Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Grape Harvest Wreath


I really admire the creative people who come up with original craft projects in magazines and books. It's a fun type of work, but it is not without its frustrations. Take this Grape Harvest Wreath. It got off to a couple of bad starts.

This odyssey first began when I came across bunches of yellow grapes at the Dollar Store. They were cheap plastic grapes, but in the sunlight, they had a lovely glow about them. So I bought all the bunches the store happened to have.

Then I went home and tried to hot glue them to a wreath form. What a disaster! Each bunch of grapes had so many moving parts (grapes)! By the time I had them glued down, there was wads of glue and yet they still weren't entirely secured to the wreath. Discouraged, I set the whole project aside until I could come up with a better idea.

Fresh inspiration struck. I decided tie the bunches of grapes to the wreath with fishing line. This worked perfectly, but it wasn't going to be easy for someone else to replicate. Then I had another creative flash: pin the grapes down first and then secure them permanently with the fishing line! So much easier! This worked like a charm. 


In the end, I am really pleased with the way this wreath turned out. I hope my pictures do it justice because, in real life, the wreath is really pretty.

Here's how you can make this wreath for yourself:



Materials you need to make a Grape Harvest Wreath:

• Assorted faux grapes (see notes on the grapes below)

• Styrofoam wreath (size of your choosing)

• Fireline fishing line (10 lb weight)

• 18 gauge wire (to make pins to hold your grapes on the wreath form)

• Ribbon to hang the finished wreath

Tools you need:

• Wire cutters

• Scissors



A note about the grapes: 

I used two different sized bunches of grapes. I found that the smaller bunches came in handy on the outside and insides edges of my wreath. I also cut a few of the larger bunches into a couple of smaller pieces.

I used a mix of different colored grapes, but you could easily reduce the palette to a couple of colors or even a single color. The grapes I used were yellow, off-white (seen above), medium red and dark red (seen above).

As to the quantity of grapes you'll need that may vary according the size of the wreath you select. For my project, I was very generous with the grapes. For a 12" wreath I used:

8 large bunches of yellow grapes
6 large bunches of off-white grapes
3 large bunches of medium red grapes
2 large bunches of dark red grapes
4 mini bunches off-white grapes
4 mini medium red grapes
4 mini dark red grapes



The wreath (10"inches) I have pictured in this how-to demonstration would use less grapes.



How to make the wreath:

Step 1: Using your wire cutters, cut 2" segments of 18 gauge wire. Bend the wire segments into U-shaped pins. 

Step 2: Using the pins you've made, start pinning the grapes onto the styrofoam wreath. Try to catch the main branch holding the grapes together with each of the pins to make your bunches are well fastened to the wreath. I'd recommend using at least 4 pins for a large bunch of grapes.


Step 3: I worked with the large bunches first and tried to drape them attractively over the hump of the wreath. 

Step 4: Go back and fill in any gaps with smaller bunches of grapes. 



Step 5: As I indicated earlier, a single bunch of grapes has many small moving parts/grapes. Once you have all the grapes pinned to the wreath, you want to secure them so there is no way they can move and pull the pins loose.

Work a length of the Fireline fishing line in among the grapes on the face of the wreath and then gently turn the wreath over. Make a knot on the back of the wreath and pull it tight. Don't cut the ends!

Step 6: Circle round and round the full circumference of the wreath feeding the fishing line in among the grapes, so it disappears. The goal is to tie down all the grapes, so they are really secure and won't move. When you have finished wrapping the entire wreath, cut the fishing line and tie a knot to close the line.


Step 7: Make a loop of ribbon and a bow to hang your wreath. Your done!


 Hang and enjoy your Grape Harvest Wreath!