Consider making a grapevine tree this year as an alternative to the typical, evergreen style Christmas or holiday tree you normally use. This unique and artistic looking tree will amaze your guests with its simplistic beauty.
Creating this grapevine tree is rather easy and it can be done essentially free if you have access to growing grapevine. With a bit of time and patience you can make this stunning, whimsical tree.
Now a "Weeping Grapevine" tree does not actually exist as a growing species, but I have chosen to name it as such due to its resemblance with the Weeping Cherry. I never actually saw this project done before. The idea developed due to numerous, leftover, grapevine pieces that branched-off in too many directions, making them unworkable for my grapevine topiary project or any other projects (till this one came to be).
You Will Need The Following:
I will explain how I made the tree shown and will offer suggestions and options as necessary. Some of the items I use you may not readily have so an alternate solution will be required; this pertains primarily to the base for holding up the main branch structure.
Begin by collecting all the items required to build the tree. Note: Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes while cutting grapevine from the woods and while assembling them to the trunk (tree branch).
Develop a base to hold your tree branch upright. The base I used is actually the bottom portion of an outdoor planter and is made of heavy concrete. It has an open center large enough to accommodate the diameter of the branch (which is about 4"). The branch goes through the top of the planter and into a metal coffee can which acts as a tighter inner sleeve inhibiting the branch from slipping within the planter.
Look for a solid branch/limb that is already laying in the woods rather than cutting down a fresh branch for this purpose. The one I used has a smooth, weathered finish devoid of any bark. I believe I found it near or in the river months ago. I'm always collecting unique branches and sticks to repurpose in home decor.
Narrow rocks were wedged into the base around the bottom of the branch to provide extra support and remove any gap.
You may develop a similar solution by placing the branch into a tall planter filled with sand or stones. You may also use dry concrete, add water and allow it to set for a permanent solution. A smaller-sized, Christmas tree stand may also work. Hide the stand with a tree skirt, spare fabric, or consider using a large, lightweight planter to mask the stand. Carefully cut or drill a hole in the bottom to accommodate the branch and then invert it over the stand. Place the branch through the hole of the inverted planter and have an assistant hold it up as you anchor the branch into the actual tree stand beneath.
Once the branch is secure, begin adding your grapevine sections. Hold them out to see which way they naturally fall. You want to develop a cascading, umbrella effect.
Pieces/Sections Of Grapevine
Add one section at a time to the "trunk" of your
grapevine tree and anchor it with heavy wire.
I found wire at Michael's which looks like twine.
A few of the "branchy" grapevine sections had long, straight, opposite ends which I wound down and around the branch (trunk) and into the top of the base. I added similar pieces and crisscrossed the vines (shown at right) over those already placed and secured the pieces with wire in a few key spots.
Other grapevine sections without long ends were simply secured to the top, backside of the tree branch (trunk). Note: You can bundle numerous pieces of straight grapevine together and attach the bundle at the top to replicate these branchy sections. Add additional pieces to achieve the "weeping-look" of the grapevine tree. Fill it in or leave it sparse depending on your preferences. I prefer the open-look achieved with less pieces used.
The completed Weeping Grapevine Tree
Due to the shape of this tree, I recommend running miniature lights along the "branch" sections themselves rather than trying to wrap lights around the shape. Use miniature lights with small light counts. I found 35-count and 20-count lights at DollarTree®. You may have to check online however as they seem to run out of these lights quickly. I would have preferred them in brown but the green actually isn't as noticeable as I had expected once they are attached to the branches. I recommend using both lengths (counts) of lighting and alternating them or matching them to the lengths of grapevine.
A brown extension cord runs up the backside of the tree branch with the outlet positioned at the top. All of your miniature lights will attach at this point.
Be sure your miniature lights have piggy-back plugs (which is rather standard anymore) as you will run out of inputs on the extension cord. This is not to be confused with end-to-end plugs.
Use brown vinyl tape to attach the lights to the branches in a few spots. Keep the wire pulled taut and shaped with the branch for a clean look.
Once done, stand back and enjoy your handiwork.
Add smaller, light-weight ornaments to suit your taste.
Some of my homemade Christmas ornaments, such as those made from wire and gem, may be of interest.