Bittersweet Autumn Wreath
This wreath was built on a 24-inch double-wire wreath form. Finished, it measures more than 30 inches across. To determine the size of the wreath form you'll need, measure the width of your door and subtract six inches. Your wreath form should be no bigger than this number. Hang it from a small brass screw on a piece of strong, clear monofilament.
- Vines (pick your own or buy from a florist)
- Fresh bittersweet, available at florists
- 22-gauge floral wire
- Similar 24" double-rail wreath frame
- Small brass screw
- Strong, clear monofilament in 8 lb
- Pruners (model 2 from Felco)
Cut 10- to 15-inch-long pieces of bittersweet. Gather them into bundles. For a 24-inch wreath form, we used 24 bundles with about 5 branches each. For smaller wreath forms, use fewer branches in each bundle. Branches should be as fresh as possible (if cutting from your own garden, do so on the day you'll make the wreath). Old branches won't be malleable and will lose berries.
You can use either floral wire on a paddle or a roll of 20- to 24-gauge wire (available at hardware stores) to affix the bundles to the form. Attach the wire to a crossbar of the wreath form.
Lay a bundle on the top of the form, and wrap the wire tightly around the stems three times. Do not cut the wire.
Add another bundle so that its top overlaps the bottom half of the previous bundle; wrap wire around its stems. Continue adding branch bundles until you've covered the frame.
Tuck wire under form; secure with a knot, and cut. Trim wreath as desired.