A DIY Wreath. You Won’t Believe What It’s Made Of.

I could be wrong, but I don’t think this has been done before. A DIY wreath has been done before (I’m ALMOST positive of that) but not one made out of what I’ve made it out of.

I’m very, VERY good at assuming I invented things. Cheeseburgers? That was me. Quesadillas? My invention. Bringing Boston Ferns inside to overwinter? Yeah, I that was all me too.

I have several moments every week where I have convinced myself I’m an inventing genius only to realize I’m perhaps just unaware of the world around me and what goes on in it. I definitely thought I invented quesadillas.

But this time? This time I really think I’ve invented something. For real.

The DIY Wreath – Made of Seed Pods.

This wreath is made from bundles of seed pods – from kale. It’s the most brilliant way ever to dry seeds for seed saving and sharing.

I know. I was a bit stunned too. It’s not just me, right? I mean this is amazing. Since it’s also lavender season I threw some sprigs in the wreath but it doesn’t need it. All on its own it looks as good as any other wreath I’ve seen. I’m talking to you Magnolia leaves and pine boughs.

How to Make a DIY Wreath With Seed Pods

  1. LET your kale go to seed. That means this fall, don’t dig it up, don’t cut it off, just leave it in the garden. Next spring it will start to send up flower shoots which will turn to seed pods.
  2. Cut branches of seed pods into about 7″ lengths and bundle them together.
  3. A large wreath will take around 12 bundles.
  4. If you have a flat wire wreath form, the bundles will need to be wired together and then wired onto the frame. If you have a wire frame with wires for clamping attached (like I did) just lay each bundle on the wreath form and clamp the wires down.
  5. Done.

TIPS

  • Don’t make your bundles too long and flowing or the wreath will be limp and floppy when you hang it. And not in a good way.
  • Remember this wreath is going to dry out while the seeds mature. Because of that you might need to retighten the wire clamps as the seed pods lose moisture and shrink. ALSO because this is a wreath filled with seeds put it somewhere you don’t mind seeds falling out.
  • When the entire wreath is dry you can harvest the seeds, cut off the pods to give away or just leave it. But be warned seed pods like this usually (quite literally) explode with seeds. This violent expelling of seeds is nature’s way of making sure it reproduces.

This was my kale last fall flanking my sidewalk. I’ll give you a minute …

O.K., now that I can assume you’ve pushed your eyeballs back into your sockets I can continue.

Your next question is going to be HOLY SHIT WHAT KIND OF KALE IS THAT???

It’s Black Lacinato Kale – variety Black Magic.

Below was my kale this spring when it had formed its seed pods. It’s barely even recognizable as kale because it’s COVERED with stems of seed pods.

When I noticed the stems were *just* starting to dry out – a sign the seeds are ready to start maturing I pulled the kale out and used a couple of seed pod stems in flower arrangements.

Then the 2 plants sat on my front lawn for a few days until my neighbour Laurel walked past and tried to fashion some of the stems into a crown.

We were discussing the viability of wearing a kale crown when she screamed out – YOU SHOULD MAKE A WREATH!

And I did.

I’m sure you can see how easy it looks from the photos. The greatest thing is that IT IS THAT EASY. I didn’t have to fiddle with it or try hard to make the bundles of kale pods look perfect. I just smushed a handful together and laid them on the wreath form.

These wreath forms with the wires around it really make wreath making easy but I’ve never seen them for sale. I save them every time I buy a wreath that’s made with them so I have a stash of wire wreath forms in my basement.

So if you buy a wreath this Christmas don’t forget to pull the greenery out at the end of the season and keep the wire wreath form.

You can also buy flat wire wreath forms on Amazon. I know. Boooo Amazon. But sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

All made with seed pods.

What other seed pods can you use?

I’m not sure because I’ve only tried kale, but I’d say lettuce and radishes would both work you’d just need to grow more of them to be able to make this size (12″) of a wreath.

Wreath made out of not yet mature kale seed pods.

DIY Wreath - Made with seed pods

Yield: 1 wreath
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $0

Make a HUGE wreath out of seed pods from kale.

It's a perfect way to dry out your seed pods for seed saving.

Materials

  • 12 bundles of kale seed pods (or other seed pod branches)
  • 12" wire wreath form

Instructions

  1. Cut kale branches with seed pods so they're around 7" long.
  2. Bundle them together until you have a nice fist full. Create 12 of them.
  3. Lay them on the wire wreath form and attach with wire.
  4. Enhance the wreath with other flowers that will dry (like lavender) if you want.

Notes

The size of your bundles will depend on the size of wreath you use. Just make a few bundles and lay them on the wreath to see what's best.

These are LIVING wreaths that will change over time. The seed pods and stems will dry out so you might need to retighten the wire holding them on.

