Sharing a quick and easy, fall grapevine wreath I just whipped up for Sistah B’s Charleston area home — post hurricane.
After returning to the house and surveying the damage done by Hurricane Dorian, my sister sent out a “distress” message. But, it wasn’t an S-O-S, just a text to please make and send a fall wreath ASAP!
Only a day after the hurricane eye had moved north, my sister had moved on from preparations, evacuation, two days of sitting through a hurricane, and returning home to a mess. Amazingly, they never lost cell phone service or power at the house.
As Sistah B says, this hurricane was not their “first rodeo.” It’s the downside of living in a beautiful, natural setting. She and her husband were cleaning up all the debris, a fallen tree, patching the roof, putting the boat back into the water, and scheduling repairs to the floating dock. They sure are resilient. Here she was redecorating her front porch for fall already!
So, I was delighted to bee of assistance. Let me show you how I made the fall grapevine wreath in under an hour.
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Post Hurricane Craft Therapy
My mom was here in Pittsburgh this past week. She was supposed to be enjoying an extended visit in Charleston at Sistah B’s, along with three of her grandchildren and great-granddaughter.
Since my dad died four months ago, it’s been a hard time for mom. And just a few weeks ago, she had to send her sweet Wheaten Terrier, Lacey, over the rainbow bridge. My youngest sister put her on a train up to Sistah B to get her out town for awhile.
Shortly thereafter, it looked like Orlando was going to get a direct hit by Hurricane Dorian as a Cat 2 storm. My sisters and I were all relieved mom would be out of harm’s way. Of course, we were still concerned for Sister A’s home and business in Florida.
Mom and my Scottie boy, Fibber McGee, spending time together on the covered porch.
Instead, the storm track headed north; on a direct path towards Charleston! Sistah B and I talked late Saturday night as the governor called for mandatory evacuations to begin the next day. On Sunday she put mom on a plane and sent her to me. Her daughter and granddaughter also had to cut their visit short, and caught a flight back home to Seattle.
It was an agonizing wait over five days as the storm stalled and eventually inched its way north. While we are relieved for our family members, our hearts go out to the Bahamas. I hope you all did OK too?
That’s why mom was here to help me shop for materials and text pictures of our vision to Sistah B for her fall grapevine wreath. Think of it as post storm craft therapy!
Fast Fall Decor
About a year and a half ago, I created an Anchors Aweigh Sailboat Wreath to decorate Sistah B’s then new home.
Since then, it has hung on her front door from March through early September — except whenever a tropical storm or hurricane requires battening down the hatches! That’s when their actual boat is taken out of the water, and the sailboat wreath is brought inside for safekeeping
Unfortunately, that’s not an infrequent occurrence; particularly during the month of September.
Sistah B had very specific requests when I made that first wreath. This time, she wanted a door decoration to go up from as soon as I could get it there — and stay up through Thanksgiving.
We settled on a wreath made of grapevine for the fall season.
Within an hour of Sistah B’s call, mom and I headed to the local craft stores for materials.
- Grapevine wreath
- Fall garland
- Center embellishment, sign
- Pipe cleaners
We ended up finding everything we needed at our first stop — Michaels (I have no affiliation). All the fall florals, ribbon and decor were 40% off, and I used a 50% off coupon for the grapevine wreath.
If you visit the store or go online soon, you could probably purchase the supplies needed to make an exact duplicate — down to the same flatbed truck sign.
Or, start with a grapevine wreath, choose a color scheme, and create your own look. Pick a sign, garland, and ribbon that compliments where the fall grapevine wreath will be hung.
Using the same five basic materials, you can quickly and easily make a grapevine style wreath for any season or holiday.
For Sistah B, I used an 18-inch wreath that wouldn’t overwhelm the size of her door. Plus, grapevine is a lot heavier than a deco mesh wreath for hanging. If placing a fall grapevine wreath over a mantel, I’d go big.
A Different Kind of Garland
It was love at first sight with the fabric and felt garland. And, mom and I agreed it was so Sistah B’s style.
Michael’s carries the fabric and felt garland in two different color variations.
How to Assemble a Fall Grapevine Wreath
Other than making a bow, the fall grapevine wreath is really just a basic assembly project. Easy peasy!
Step 1: Wrap the Garland
Because the weather was so nice in PIttsburgh, I worked outside on the covered porch. To protect the glass tabletop from scratches, I spread out newspaper that might make the pictures look a little “busy.”
