Growing up in Asheville, I didn't know fruit wreaths were a thing. But then I met and married a man from Williamsburg, Virginia and it turns out they totally are. A very colonial thing, apparently. And while you can take the man out of Williamsburg, the desire for a fruit wreath at Christmas persists. And so, every year, we have a fruit wreath.
Fruit wreaths can be insanely elaborate (and beautiful), but in the interest of not adding one more elaborate thing to this time of year, ours tend to be on the simple side. So, if you want to learn how to make your first fruit wreath, look no further. And then, equipped with your newfound skill, go crazy with the berries and orange pomanders and artichokes, and send me a picture of your masterpiece!
For the beginning maker of a fruit wreath, though, just follow these steps:
1. Assemble your supplies.
* You want a fairly large evergreen wreath - we usually use boxwood, but I've seen some lovely ones made with magnolia leaves, or regular pine boughs.
* You also want your fruit (lemons and apples are a good starting point, but pretty much anything works here.)
* And lastly, you need some fairly stiff floral wire - a roll of it that you can pick up at any craft store - and something to cut it with. We use an old pair of pruning snips, but big scissors would probably work.
2. Next you're going to work out the design you'd like - figure out how many pieces of fruit, and the design. This isn't rocket science - just arrange them until they look pretty good.
3. Now we're on to the only actual part of this that requires some instruction - how does one convince the fruit to stay attached to the wreath? And the answer is - by poking floral wire through the fruit and then wiring it to the wreath. Strangely enough you can poke floral wire through just about any fruit without any tools required, just make sure it's a fairly stiff gauge of wire. Once you've got it through, cut the wire, wrap it around the wreath as tight as possible and twist to fasten, and then hide it in the wreath greenery.
4. Continue on around the wreath until all of your fruit is attached, and that's it! You've made your fruit wreath.
Here are a couple of examples of our recent wreaths. In 2017 we went with lemons and a tiny baby pineapple. Because pineapples are the symbols of hospitality (according to Colonial Williamsburg), and also because a tiny pineapple is adorable.
This year we went straight up lemons and apples. Not because we were feeling less hospitable, but because Harris Teeter didn't have tiny pineapples. Bummer.
One other quick tip - cold winters are the fruit wreath's friend. And along that line - avoid direct sun. And the last super pro tip - a slight coating of vegetable oil on the fruit adds to the shine.
You've no doubt noticed that these are not very hard, very open to fun interpretation, and make a great holiday addition to the door. Go forth and get festive!