Also, because the seed pods are drying they'll also start popping open, scattering kale seeds everywhere. Plan where you hang this accordingly.

The kale seeds can drop on the ground for birds to eat or you can put the wreath in a bag or plastic bin, and shake it to release the seeds for saving.

I would like to now declare myself the inventor of the seed pod wreath. I Googled it. There are no others. It is mine, all mine.

A neighbour named Laurel? Nope. It doesn’t even sound vaguely familiar. Never heard of her.

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A DIY Wreath. You Won\'t Believe What It\'s Made Of.

48 Comments

  1. Teresa says:

    Thank you for making me feel really good about ignoring my kale!
    The wreath is awesome -set up the ring doorbell or a trail cam to catch your wreath exploding. I’m still kind of laughing about that… and I can hear the neighbors talking, “Karen. That weird lady with the chickens and garden who throws zucchinis in your car and has exploding wreaths on her door.”

  2. Melissa says:

    So pretty!! I thought it was gonna be a wreath made from something from the Dollar Store (which would’ve been perfectly cool), but from kale?! How excellent and original and practical! Just like you.

    Maybe your cleaver logo needs to be replaced by the wreath logo…

  3. Ada Berry says:

    Hi Karen,
    Great idea!! Is there any kind of “natural” or nontoxic spray you can use to prolong the life of the wreath?
    Love your ideas

    • Karen says:

      HI Ada! There are a variety of things you can use for that sort of thing but I’ve tried them and honestly they don’t really work. That’s not to say there isn’t anything out there that would do the trick, it’s just if there is, I don’t know about it. ~ karen!

  4. Barb says:

    That kale is the perfect accent for Halloween! Kind of scary.

  5. Marci says:

    So…. It seems LAUREL actually invented the wreath.

  6. Laura Bee says:

    Sometimes simple is outstanding. Simply outstanding! Makes me want to grow some kale. Almost.

  7. Jo-Ann says:

    Yeayea, lovely wreath, great kale…but I wanna know what that plant is in the second picture! The one to the far left of your wreath/door with the nodding white flowers. It’s Yummy! (albeit in a different way than quesadillas to be sure).
    But there’s more! (ain’t there always?) I don’t think I’ve seen a picture of your…side door? before. It’s really sharp looking. That’s the 4th from last picture. And if you can, could you share what sort of plant you used for the hedging and the topiary trees? I’ve been trying to grow some box (buxus) but it’s Ever so Slow…. I’m in Zone 6 here in London, Ontario so similar to your own zone up there.

    • Karen says:

      Hmm. Well, even WITH all that guidance I’m still not sure which plant you mean, lol. I can tell you that up and over the gate/arbour I have honeysuckle which people walk past just to smell when it’s in bloom. Beside that there is a very large climbing hydrangea. And the shrubs and topiary are all boxwood. :) ~ karen!

      • Jo-Ann says:

        That narrows the field though, so thanks. I think the One I’m talking about must be the climbing hydrangea – had my eye on that plant for awhile now, though I think because yours has some leeway to arch a bit and isn’t closely clipped it has that ‘nodding’ flower thing I was talking about. But Yes to the honeysuckle too – I adore the scent.
        It figures that those shrubs/topiary are in fact boxwood – I think I should have bit the bullet and just bought the Larger ones to start off with. Yours look smashing
        Thanks again.

  8. Petra says:

    Brilliant! Totally talked me into not ripping out that Black Tuscan kale that’s gone tough and bitter in this heat wave…or at least save one plant for wreath making and seed saving. The lavender looks gorgeous too. Unfortunately I’ve already pulled out the california poppies which have mega-long pods but the dry leaves looked ratty….soooo, next time..thanks for the great ideas.

  9. Allison Olsen says:

    OOH! – yes, you’re right – those were single ring, but I found these double-ring forms for about $2 and they’re in stock to boot. *adds to cart & plans wreath party*

    https://www.kelcomaine.com/showitem.cfm?item=AHDS14&type=F

  10. Erin says:

    Whoa. Mind blown. Off to make a wreath – this couldn’t have come at a better time.
    Thanks, Karen!

  11. tracey kraayvanger says:

    Gorgeous!!! Brilliant!!! So glad you put one on the outside for us to all enjoy!!! Aaaaannnnd the lavender is beautiful… thinking that would be an amazing wreath too… can you do it??? tk

  12. Holly Whiteside says:

    That’s fabulous!

    I’m interesting in knowing how long it will last. I imagine it will turn brown first but still be pretty. Can you photograph it again in a couple of months?

