Chile peppers can be turned into a long-lasting wreath since they dry well and last several years if protected from dust and sunlight. Chile-pepper juice will burn, so wear safety goggles and gloves, and wash your hands before touching anything else.
Tools and Materials
Bunches of fresh Thai chile peppers
Soft annealed Steel Binding wire
Dark annealed steel wire in three sizes: 1.0 mm/19 gauge, 0.58 mm/24 gauge, 0.41mm/28 gauge
Protective goggles that prevent touching the eye area
Chile-Pepper Wreath How-To
1. Remove any residue: Wash pepper branches in cool water with a little dishwashing liquid. Rinse well.
2. Pick out and discard any broken or bruised peppers; spread the pepper branches on newspaper to dry out. Carefully remove the leaves from each branch using micro-tip scissors.
3. Sort your peppers to establish a color theme, trimming off the green ones and setting them aside for another project. Trim branches to equal length, saving leftover stem material, and group together and arrange the wreath material in a row.
4. Using wire three times the length of materials, form the hanger by twisting a loop twice and shaping into an arch. Coil the long end into a circle about three times.
5. Start to cover arch wire with leftover stem material. Start attaching branches of peppers, starting at the top and working in a circler motion.
6. Snip out red peppers from branch. Take five loose peppers, holding their stems together tightly, and wrap with thinner wire to form a long pigtail. Continue this process until you filled up the wreath.
7. Attach small bunches of peppers to the wreath: Using long, thin needle-nose pliers, open an insertion point in the stem core of the wreath. Pull the wire end of the pepper bunch through, settling the group into place. Wrap wire around branch and twist at ends to tie. Continue this process until your wreath looks full.
Special thanks to Bill Maltsberger for demonstrating this craft. To order a chile-pepper wreath from Bill, email him at email@example.com.