A Fall Wreath Story

By Kate Riley September 29, 2011

This is a story of a DIY project that’s kind of like a good chick flick. It opens with the main character – she has a good life, a great idea, and even better intentions, but as a result of her brazen personality and wily cleverness gets herself in trouble and ends up in a miserable position which requires that she completely change her thinking. She ponders her mistakes, comes up with a simpler plan, changes course, makes amends, and in the end she gets her man.

I’m not kidding, the story of my fall wreath is a scary parallel. Sit back, grab a beverage, and listen to my tale. Once upon a time there was a fair maiden who had a grand idea. Let’s call this fair maiden Kate. She had long flowing chestnut hair that glistened in the sun and in this fairy tale, she’s a Size 2.

Kate lived in a town surrounded by rolling hills and fields of natural grasses {cue the slow motion twirling in a peasant cotton skirt to Sting’s ‘Fields of Gold’}.  The adjacent fields made her think that a fall wreath crafted out of natural grasses was a totally brilliant idea. Her source of inspiration was none other than this this wheat wreath by the reigning Queen Martha. Inspired, she wandered into those nearby fields of gold and gathered her grasses while she may. 

fields of golden grasses


Back at the castle, the maiden took her basket of glistening golden grasses, clipped them and attached them to a basic cardboard wreath form with floral wire, much like she had in the past with this lavender wreath

grass wreath how to


So proud of her cleverness, she hung her golden grass wreath on her front door announcing to all the land it was time to behold its beauty.

natural grass wreath front door cg

And it was beautiful. 

Kate stood back, admired her work, and smoked a cigarette in ultimate satisfaction. 

natural grass wreath up close cg

Actually, that cigarette never happened. It was just a Hollywood producer’s attempt to juicy up the plot.

  The wreath was indeed beautiful for a minute or two. 

. . .until nature sought revenge.

Much like the bad boy in the chick flick, this wreath looked good on the outside, but in the real world, was a completely impractical choice, one that would bring nothing but pain, despair, and midnight crying on a best friend’s shoulder.

You’d think our leading character would have noticed during the construction of the wreath that natural grasses being real and not faux have a tendency to do what natural botanicals do – they shed, make a mess, and then they die. She had paid little attention.

grass wreath aftermath


Our heroine then hung her natural grass wreath with pride . . .

grass wreath cg

. . . but then reality set in.

Every time that door was opened, the result was a lot of tiny debris. Annoyingly bothersome debris in the form of little bits of grass that would get under any rational person’s skin within mere minutes.  Little bits of teensy tiny grass that would scatter everywhere with the buzzing of a fly or an autumn breeze. 

natural grass wreath debris

A choice had to be made.

Would it be maintaining the grass wreath, or would she choose the one she loved?

grass debris and boy

* Dramatic pause *

{Just so you know, this is the climax of the story.}

Kate realized the truth, this grassy wreath was a disaster in disguise.

So she changed course and decided if life was worth living, a new wreath was in order. A few clearance 99 cent berry stems at the local Michael’s craft store paired with a wired wreath form was just what she needed to pick herself up, dust herself off, and a start all over again with dignity.

floral wire and berry stems


As they say, all’s well that ends well . . .

fall berry wreath cg


. . . with this simple DIY berry autumn wreath. 

simple berry autumn wreath cg


But wait!  An unexpected twist!

At October’s end, I’ve got this bat to suspend inside …

halloween bat wreath cg

. . . perfect for Halloween.

As you can see Kate did get her {little} man in the end, and they lived happily ever after.

halloween wreath boy in costume

May the Force be with you.

The End.


Linking up to Rhoda’s Door Decor Party!



  1. Thanks for the laugh! Loved the story. The wreath is beautiful (actually both were). Love the simplicity of it. And, that is the cutest storm trooper I have ever laid eyes on!

  2. Great story! LOL My son in law works as a wheat consultant, I asked him to get me a couple of bundles. I’m going to cancel that request! Thanks for the heads up. Both wreaths look wonderful.

  3. ahhh gosh..
    they are both beautiful..
    just a tip– IF you ever decide to do another natural wreath– give it a few light sprays coats of matte varnish.. letting it dry well in between coats.. that’ll stop the drop:)

  4. I absolutely loved your wheat wreath and was so sad to know it’s tragic end…..but then I scrolled down and saw that beautiful berry wreath!!!!!! He’s gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And a much better choice <3

  5. Thank you for these beautiful wreaths & for your blog. I enjoy it so much…..

    I’ve heard hair spray will stop the drop too, but maybe that’s for cattails. Thank you sonny for the tip on the matte varnish.

