Autumn is one of my absolute favorites. I collect pumpkins like I do kittens - but even more than that - there is something about fall light, the garden decomposing right before your eyes, the calm in the slower pace after the craze of harvest.
The boxes and buckets and picking bins of stuff we collected from the garden have been gone through, sorted, canned or dried or fermented or stored. The grapes are at the wineries doing their magic. And here we are, Autumn. The season of full cellars and big dinners and a toast to gratitude.
When I told my family to carefully take the seeds from the pods because I had projects in mind, I got a lot of eye rolls. But also cooperation because they're used to my crazy ideas at this point. So we seeded and sorted - keeping the pods intact and to their own box. My favorite part was once I finished one wreath, they all agreed - that's pretty cool, Mom.
This could be done with so many things - not just bean pods. Corn, grass, thistles, weeds... they're the coolest finished wreath and seem to encompass everything that is harvest in a most simplistic beautiful way.
This is a tutorial of how I make these Harvest Wreaths as well as a few listed in the shop (for local pick-up only) for the perfect thanksgiving décor.
FIRST - Collect some material... it can be grasses, weeds, thistles, corn, beans... you do not have to take the seeds out, I did for this one in these photos because they're next year's pole bean seed... but it's not necessary
SECOND - if you're collecting and making in the same day you may not need to soak your material. However, if it has become dry, it will be too brittle to work with. Soak a working batch at a time in water. Beans only need a minute or two to get soft and stay workable long enough to finish. I would place a handful into the water, let sit a minute, and when I took them out to work with I would place another handful into the water... and just kept the assembly line going like that until a wreath was complete. Do not leave in water longer than you're working with them - they will quickly decompose and rot.
NEXT - Take them out of the water and tie into little bundles. I wanted the bundles evenly sized and so would use the same amount of pods in each bundle. I tied them very tightly (they'll shrink as they dry) and leave tails on the string long enough to tie to the frame.
LASTLY - tie the bundles onto the wreath frame. I tied them on to the frame all going the same direction, overlapping just enough to cover the tied end.
I tied these on with the frame upside down (the pods facing my working space and the metal wreath frame on top, so that I could easily access tying the strings on tightly. Once complete, flip so that it is up side right and the frame lays flat on the working space. If there are any holes, add a tied bundle in. Gently arrange so that the pods all go the direction intended.
As this dries it becomes brittle, so it is best to finish within a day. When it is ready to dry, lay on a flat surface with the frame on the bottom. This way the pods dry facing evenly and outward and the back is nice and flat so that it works for hanging or sitting on a flat surface. Let it all dry completely before hanging or using as a table centerpiece.