Bittersweet and Burlap Wreath

Bittersweet and Burlap Fall Wreath You might remember the bones of this wreath from last month. What was once a lemon and burlap wreath is now a bittersweet and burlap wreath! I decided not to reinvent the wheel so I removed the lemons from the wreath base and added the pumpkins and bittersweet.

Bittersweet and Burlap Fall WreathWhat I thought would take a few minutes was actually a little tricky. I had to figure out how to attach the pumpkins after my original idea of using hot glue failed miserably. Once that was accomplished I started sticking the fresh bittersweet stems around the bow. 

Bittersweet and Burlap WreathAt this point the berries starting popping off the stems. So…I had to re-group and figure out how to preserve the bittersweet stems in the next 5 minutes. My first thought was to try hair spray and actually that might have worked. Instead I found a can of satin sealer in my garage and used that instead.

How To Preserve Natural ElementsIt worked like a charm but if you try this make sure and spray outside. It was a bit stinky. Now that I had all my issues resolved I was able to hang the wreath on my door, stand back, and observe the fruits of my labor. Except for one thing. I really, really needed a new door mat. 

Front Door Mat from The Company StoreThe one pictured above is no longer available but I found this one that has the same colors. (aff. link)

Fall Porch DecorAnd…since I can never leave well enough alone I added some fresh bittersweet to the ivy topiaries. 

Ivy Topiary with BittersweetAs you can see some of the berries have popped and some are still green. I wound the bittersweet vines around the topiaries just after cutting so they would be pliable and easy to work with. Once the berries have all popped I’ll shoot each bunch with some sealer. Hopefully they will last until I’m ready to decorate for Christmas. Hopefully.

Fresh Bittersweet BerriesI’ll be back tomorrow with a little how-to just in case you want to add little pumpkins to a wreath of your own. They are the real thing so their weight was mostly the issue. (Sorta like me. ha!) If you want to get started here’s how to make a wreath and how to make the perfect bow.

There is no shortage of inspiration here On Sutton Place. 
Just click the images to visit my favorite Fall categories and get inspired!

Growing collection of recipes perfect for Fall from On Sutton Place

Growing collection of free Fall original printables from On Sutton Place

Ideas and inspiration for adding a touch of Fall to your decor!

Easy, DIY Fall Craft Ideas from On Sutton Place


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  1. Hi Ann! Wonderful decor! Absolutely love your site! Stumbled upon it on pinterest (I made your harvest burlap banner…looks wonderful on my mantle!) A question about wreaths…I was looking at your how-to-make-a-wreath and was wondering if you re-use a lot of your wreaths (obviously you did here)…just want to make my penny last longer and wondering if it was worth re-using! Thanks!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Stacey!
      Yes I reuse my wreaths all the time. I have 2 that I rotate. One is a bit bigger than the other. I usually leave the “background” the same…meaning whatever garland or greenery that’s the first thing on the wreath. For this bittersweet one it’s the rosemary garland. Every once in a while I take everything off and start from scratch but not very often! So…invest in 2 grapevine wreaths and wire them together. Then add a natural looking faux garland as your background. Then just be creative!

  2. Your house is beautiful and you have such a lovely flair for decorating! I have been looking for those tall black planters you have on either side of your door forever…can you tell me where you found yours? Thanks!

  3. Melinda Hartzog says:

    I so love your wreath…am pinning this to my fall board. I particularly love the greenery and bittersweet together against the brown grapevine wreath. My kind of wreath…color, texture, simple elegance!

  4. Ricki Jill Treleaven says:

    Very pretty, ANn. I love the bittersweet and mini pumpkins on the wreath. Your front porch is so welcoming!

  5. Your Fall wreath is beautiful, Ann, I love seeing the bittersweet used in Fall decors. It looks very lovely on your topiaries as well. I have only recently learned that bittersweet actually grows here! I was under the impression that it did not, so I will be on the hunt for some bittersweet for my garden!

  6. Beautiful wreath….I love bittersweet and miss being able to go out in my own yard and pull some down. Bittersweet memories!

  7. That’s probably the prettiest fall wreath I’ve seen!

  8. Hi Ann! Oh, I love your wreath and will be looking forward to finding out how your poked the pumpkins in. The bittersweet is so pretty and glad you figured out how to save it. The mat is so pretty too. Thank you so much for popping in to see my little dolls.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  9. Grace @ sense and simplicity says:

    I love the touches of orange in the bittersweet and pumpkins and your perfect bow.

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  11. It looks beautiful, Ann. It’s a perfect Fall welcome!