  6. HA HA HA HA HA! That is too funny! And both are beautiful! Not to mention, how lucky are you to have a storm trouper guarding your highly esteemed wreath? Awesomeness.

  7. Bravo! I love a good chick flick. Both wreaths are beautiful, but I have to say that the less sheddy one was a decidedly better choice. I hope you are your little Storm Trooper are very happy together! (PS. Can you write a version in which maybe I am a blonde?) ;)

  8. Oh Kate I loooved your chick flick. Next time you can make a video to illustrate the story even more and put that music into it ;) I realllllly love your wheat wreath, but I hate that reality had to set in! Your berry wreath is lovely too!!

  9. I don’t know if it would work in this case, but my grandma used to spray cattails with hairspray (the ozone-destroying kind) to keep them from shedding/falling apart when she used them in flower arrangements.

    I really love the berry wreath. The colors are beautiful.

  10. The cigarette smoking scene made me laugh :) I love that you showed us the disaster so we didn’t have to learn the hard way – I don’t have enough shoulders to cry on late at night!

  11. I love a great story with a happy ending. Bravo!!! Thanks for sharing your story. Sorry the wheat wreath didn’t work out because it was very pretty, but I do love your berry wreath as well. :)

  12. this is so funny! esp. the fields of gold line .. thanks for sharing your adventure in a unique way.

  13. Ha I almost died when it said you smoked… then I laughed because you really did get the Hollywood reaction out of me. lol
    I thought the first wreath was cute but the second was a show stopper. Not personally a fan of the bat but otherwise it is beautiful! Great story. You had me completely captivated. As per the usual. :)

  14. HA! That was an awesome post, and very inspiring. I took out the Fall wreath I made last year and felt like it was missing something, and now I know what it is – some fabulous berries! Thanks for the idea :-)

  15. Best laid plans of mice and men — thanks for the chuckle this morning (I can SO relate). And your fall berry wreath turned out lovely! :D

  16. haha, Kate! I told you you should have been an actress. With that drama going on! :) I wondered if you stopped by & gathered those stalks on the way back from the airport. You have been a busy girl since I left, but I’m not surprised. Looks beautiful, as always!! Miss ya!

  17. Awww too bad it got everywhere! Love both results, but I’m glad the second one doesn’t get under your skin. :) May the force be with you as well!

  18. I loved the first wreath, but thought the second one was equally as beautiful! Great story. Sucker for those fairy tales that come true

  19. Such a good story, I laughed, I cried. OK maybe I didn’t cry but I loved the happy ending with the storm trooper. Great wreaths both but I’d have to go with the non shedding one too.

  20. This story is precious!! You should copyright it and sell it to Disney :).

    I love the berry wreath as well as the grass one.. maybe you could hang it on your patio where there’s less movement?

  21. Oh Heavens! I’m sooo glad you wrote this (cute story, btw!) ’cause I’ve been looking at dried ‘weeds’ lately and thinking I could just snag some for a little naturalness. Not after reading your post!

    But it was a gorgeous wreath! You know, I should know how they preserve dried flowers – I’ve worked w/them enough. I know we used to use cheapo hairspray for dried hydrangea and baby’s breath. I mean CHEAP. Are you old enough to remember AquaNet? :D

  22. Your wheaty wreath was pretty, but I supposed you’re lucky that your front door was not attacked by crows, huh?

    Anyway, I think your berry wreath is even prettier. Of course, most everything you do is lovely. Most definitely with you, the force is.

  23. That was awesome. My wreath story is even worse.

    We put the cat tails forged from the stream in the back of the car and drove away with our treasure. Driving down the windy country roadsuddnely my sister let out a bloodcurdling scream. Husband almost wrecked, I almost peed my pants & said sister almost had a heart attack. Coming over the backseat- a bunch of SPIDERS!!!!! (real ones, not plastic ones unfortunately). Ugly, mean looking ones too.

    My poor husband had to pull out on the narrow road and spend the next 3 hours searching every nook for hiding black invaders while we shuddered about having to get back inside. We both had the creepy crawling sensation and nightmares for days after….

    • Kristen, all I can say is …
      I’d have the creeps for days too.

  24. Whew! I thought maybe you were going to get into trouble for trespassing or something crazy like that! Lol. Both wreaths are beautiful, and at least you got to get pictures! :)

  25. I’m assembling a similar post of my latest project gone awry…thanks for keeping it real. Both wreaths are gorgeous. I hope you kept the wheat one and just hung it on an outside fence!

  26. Better than a chick flick – and I love the sci fi ending! It truly was a beautiful wreath, but the new one is gorgeous too. I actually thought you were going to say it was full of bugs, so falling apart was a relief for me!

  27. I use cattails for autumn wreaths & decor. Dousing them with Aquanet hairspray ($1.94 at Wally world) keeps them from bursting. I bet that would work for grasses too.

