I've always loved ivy, especially the ivy that winds up the trees at my Father's house in West Grove, PA. As the seasons change, so does my front door; changing from flowering stems to robin's egg blue tinsel. Last weekend was perfect weather so I decided I wanted to freshen up the front of my house with a new wreath; so I said, "out with the artificial".
The ivy grows wild in the wooded area on the grounds, the veins take over the bark like chains, they are durable and hearty perfect for wrapping and shaping a wreath. A word of advice for vine hunting is if it looks like a jungle come prepared for the jungle: long pants, gloves and boots especially come in handy in shading areas where mosquitos breed and hide.
Bring some clippers to cut thick vines, look for the thick and thin, curly and straight as all types will work for wrapping. Gather about 6-8 long vines depending on the size you wan to make. You don't have to use ivy vines, you can use anything that would work well for bending and is not too dry as it will break.
For the all natural look I find that vine roots are great for tying bundles together.
Start by organizing all your vines, leave your really leafy ones for later. Start the foundation by weaving the vines together going in and out making a circle.
One of the vines I found had a great slot for a door hook, love the different shapes and imperfections you find in nature.
Here is a close up roots used to bind the vines together in areas.
After you have the foundation start to add the leafy vines, as this will begin to give riche texture. Keep building until you have about 10-12 wraps.
To make your leaves last longer you can spray with water, but overtime the leaves will become dry and eventually die. With the changing seasons, I plan on removing the leaves entirely, the bare bones and berries will merge well with the falling leaves and chilly weather.
The final wreath will be warm and inviting. Did you know that ivy represents memory, friendship, faithfulness, eternal life and marriage? A wreath like this would make perfect as a house warming gift or simply hand outside welcoming guests to your home.