Dried herbs are found in every chef’s pantry. Why not ‘spice up’ the traditional kitchen staple by making a chef you know (or for yourself) a wreath of fresh, woody herbs that will air dry, filling their kitchen with a wonderful aroma, and give easy access to some cuisine essentials?
– 1 wire wreath form
– some gardening wire
-a pair of wire cutters or scissors
– a few clear plastic hair ties
– a few bunches of fresh, woody herbs such as rosemary, bay, sage and thyme. Feel free to use any woody herbs you would like- or make a single herb wreath. I love doing this with rosemary and bay (the traditional ‘laurel wreath’).
– Some ribbon to tie your wreath up with
– Optional: some decorative additions like recipe cards and cinnamon sticks
After collecting and rinsing your desired herb sprigs, you want to carefully break some nice looking smaller sprigs off of the bigger branch. In the pictures shown, this is done with bay and rosemary. You want to use bendable sprigs for the very woody herbs like bay, and newer sprigs from herbs like rosemary (try cutting the top single stem or the newer shoots from older, tougher branches).
You want to use the hair ties to secure the branches (of a similar kind) in bunches of three sprigs, so that they will weave into the wire wreath form easier and will give an over fuller looking wreath.
Using your herb bunches, begin weaving your herbs in a single direction. I used thyme, bay and rosemary for the wreath shown. Wrap the bunches around the wire wreath form, and secure them at the beginning and end of each wrapped sprig. For the cleanest look, section your herb types. Make sure to fill in any gaps between the sprigs to make sure your wreath looks full!
*Note: If you know your gift receiver to be a particularly neat person, I would avoid using thyme as some leave may fall off as the wreath dries. Alternatively, you can place the wreath in a large bowl as a table centre piece instead of hanging it.
If you so choose, decorate your filled wreath with some cinnamon sticks for added interest.
Using the gardener’s wire, wrap two cinnamon sticks together and attach them to wreath. Put on as many as you’d like! You could also do this with dried citrus slices.
You’ll want to tie a ribbon around the top of your wreath so that your gift receiver can hang it up in their kitchen or pantry. Do this by holding the two loose ends of the ribbon together and looping the doubled ribbon around the top (wherever you choose). Inserting the ribbon ends that are able to come apart (the loose ends) through the base loop and pull it tightly so that it is secured to the wreath (as shown in the pictures). This back loop will give the wreath a point to be able to hang. Then tie a bow or tie a knot and leave the ribbon flowing down the side of the wreath, as you see fit. If you want to you can include a Command Hook with your gift so that you gift receiver can hang it wherever they choose!
As a final touch to your gift, add a little handmade recipe booklet with recipes known or found online that use the herbs. I printed out the recipes in a fun font, put the ingredients on the front of some card stock and the directions on the back. Bind the recipes together with a hole-punch in the corner of each recipe card and some ribbon to create your booklet. Include as many or as few recipes as you’d like! You can either attach the booklet to the wreath itself or give it separately.
I wrapped the wreath with some clear florists paper and some matching red ribbon. Taking a large piece of the florists paper, place the wreath face up in the centre, before placing the four corners of paper together. Then bunch the remaining wrapping paper to the central gathering before securing with ribbon (and staples if you want to make it easier).
Check out this tutorial on Instructables here too!