  28. The grass wreath was lovely, and I’m sorry it didn’t turn out. The berries are a really nice substitute.

  29. Kate,
    I so enjoyed the suspenseful tale of the fall wreath-wondering if you were going to have to kick some tail in the end, to have a happy end….ing. The berries are berry beautiful and understated. I appreciate that you tied a full bow, as opposed to the half bows, that leave me half sick. I love a glorious full bow!! It’s what bows were bowern to be!

    Lovely, just lovely, Miss Kate:) G’Day and G’evenin’ to ya!


  30. Aw, good on you for having the perseverance to make a second one – I would have given up! And, I actually like the berry wreath just a bit better than the beautiful wheat one. I’m diggin’ it big time.

  31. I love the natural wreath and would have never thought ahead to the ultimate result. Thanks for sharing your experience. The second wreath was a beautiful alternative.

  32. I was half-expecting a murder of crows to attack the door! Both wreaths are beautiful and now I’m salivating over the photo of the ML wreath, too!

  33. Love both wreaths, Kate, and you are a wonderful story teller! Maybe a book in your future?

  34. Oh I love that grass wreath…too bad it wasn’t working! The new one is lovely, too.

    Perhaps you need to venture into fiction writing????

  35. Agreed Elain and Susan, I like the second one better, and it’s much less of hassle…. definitely one I can use again.

  36. Both wreaths look fabulous!! It is a shame about the wheat wreath:( I wouldn’t have thought of the shedding aspect either!

  37. Do the stems stay in place even though you just wrap the wire around the frame? And what do you have them hanging from? Thank you for the tutorial!

  38. I am trying to attempt this myself. How many stems did you buy at Michael’s? I just accidentally bought vines which were more expensive. So I need to go back and get the stems like you did. I just don’t know who many. Thanks for the cute idea!

  39. Kate,

    I believe you could use a spray, clear lacquer on your grass wreath to preserve it. Try several light coats. The lacquer adds a bit of a shine which is nice.

    HAPPY TGIF to ya!


  40. Oh I am so glad it was just dying leaves! As I read the story I thought this would involve bugs. Why? Because the boys and I made a Shaduf (ancient Egyptian farming tool) for school a couple of years ago. Long grass and braiding were involved. Later that night I discovered the chiggers. TWO weeks of torture later I vowed to never get in long grass again. :)

  41. HA! This is why you are #1 on my blogs to read list! Great story, even better design!

  42. LOL I thought the wind would get the wreath. What a funny story. It was beautiful while it lasted and you are so organized to have a picture of it before it sadly died.

    On a better note…I love your newer wreath. so pretty!!!

  43. lol, although the wreaths were beautiful I was definitely engaged in your story. Great stuff!

  44. Thanks for the huge laugh, I almost had an accident… It reminded me of my mom’s attempt to include nature into the ambience of our “mobile home” when I was a kid. She had seen some cattails in a display at a hotel and decided we could not live without cattails in our living room. As you so nicely put it, nature has it’s way. A word to the wise, never leave dried cattails in a room with active 8- & 10-year olds. I am sure the next owner of our home is still finding cattail fluff coming out of cracks and crevices. You would have thought that Mom had thought twice about this when the original batch exploded in the car on the way home from the swampy area where she collected the first stems. No classic rock song could fit that experience. For the uninitiated, cattails, when dried, become a literal bomb of fluff similar to a down pillow. Envision a ’62 Dodge Dart rolling down the road with billows of fluff flying from the windows and that was number one reason I leave taming nature to the experts like the perfect Miss Martha!! I was traumatized for life!!! I loved your wreath (#2) though.

  45. Oh my gosh! This is just like my real evergreen Christmas wreath of last year. I was vacuuming up spruce needles for months! And… I have so many pics of my own little stormtrooper… too cute!

  46. Too funny! Great idea, but now we know why people buy the “fake” stuff. I did a fantastic fall folliage display with free items from my yard. I creatively arranged the folliage with a glass pumpkin filled with fall colored ribben. It was beautiful — but by night it was wilted and the following morning the leaves were all shriveled up. I ended up going out and buying some of the fake stuff.

  47. Love this post, and this project! I was so inspired, I went to Michael’s yesterday and re-created your wreath! I added a small cluster of pinecones instead of a bow, and wrapped jute around an old wreath door-hanger for even more texture. :) Thanks, Kate!

  48. ha — when you said Kate (what a lovely name!) stepped back to smoke a cigarette I thought you were going to tell us she set the wreath of fire!

    they are both lovely wreaths. i wonder if the wheat one could have been sprayed with something to make it less . . . flakey.

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