To Preserve Apples:
- 8" grapevine wreath
- Commercial Decorative Fruit Saver
- Highly tacky glue
- 1 bunch preserved cedar
- 20-25 slices of dried apple
- Preserved babies breath
- Small piece of ribbon (optional)
- 1 red artificial apple (optional)
- Raffia for bow (optional)
- Cinnamon sticks (optional)
Choose clean, blemish-free apples. The slices should be an average of ¼" in thickness. There are a number of commercial products you can use on the fruit. Follow package instructions. In general, this will involve soaking the slices until they are pliable and flexible and can be folded without breaking.
Pat the slices dry between layers of paper towels. Put the apples in a brown paper bag and microwave on low power (or defrost) for 10 to 15 minutes. Keeping the slices in the paper bag, place the bag into a warm oven, approximately 140° F. Leave the door slightly ajar. This will finish the drying process. The end result should be slices that feel dry and supple. Take a test slice and tear it in half. It is dry if no moisture beads appear.
If you do not dry the slices completely, they will deteriorate. It is a good idea to put a layer of sealant glaze on the apples before proceeding. Again, there are a number of commercial products available. Follow package instructions.
To Assemble the Wreath:
The dried apple slices are now glued around the face of the wreath. Position sprigs of cedar around and under the slices and glue them into place. Do the same with the preserved baby's breath. Do not use so much of the cedar and baby's breath that the apples are hidden.
If you would like to add a bow, make a simple raffia bow and glue it to the bottom of the wreath, slightly to the side.
You can also (or instead of) add a ribbon scrap bow, again gluing this to the wreath. If you are using the raffia and the ribbon, add the ribbon to the center of the raffia bow.
You may further embellish your wreath by gluing an artificial red apple and/or cinnamon sticks around the bow.
Any of this can be made, decorated or embellished as you see fit. The end result should be pleasing to your eye. The most important thing is knowing how to preserve the apples and being sure they are completely dry.
The preserved cedar will not only be decorative, but aromatic as well. It is also a natural repellent.
Your wreath will make a lovely addition to your home or a delightful house-warming gift for a friend or loved one.