was to make grapevine wreathes. I love them. I’m going to make more this year for my 4-H kids to decorate at Christmas time.
On September 18, 2008 at 7:49 am
Are you going to make those grapevine trees next??? The wreaths look great! :bananadance:
Smart thinking with the pallet! You really are a regular farmgirl now. :treehugger:
On September 18, 2008 at 7:50 am
REMEMBER WE ALSO HAVE A LOT OF POISON-IVY IN ROANE CO….
On September 18, 2008 at 8:01 am
Yes. My Mom was in the floral industry so I grew up messing with this stuff. I usually had 52’s job,because I could climb. You can turn tomato cage’s upside down and wrap. Grape vines around them to make Christmas type tree’s. You have to secure what would be the stakes if it was a tomato cage. the you set it in a pot to give it some height. Can also pre wrap the cage with xmas lights then grapevines to give it some depth. They can be fun to mess with.
On September 18, 2008 at 8:02 am
That was what I thought about doing last Sunday while you were here! But then Joey had his tantrum….and I forgot.
Maybe this week.
On November 17, 2009 at 6:03 am
Carole @ Fowl Visions says:
I like grapevine wreaths also. They are so easy to decorate and can be for any time of the year.
Your creative use of the pallet is what we do on most everything. They make great gate doors also.
On September 18, 2008 at 8:04 am
I’m sharing this right now with my daughter who now lives on lots of acres in Iowa, so SHE can look for grapevines to make a wreath for me!!! I use your blog to keep educating my way grown-up city girl. And, wkf, THIS urban girl wants to know why you keep your tomatoes in cages? Do they try to run away? :catmeow:
On September 18, 2008 at 8:20 am
:thumbsup: Beautiful & I love the touch of moss. Michael’s charges $50.00 and up for a decorated grapevine wreath. Bravo!
On September 18, 2008 at 8:34 am
I’ve never made grapevine wreaths. But I can’t wait to see how yours turn out!
52 is like my Captain, always helping in whatever my next adventure or project is. Especially if I get frustrated, he will take over for me. Gotta love them fellas!
On September 18, 2008 at 8:41 am
Your wreaths are pretty. We have 4 grapevines in our yard, my husband usually trims them back in February. There’s a big pile of vines when he gets finished. He’ll ask if I want to make something with them before he puts them on the burn pile.
Swags are also pretty to make out of them, just cut off a bunch of strips and tie them together around the middle and decorate.
On September 18, 2008 at 9:05 am
But…but…are you going to make wild grape JAM!? That’s the big question!
Love your wreaths. I have one for Spring that I haul out every year. I’ve never made one, though. I know where some wile grapevines are. Maybe I need a matching one for fall! :yes:
On September 18, 2008 at 9:11 am
Nancy the tomato cages are so the tomatoes grow up right and not sprawled out along the ground. It helps in keeping slugs and dirt off the tomatoes and easier to see the bugs. Also easier to see the ripe ones.
We have loads of grape vines around here and I have never made one. I guess I will have to give it a try.
On September 18, 2008 at 9:13 am
Crystal B. says:
I have never made one but I have always wanted to.
On September 18, 2008 at 9:18 am
love it – i love the curly things too. so nice to go out in your yard and pick the vines to make things – primitive – love it.
i just thought we could all go back and take the pictures of 52 piece them together and just maybe we would get a body without the head – hmmmm some day??? 52 cant stay hidden forever!!
I love Coco and Mr. Crankypants
On September 18, 2008 at 9:35 am
Jill S. says:
I love the wreaths, love them. I’m going to need one. 🙂
On September 18, 2008 at 9:41 am
:butterfly: I KNEW you weren’t wearing any pants! LOL! The wreaths are really pretty. Can’t wait to see the finished products!!!! Have a great day! :purr:
On September 18, 2008 at 9:44 am
Claudia W. says:
I only have blackberry vines (no fruit though) and I don’t think those will work at all for the wreaths! Especially since I would be all cut up and bleeding before the first length is cut!
