Christmas in the historic Colonial town of Williamsburg, Virginia is one of the most beautiful and quintessentially American experiences of the holidays. Bring a piece of that elegance and history home this season by making one of the city’s most enduring Christmas decorations – the Fragrant Fruit Wreath.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY: BARBARA CURRAN
WRITTEN BY: SOUTHERN GUIDE TO LIFE
During a trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Barbara Curran, of the website 21 Rosemary Lane, fell in love with the natural fruit wreaths, so abundant in the town during the Christmas season. The wife, mother, registered nurse, and design guru decided to make one for herself.
Barbara started with a 12 inch fresh wreath from a local nursery. Using 18 gauge wire, purchased at her local hardware store, she securely attached a twig wreath to the face of the fresh wreath. This time of year, most craft stores, some nurseries, and even many big box stores carry twig wreaths.
Barbara suggests using gloves when working with the wire, as it can be sharp. Although, you can use a heavier gauge wire, it can be more difficult to bend.
Next, she placed apples and clementines, purchased at her local grocery store, along the wreath to determine how much fruit would be needed and in what pattern. Then, she measured how much 18 gauge wire she would need to string the fruit together, while leaving a sufficient tail on either end to wrap securely around the back of the wreath. She strung the fruit together by firmly inserting the wire through the apples and clementines.
Once the fruit was strung together, she made a loop with one end of the wire and wrapped the excess wire back around itself. Next, she wrapped the other tail around the base of the loop. This became the hook she would use to hang the heavy wreath.
She positioned the strung fruit around the wreath. She then secured the fruit wire to the wreath using six lengths of 24 gauge floral wire, wrapped securely around the back of the wreath.
She inserted springs of berries and their leaves into the twig wreath. Cinnamon sticks were added by inserting securely between the two bound wreaths. Finally she added whole cloves to some of the clementines. The final result is a beautiful and fragrant wreath stunning enough to decorate any front door.