  13. Brenda says:

    Gorgeous idea!! I have a kale corner where we transplanted a school project seeding 6 years ago – haven’t needed plant kale since – in fact it even pops up between patio stones. I harvest those babies for salad before pulling them out. This year I will cut and make a wreath before the pods mature and clean the weeds out of that corner. Love this!!

  14. Susan says:

    Me looking at the pics “that looks remarkably like the seeds on last year’s collards that overwintered but it surely couldn’t be”. Have been admiring them for three weeks, couldn’t bear to pull them out because they’re to interesting. Wished there was something to do with them. Mind blown by the timing and the originality of this!

  15. sideroad40 says:

    I wonder if spraying it with either hair spray OR floral preservative would prevent the seeds pods from popping open over time? Hmmmm….

  16. Jean M Clayton says:

    I want you as my neighbor, I want Laurel as my neighbor….

    • Karen says:

      Thanks! Those are good in a pinch, but they only have one wire going around so they aren’t quite as stable as one that’s made up of two wires. Although for a dollar I could maybe live with it! ~ karen!

  17. pamela rupp says:

    Great idea. I did a google search for wire wreath with prongs and found this . https://amzn.to/3ece46r .

  18. Karen Payton says:

    OMG. LOVE it … WANT it … NEED it! I am looking forward to visiting your Kale Seed Pod Wreath booth at the Christie Antique Show (whenever the heck we get to go to THAT again), where I will buy 2 wreaths from you. ; )

  19. Amy says:

    You’re brilliant. Brilliant!! I am gonna find seeds for Black Magic kale, stat! But since it will take a couple of years, I’m going to look around at what else I have that is wreath-able. I’m looking at you, Bronze Fennel going to seed!

  20. Mary W says:

    Tell your non-existent neighbor that the house next door is for sale if she wants to move to FL. This is exactly why I love your blog – Kale wreaths! Congrats on this new invention which I truly believe is a first!

  21. Connie Bridgham says:

    Love this – no room to grow black magic kale, unfortunately – but my sister may have to do it for me! Thanks again, Karen for your continued inspiration!

  22. Laurie says:

    Great post! So inspired I can’t think of anything quippy to say!

  23. Ecoteri says:

    This would have been more useful two weeks ago, Karen. My gone-to-seed kale went. a while ago. the birds are having a hay-day (hey-day?) and most of the pods have had their bodices ripped, they are no longer virgin and pristine. I predict a sh*t-tonne of kale in that area of the garden next year. However, I also predict that any wreath I attempt will not have that orderly cachet that yours has, due to the aforementioned bodice-ripping lost virginity of the pods. So I may just leave them drooping in embarrassment in the garden, and return to contemplating the 2500 (literally) garlic scapes that I picked and have neglected in my kitchen for too long . maybe I should make a wreath of them, as they dry and softly moan in abandoned despair…. oh, the woes that my inattention hath brought into my life, ravished kale seed pods, wasted garlic scapes…

    • Karen says:

      Hello Ecoteri! Exactly how long has it been that you’ve become a character from Outlander? Nevermind, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have time to answer my dumb questions, you have a garlic scape wreath to make! ~ karen

  24. Lois says:

    First, OMG on that black monster alien kale stuff you have there! Second, I can’t believe you found something kale is good for. Third, does regular kale form the same kinds of pods as the OMG black monster alien kale? Fourth: This wreath you came up with is FaBuLouS!! It is wildly pretty! I may have drunk a little too much caffeine a little earlier this evening so I’m indulging in exclamation! points! but Nice Going!!!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Lois, lol. All kale will do this! These were exceptionally large OMG black monster alien kales, but nothing too out of the ordinary. ~ karen!

  25. yolanda says:

    Hey Karen,
    Could this be done with radish pods?

  26. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Hey lady..the kale looks a bit scary…not sure I would want to walk past it…The wreath is gorgeous…better grab a patent on this one before someone else tries to claim it..lol

  27. Teddee Grace says:

    Really pretty. I had no idea kale produced seed pods like this. Wish I still lived where I had a garden. It would be interesting to get an update on the wreath as the pods mature.

    • Karen says:

      Well, I can update you right now because I noticed today that the wreath is dry. I’ll take a photo and add it in tomorrow. But the seed pods dried perfectly. The only problem AND HERE’S A WARNING: is the fact that if it gets wet like mine did it will also turn black and mildewy on top. The lower half is fine, but the top is a bit icky. So best to do this under a covered porch or sheltered spot. ~ karen!

  28. suzanne says:

    What a great idea. Broccoli raab would work well too.

  29. Ha! I was just going to ask earlier how long I needed to grow kale to get those yummy seed pods. Now I know!
    Nice invention!

    • Karen says:

      Now you know, lol! My wreath is now fully dried (I’ll get a shot of it for this post tomorrow) with thousands of seeds ready for planting. ~ k!

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