But I can’t wait to see your wreaths, and I have gotten some great crafty ideas for the season coming up. I like the idea of turning the tomato cages upside down. HmmmI’m gonna make up a Christmas tree with that idea! Thanks people! You all are so full of wonderful ideas!
On September 18, 2008 at 9:45 am
annie d. says:
I love the pictures of THE GIANT PUPPY running in the water!! (oh yes, I mustn’t forget Mr. Crankypants looks pretty spiffy, too.)
On September 18, 2008 at 9:46 am
I am going to have to look for these. My brother gave me some grapevines that he had cut at his place but they were already dried. I think I will go to the woods this evening after I get off work and look for some. -I just hope I don’t get ahold of any poison ivy vines.- :shocked:
On September 18, 2008 at 10:32 am
I am so looking forward to your new book! I hope the next one you write will include a Mister Crankypants and a giant puppy for additional interest/crisis. :rotfl:
It must be grapevine time. My husband came tramping out of my “wildlife refuge” (read unmowed, untamed acreage) with a bunch of berries, oops, grapes and was very excited. He put them on his birdfeeder where they remained untouched for several days. Too sour for our spoiled birdies. My good vineyard grapes, however, are just about ready for jam making. :hungry:
On September 18, 2008 at 11:17 am
Well okay to me only thing they are good for is makin jam heheheh
Oh and I have eaten upside downpizza.
It was TASTEY! :hungry:
On September 18, 2008 at 11:33 am
Do you have to worry about the puppy eating the grape leaves? I do know that grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs.
Love your wreathes. We don’t have wild grapes here, just nasty Himalayan blackberries, thus the reason we got 2 new goat girls last weekend. Your Clover stories made me want goats even more. 🙂 Couldn’t imagine not having them and it’s only been a few days!
On September 18, 2008 at 1:34 pm
I love how natural looking these wreaths look as opposed to the artificial kinds you find in stores. Coco is still so adorable!
On September 18, 2008 at 2:12 pm
Suzanne, that was THE CUTEST and FUNNIEST and most interesting story!!!!! That Coco – she makes my day!! I love her lively, loving spirit!!!! She loves to have fun!!!
That is so interesting about the wreaths – I knew nothing about them or how to make them. We decorated wreaths, once, in a meeting, for Christmas wreaths – with hot glue guns. I have to see a personal demonstration to do anything. I can’t just follow instructions. LOL I can’t wait to see how you decorate them, because they are SO PRETTY NOW!!! How fun and cool that you have access to all this!!!!
I could not help but look at that ring on 52’s hand – it just caught my eye, because it very much reminded me of my grandmother’s class ring that is from like early 1900’s – my mom was born in ’28, so before THAT…it sort of looks like smoothed out copper…well, alot like 52’s ring, upon glancing.
Dukie…so cute…love those farm animals!!
On September 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm
I like grapevine wreaths, but have never had a chance to make one. I usually buy the wreath and decorate it. *G*
Now, if only there could be a use for the Kudzu that is so prevelant here in SC.
On September 18, 2008 at 4:11 pm
This came to me later….someone there (hello local networks!!!), needs to pick you up, for a show – like “Suzanne’s Creations from Stringtown” or something..where you can have a show, and each show be on something different, like milking goats, how to make cheese, cooking a diff. cake or dish, making wreaths…then at the end, people could buy the DVD collection, for future reference!!! Have a little libray of Suzanne’s “how to” DVD’s. I mean the topics would be ENDLESS!!!
On September 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm
I recently came across your blog and have been loving it!!! Not to long ago I got hooked on and sucked into the world of blogging. I started a blog myself (finally). Please check it out. https://chezbichet.blogspot.com/
I was wondering about your chocolate cake recipe. I don’t have the choc powder, but can I use the choc baking squares?
On September 18, 2008 at 4:38 pm
You are so lucky to have that right in your own backyard. I love what you did with the wreath.
