As the days get shorter and the nights grow cooler, a beautiful transformation happens in our gardens. Plants put on a brilliant show as they prepare for their winter dormancy. The autumn garden is full of vibrant colors that can be preserved by crafting a harvest wreath.
A harvest wreath makes a lovely gift for friends and family that love the autumn season. Thanks to its rich, warm colors it can be displayed from September through Thanksgiving. If it is carefully packed away, a harvest wreath can be used from year to year.
To begin your project, you will need a wreath form. This is the base or foundation of the wreath. Most wreath forms are round, but other shapes such as ovals and squares have become popular in recent years.
Some common materials for wreath forms are styrofoam, grapevine, and metal hoops. Styrofoam is lightweight and easy to work with. It is used when the wreath materials will completely cover the base, as this type of base is not intended to be visible.
Grapevine wreaths are woodsy and rustic, and are designed to be seen in the finished product. Similarly, hoop wreaths are metal circles that are often left partially exposed. In both instances, the wreath form itself is part of the final design.
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The next step in creating a harvest wreath is to put down a foundation layer such as dried evergreen branches or brightly colored pressed leaves. Attach floral elements with flexible craft wire, which is available at craft stores and home improvement stores.
A simple method for pressing leaves is to sandwich them between two layers of waxed paper (wax side facing in!) and iron them. This process flattens the leaves and removes moisture at the same time. The thin layer of wax left on the leaves helps protect them as well.
Next, attach your larger dried flowers. There are many gorgeous blooms to choose from in the fall. Sedum flowers and hydrangea blooms offer wonderful options, and may even dry naturally on the plant. Roses are another late-blooming choice that would make a fine addition to your harvest wreath.
After the larger flowers have been attached to the frame, tuck in smaller flowers such as stems of baby’s breath. A few clusters of dried berries, such as bright orange pyracantha, will finish the wreath. If you wish to attach a bow or ribbon, that is the final step in decorating your harvest wreath.
The meaningful gesture of a hand-crafted gift will be appreciated for any special occasion. A harvest wreath would be a thoughtful housewarming or hostess gift. If you know someone who loves all things autumnal, this would be a perfect “just because” gift. A harvest wreath will bring season-long enjoyment to all who see it.