  12. Carolyn G. says:

    Love your elegant fall touches…you always seem to achieve a sophisticated seasonal look. I admire how you use restraint and everything looks so lovely but you never go over the top with seasonal décor. I get many great ideas from your blog. Thanks!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      What a nice thing to say…thank you very much!

  13. Ann beautiful. It must be neat to have access to bittersweet. Great job as always!


  14. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    I love your remade wreath! Bittersweet is so pretty.

  15. Mary Alice Patterson says:

    You make the most beautiful wreaths!! Of course I’ll be pinning.
    Mary Alice

  16. priscilla says:

    Love your wreath , the burlap bow looks so perfect ! The whole porch looks fabulous !

  17. Michele/Finch Rest says:

    Hi Ann, looks great – your efforts def. paid off!

    So did you grow your own Bittersweet then or find it somewhere?

    Hubs actually asked because I was saying how much the real McCoy looks – so thought I would bug ya to find out if you grew and how you grew if you did and if you didn’t where you found.


    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hey Michele! I grew the bittersweet myself. Every year when I post about it people comment that it’s invasive and kills trees. That’s the oriental version…I have the American version. I grow it up a fence but keep it under control by cutting it back every fall. I know birds carry the berries off and it may spread that way. I love it though and try to be as careful as possible. If you get some make sure it’s American. Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Moni ~ Zu Haus at Home says:

    What a pretty wreath! Love the touch of bittersweet on the wreath and ivy topiaries! Beautiful!

  19. Debra@CommonGround says:

    love your porch decor, and that new rug is so bright and adorable!!

  20. Elizabeth@ Blue Clear Sky says:

    Very pretty, Ann! The bittersweet is a lovely addition and perfect for Fall. Love the new door mat too.

  21. Ann love that wreath and pretty mat!

  22. Mary@athomeonthebay says:

    everything looks so pretty Ann! I love bittersweet too.

  23. Pamela Gordon says:

    Love your fall wreath and the new door mat Ann. I enjoyed visiting the other blogs and seeing their great fall decor too. We have a frost warning here tonight. I’ve covered up my perishables trying to hang on to summer but I do have some fall decor on the front deck. Blessings, Pam

  24. Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads says:

    Ann, I’m so jealous that you have fresh bittersweet! It must not grow here as I have never seen it growing. I will have to investigate to find out if I can grow it. I used the bones of my July 4th wreath to create a fall wreath, too! Your entrance is LOOKING GOOD!

  25. Ann, thanks for sharing the tips. I love to use bittersweet in my fall decor. Too early for it here just yet because it has to be shipped into TX. I usually find it at Round Top Antiques Week or a local grocery store sometimes has it. Thanks for the tip on spraying it. Does that keep the berries from falling off? I have to be cautious now that we have a dog in the house. I read that bittersweet is poisonous to pets.
    Happy Fall ~ Sarah

    1. Mary Sue Weeks says:

      I would think twice about using bittersweet if you have pets. I was given a bittersweet wreath last year and several of the berries fell off on the floor. My kitty must have eaten some and she almost died. Cost me $700 in the kitty hospital, and the bittersweet is the only thing we could figure out she may have gotten in to. Also, the plant itself is very invasive and will wind itself around any shrub or tree and literally choke it. Use nice fake ones instead.

      1. Ann Drake says:

        I’m so sorry about your kitty. My little dog wouldn’t eat a berry even if any popped off…which when they did I picked them up right away. The spray sealer helped cement them to the stem. I’ve been told before how invasive bittersweet is. I don’t have a problem. When I cut it in the fall, I cut the whole vine back to keep it in control. I try to use natural elements whenever I can in my decor and I have to admit that I love my bittersweet!

    2. Ann Drake says:

      Yes Sarah the spray sealer helps cement the berries to the stems. From what I understand there are 2 kinds of bittersweet. American and Oriental. The oriental is very invasive and the vines have thorns. American bittersweet is not as invasive and the vines are smooth (no thorns.) I have the American version.
      I know it’s a controversial plant. I love it though and I take care of it by cutting it back every fall. If I see creepers I pull them out. I am not sure if it’s poisonous or not…but my dog wouldn’t eat a berry even if she found one. Just be careful with your berries and all should be well. Thanks for stopping by!

  26. debbiedoos says:

    Oh my I love, LOVE!, LOVE! Your wreath is so pretty and the branch across the top of the doorway is awesome!

  27. Pingback: Fall porch decorating 2013 - Debbiedoo's