Start by inserting a pipe cleaner through the twine loop at one end of the garland.
A pipe cleaner makes it easier to thread the loop through the grapevine — from front to back. It also is how to secure the garland to the wreath; by wrapping and twisting around the sturdier grapevine.
Next, wrap the garland around the wreath. It took me a few tries to get the spacing right. One garland just fit the 18-inch grapevine wreath. A larger circumference would require a second garland.
The yellow circle in the picture above shows the twine loop at the end of the garland. Use another pipe cleaner to secure the second loop to the back of the fall grapevine wreath.
You can also use the extra length of pipe cleaner to create a hanger loop on the backside of the wreath as I did.
Step 2: Attach Sign
Of course, you could use any sign you like when making a wreath. But, when I spotted the red truck-shaped sign, I knew it would bee perfect for Sistah’s fall grapevine wreath.
You see, her husband built a vintage-style flatbed truck himself. It’s adorable!
My brother-in-law and nephew bringing home the live Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving — a family tradition. Sorry for the glare, it’s the only photo I could quickly get my hands on.
An experienced sailor and national champion, Sistah’s hubby loves the sailboat in the DIY Anchors Aweigh Wreath. With the vintage truck sign, I’m hoping he and the family will really like the fall grapevine wreath too.
First, I made sure to position the truck sign so that the black tires hung below the grapevine. Otherwise, they’d be hard to see.
Although the metal sign was a tad on the heavy side, it had a wire hanger, which made it easy to incorporate into the wreath.
Like the garland, I used two pieces of pipe cleaner to secure the top of the wire hanger to the back of the grapevine wreath.
Step 3: Make & Attach Bow
Mom and I were a bit surprised how picked over the fall ribbon was at Michaels. Lots of Halloween, but light on fall season prints and colors. Hopefully, they will restock with Thanksgiving still months away.
For the single bow, I used the entire spool of ribbon — 12-feet. Here’s the eight loop bow with 11-inch tails; before I attached it to the wreath and “poofed” it.
To make the bow and attached it to the top of the wreath, I used two more pipe cleaners.
I’m not going to provide a tutorial on making a bow, as there are many instructional posts and how-to videos available online.
Fall Grapevine Wreath
Here’s the fully assembled fall grapevine wreath. It took under an hour and only five materials. The only “tools” necessary were a pair of scissors. What do you think? Inspired to make your own?
The wreath colors fall (pun not intended, LOL!) a little flat against my black front door. But, it really “pops” on Sistah B’s blue front door. What do you think?
See the fall wreath now that it’s hanging in Charleston, and other flatbed truck decor at Finally Fall Season Decor & Activities. There’s also a second grapevine wreath hanging over my fireplace mantle.
2021 Update: Check out a vintage truck wreath made of mesh and ribbons at DIY Dollar Tree Pumpkin Truck Fall Wreath.
Living on the Edge
Sistah B doesn’t actually live in downtown Charleston, but across the river on the last of a chain of barrier islands between the city and Atlantic Ocean. The islands are connected to the mainland and each other by numerous bridges and causeways.
Locals refer to it as, “the edge of America.”
Their home sits on the river side of the island in what you’d call a tidal marsh. Here’s a view from the guest bedroom during a very high tide last Thanksgiving.
Beautiful isn’t it?
Why We Worried
Not so scenic with a naturally occuring “King Tide” on top of an anticipated 12-inches of rain, seven foot tidal surge, and winds from a Cat 2 hurricane. Sistah B, her husband and cat headed to higher ground on the adjacent island, where both my niece and nephew live. Neither’s home sits on the water. They took the boat out of the water and towed it behind them for safekeeping — and as alternative way to return to the house if the causeway was out.
The rest of the family would have preferred if they all would have left the area. But, we had a happy ending as high tide and the surge did not coincide.
Worth the Walk?
There’s a very long, long pier between the boat dock and Sistah B’s home. It’s low tide last November.
Can you see why some suggested they name their boat, “Worth the Walk” LOL?
Last Thanksgiving, my nephew was helping to secure the boat to the floating dock. It did sustain damage and will need repaired. I guess that’s part of the cost of living in paradise?
We sure do like visiting and going out in the boat. I love when we head out to the lighthouse at the end of the island. Along the way we see lots of birds and frequently watch dolphins play alongside the boat.
Do you live on the water or own a boat?
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