Originally published March 2019. Updated Sept. 2021.
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If you're looking for a fast and easy homemade wreath for the holidays, it doesn't get much easier than dried fruits and herbs on a simple grapevine wreath. Here's how to quickly make a dried fruit and herb wreath, for a hint of that colonial Williamsburg charm.
There's something about Christmastime that just makes me want to make things. My hot glue gun comes out and stays out. The sewing machine gets used on a daily basis. Cutting mats live on the living room table, creating a landscape for play dough fun by day, scrap quilting by night.
One thing I find, when I give my crafting supplies a bit more real estate in the house than usual, is that creative ideas don't stay ideas for long - they get made. It's a lot easier to think of an idea over breakfast, then make it during naptime, when supplies are handy. That's how this little wreath came to be.
I hadn't been planning to make a wreath yesterday. But I'd dried loads of citrus fruit last week when they were on sale, so I've got a big supply of them. And when some of the herbs leftover from Thanksgiving caught my eye - I just knew they needed to get together somehow. A grapevine wreath turned out to be the perfect canvas, and 20 minutes of playing with a bit of floral wire and hot glue brought it all together. Here's how to make one:
How to make a simple dried fruit and herb wreath
- Grapevine or willow wreath (mine came from the dollar store)
- Dried fruit - slices of citrus, pear, or apple work great
- Herbs - fresh, dried, or some of both (I used fresh rosemary and bay leaves, and assorted dried herbs)
- Hot glue gun, and plenty of hot glue sticks (I used 4)
- Floral wire, if you're using fresh herbs
Start by playing around with your decorations, laying them on the wreath to get an idea of where you'd like things to go. Once you have a pretty good idea, start with your longest herbs. I had some long sprigs of dried lemon balm that tucked into the weave of the wreath, at both ends of the decorated area, to give some length to the design. Use a few dabs of hot glue to make sure your dried herbs are secure, even if you've been able to tuck them into the weave a bit. It's always a good plan to err on the side of really securing everything down.
I then layered some long sprigs of fresh rosemary on top of those, to create a bit more definition to the start and end of the embellished area. When working with fresh herbs, it works best to use floral wire to secure them to the wreath. Since many herbs shrink significantly as they dry, it's easy for them to come loose if they're not wire in, and hot glue can cause dark burned areas if used on fresh herbs. To wire them in, just cut a length of floral wire, about 6 inches long, twist one end very well around the stem of the herb, and then poke the other end of the wire through the wreath, twisting it into the back of the wreath to secure the herb sprig.
Then, starting at the higher side of your design (in this wreath, that was the left), start gluing your dried fruit onto the wreath, overlapping the slices a bit, and alternating with sprigs of herbs after every couple of slices. In the picture above, this was a slice of grapefruit, with some dried sage and lavender being layered on after it.
I'm going to include a little diagram of everything I used, in hopes it helps give a little more clarity to the process, and serves as a source of ideas for your own creative design.
As you're gluing each layer, I find it's helpful to keep a bit of pressure on the dried citrus, to help it dry with a firm hold on the wreath.
Once your layers of dried fruit and herbs are in place, you may find a spot here and there that needs a little something. That's ok! It's easy to go back with a little spring or leaf of dried herb, and tuck it in with a dab of glue on the end. You'll know when your wreath is done, and for myself, I think this type of wreath can be one situation where less is more.
When your wreath is done, and the glue is dry, go ahead and wire a little loop of floral wire into the back of the wreath, for hanging. I try to center my hanging loop right in the fattest part of the wreath where it's not going to be seen, even if things settle a bit. I know some folks recommend putting your hanging loop on before making a wreath - but I feel like I never know exactly how my wreath is going to want to hang, until it's done. Just be gentle, and you shouldn't have any trouble laying your wreath flat on its front, while you carefully wire in the hanging loop.
That's all there is to it! I really played around and let myself take half an hour having fun with this - but it really can be a 15 minute project from start to finish. I hope you have fun! If you make one, I'd sure love to see pictures! Feel free to share one in the comments!
Happy wreath making!
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