Grape vines are often used for craft projects such as making wreaths and swags, and although available at any local craft store, they can be expensive. Preserving your own grape vines simply involves drying the vines while following a few relatively simple steps, and once preserved, you can make your own wreaths and swags for a fraction of the cost of store-bought varieties.
Cut your grape vines during midsummer to late fall, before the first snow, after all the grapes have been harvested.
Cut the grape vines into manageable lengths such as 3 to 10 feet. This makes working with them easier. Trim off all the large leaves, leaving some smaller leaves if desired. Also leave the curly tendrils on the vines, which add some decoration.
Form the grape vines into a wreath by bending one vine into a circle any size you wish. If using a long vine, continue circling the vine around itself until you come to the end, then tuck the loose end into the wreath to hold. Add another vine by inserting one loose end into the wreath and circling the vine around the outside edges; tuck the loose end into the wreath to hold. If necessary, use floral wire to secure the loose ends.
Continue adding more vines to the wreath until you have achieved the thickness you desire for the wreath. Form a loop from the wire and attach to the back of the wreath to hang it from.
Hang the grape vine wreath in a warm, dry room for at least two weeks to preserve it. The wreath can also be hung or laid outside in the sun to dry for two weeks, being careful not to let it get wet. Once preserved, you can decorate your grape vine wreath with dried or silk flowers if you wish.
Things You Will Need
- Grape vines
- Cutting shears
- Floral wire
- If not preserving the grape vines immediately, place coiled up in a waterproof basket or sink filled with water to keep pliable until ready to use.
- Dry a few grape vines straight for making swags.
- Do not attempt to make grape vines that have already been dried into wreaths or the vines will break.