Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Easy Craft Project for Kids: Vine Wreath

Looking for a fun project to keep little hands occupied during holiday decorating season? Give the vine wreath a try!

A wreath handmade by eight-year-old Zoe
Fans of Storey books — especially Storey books for kids — may already be familiar with Nature’s Art Box by Laura C. Martin. Published in 2003, this book of projects for crafty kids still garners new fans, as evidenced by this recent email we received from Susie Chang and her daughter, Zoe, :

Zoe pounced upon this book practically the moment it came in the house. After a suspiciously quiet hour this afternoon, I found her doing this. 
Zoe at work
Tying the wreath
Zoe says:

“I had nothing else to do. I looked at the book and I decided to do the Vine Wreath because it’s the only one that I had the materials for. And then I went outside and did it. I used old plant stems and dead flowers and a few leaves and string. I also like the God’s Eye, the Chess Set and the Woodland Basket and the Moss and Cornhusk House.” —Susie Chang (mom) and Zoe te Velde (8)
Zoe alongside her creation
We love it! Thanks, Susie and Zoe!

Here’s how your little ones can make their own vine wreaths at home:

Vine Wreath  

Difficulty level: easy 

A huge number of plants can be woven to make items that are useful or pretty, or both. When you collect vines, choose ones that are thin enough to bend and tie easily, such as Virginia creeper, honeysuckle, kudzu, and wisteria — or anything else without thorns or briars.

You will need: 
  • old sheet or towel 
  • several lengths of bendable vine 
(for example, honeysuckle, wisteria, Virginia creeper, vinca) 
  • 1 jar or can at least 2½ inches in diameter (the size of the can determines the size of the wreath) 
  • small twistie ties, if needed 
  •  craft glue, if needed 
  • narrow ribbon, sheet moss, cones, and other decorative items 

How to do it: 

1. Cover your work area with a sheet or towel. Hold one end of a vine against the jar and wrap the vine around it twice, forming a double circle.
Step 1
2. Slip the vine off the jar and begin to weave the long end of the rest of it over and under the circle to build the wreath. If you have trouble keeping the vine together, use twistie ties.
Step 2
3. When you run out of vine, tuck the ends of the first piece into the weaving. Skip a small space, then tuck the end of a new piece into the weaving and continue with the over and under. Add vine until the thickness of the wreath pleases you. If you have trouble getting it to stay, use a dollop of glue.
Step 3
4. Decorate your wreath any way you like. You could glue on pinecones and moss for an autumn wreath or simply tie it with a ribbon. At Halloween, add some “spider webbing” and plastic spiders. In spring, tuck in some dried flowers for a colorful touch.
Step 4

Photos courtesy of T. Susan Chang. Project excerpted from Nature’s Art Box. Text © 2003 by Laura C. Martin. Drawings © 2003 by David Cain. All rights reserved.

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