On September 18, 2008 at 5:22 pm
Shari C says:
I wish I was there enjoying the countryside with you and able to gather the makings for my very own wreaths…just terrific. It certainly looked like Coco and Dookie had a great time with you.
On September 18, 2008 at 5:44 pm
Suzanne McMinn says:
Hi, Callie! I don’t know about using chocolate squares. I haven’t tried that!
On September 18, 2008 at 8:08 pm
Brandy, kudzu can also be used..I’ve made wreaths out of both of them…just run thru your hands, gloves help, to get off the leaves and gather several vines together to treat as one. It makes it easier if you have small/skinny vines. Just make your first circle or two the size you are shooting for and then wrap those together as you go round and round the beginning circle..this way you don’t have to worry about it coming apart or unwinding as it dries..You can’t mess it up!!
On September 18, 2008 at 9:44 pm
Lynn Jones says:
Lucky! I live in the desert, which I love, but I could look for a month and not find a grapevine anywhere. Your wreaths are gorgeous and I loved just looking at them–thanks!
On September 18, 2008 at 9:45 pm
We just cut down a giant bush that was more or less dead from the ‘wood vine'(I think it is the Colorado cousin) that had strangeled it. Wish I would have read about wreaths before we hauled it all off. I still have it on the fence in the back yard, and it turns red in the fall. Love that.
On September 18, 2008 at 9:59 pm
we test the “berries” on the various vines under the oaks -some are sweeter than others – so i can make at least a batch of grape jelly…and then when the fruit is gone (or a hurricane comes by) we harvest the vines
for wreaths! i even hang a few in the yard on the trees for
the birds to eat their seed and fruit from.
i leave the little branches and use them to twist in and out
to hold the wreath together…and thicker volume of branches to the wreath. Nice adventure gathering materials….and wish i had some of those apples!
On September 19, 2008 at 4:53 am
how crafty :snoopy:
On September 19, 2008 at 8:12 pm
Wild grapes make the best jelly! Tart, not to sweet with ‘real flavor’. We’ve got an abundant ‘crop’ around here this year, so I got to just make a batch of jelly. Your wreaths are lovely!
On September 19, 2008 at 9:53 pm
I am officially inspired! What a great gift these will make for our family & friends for part of their holiday treats.
We (hubby & I) live on 20 acres in northern Michigan so the grapevine is abundant. Today is harvesting day!!!!!!
Thanks for the idea, and great photos!!
On October 12, 2008 at 8:00 am
I made about 25 grapevine wreaths this past autumn. Then the snow fell in mid Nov and I never did get them decorated. Not even for Christmas! I was quite dissappointed in myself for being so lazy and not, at least, getting a Christmas wreath finished. This year I will decorate all of them and sell some too, I hope. So many things to do and not nearly enough time!
On February 1, 2009 at 7:21 am
Luna The Farm Lady says:
i love your blog….you are my parralel universe. I’ve had many of the same experiences and even have the slanted house to prove it. The grapevine adventure reminded me of my own wreathe making outing last fall. It is a blast living here on the farm in KY with sheep. I don’t have cousins living near by but great neighbors. I’m putting you on my favorite blogs list! I’ll certainly be back
On March 8, 2009 at 8:17 am
Dave Hunt says:
I was wondering if you could recommend or suggest a way to preserve natural grapevine wreaths (dried grapevines, pinecones, nuts) and the best way to clean them periodically to remove dust. We plan to hang a couple on the walls in our great room. I don’t have any experience with wreathes and would appreciate your suggestions.
On May 1, 2010 at 7:53 am
Suzanne McMinn says:
Hi, Dave. I don’t do anything to mine and they last and last! The easiest way to dust them is with a feather duster.
On May 1, 2010 at 8:04 am
This not a comment but a question for you..I want to put a grapevine wreath in my chandelier for decoration. If I cut it will it come apart?
On December 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm
Suzanne McMinn says:
Kathy, I don’t know, I haven’t tried that, but I think it would work. It sounds like a beautiful idea!
On December 3, 2010 at 2:27 pm