Foraged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls

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Today I’m going to show you how to make a foraged fall wreath using the balls from a Sweetgum tree. You can whip up this easy and inexpensive craft in under 30 minutes.

Foraged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls #fall #decor #foraged #sweetgumballs #sweetgum #wreath #fallwreath #budgetdecor

Foraged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls:

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a craft idea here on Inspired by Charm. Today, I’m excited to be back with my Seasons of Home blogger friends to share beautiful, and frugal seasonal decor ideas with you. I’m making a foraged fall wreath with supplies from my yard. My blogger friends are also sharing their budget-friendly decor and craft ideas with you. Once you’re done here, be sure to click through all of the links at the end of this post to check out everyone’s festive projects and spaces.

Foraged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls #fall #decor #foraged #sweetgumballs #sweetgum #wreath #fallwreath #budgetdecor

Foraged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls #fall #decor #foraged #sweetgumballs #sweetgum #wreath #fallwreath #budgetdecor

Every couple of weeks from now until Christmas, the Seasons of Home blogger group (hosted by the uber-talented Kristen of Elle Claire Blog) will offer ideas to help you get your home ready and decorated for the season. This week our theme is budget-friendly or foraged fall style. I was especially excited about this theme because a few weeks ago when my mom was visiting, I mentioned to her that I didn’t love the Sweetgum tree on my property because it drops all of these golf-ball-size balls on everything. She immediately said, “You should make a wreath out of those!”

I agreed. So when the theme for this week’s series was presented, I went outside, gathered a bag of those Sweetgum balls, and got to work.

Where to get Sweetgum Balls?

Now, before I show you how to make this wreath, let me say I do realize that some folks might not have a Sweetgum tree in their yard. I did a little research, however, and found that you can buy Sweetgum balls online, and they are fairly inexpensive. You can find them here on Etsy andhere on eBay. Just do a little digging for the best deal. At one point, I saw someone selling 200 for $4.99.

Once you have your Sweetgum balls, you only need a few other supplies.

How to Make Forged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls:

You will need:

  • Grapevine wreath (I used an 8″ wreath and a 10″ wreath.)
  • Sweetgum balls (You’ll need about 65 for the 8″ wreath and 90 for the 10″ wreath.)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks

Foraged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls #fall #decor #foraged #sweetgumballs #sweetgum #wreath #fallwreath #budgetdecor

To begin, trim the long stems from the Sweetgum balls.

Then hot glue the Sweetgum balls to the interior of the wreath. To do this, place a dollop of glue on each ball and firmly but gently press it on the wreath to ensure it adheres.

Foraged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls #fall #decor #foraged #sweetgumballs #sweetgum #wreath #fallwreath #budgetdecor

Continue adding Sweetgum balls with hot glue until you fill the interior of the wreath. Then, repeat the process on the exterior of the wreath.

Foraged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls #fall #decor #foraged #sweetgumballs #sweetgum #wreath #fallwreath #budgetdecor

Whether you use an 8″ or a 10″ wreath, I found that you’ll need two more rows of Sweetgum balls around the top of the wreath. I found it best to work back and forth between the two rows as you make your way around the wreath. This will give you an even look.

Foraged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls #fall #decor #foraged #sweetgumballs #sweetgum #wreath #fallwreath #budgetdecor

Once you’ve done this, make sure that all of the Sweetgum balls are firmly attached. Add a bit more hot glue if any feel loose. Also, take a few minutes to remove hot glue strings. I found a pair of tweezers to help in removing the glue strings that got stuck between the spikes on the balls.

Once you’re finished with that, attach a piece of wire to the back of the wreath to hang it or use a piece of satin ribbon like I did. I hot glued my ribbon to the back of the wreath.

Foraged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls #fall #decor #foraged #sweetgumballs #sweetgum #wreath #fallwreath #budgetdecor

Foraged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls #fall #decor #foraged #sweetgumballs #sweetgum #wreath #fallwreath #budgetdecor

And that’s it! Aren’t the wreaths beautiful? It took me under 20 minutes to make the smaller one and under 30 minutes to make the larger one. So quick and easy.

And I need to be candid with you – I’m probably the only blogger who hasn’t started decorating for fall. (Don’t tell the others. It’s our secret.) But that will likely change this week when I put these wreaths in a more festive fall setting, I’ll be certain to update you and this post with how they look. I plan to take you on a fall tour of my home in a couple of weeks so I’m guessing you’ll see the wreaths again when I do that.

Looking for more fall craft ideas? Try these:

Foraged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls #fall #decor #foraged #sweetgumballs #sweetgum #wreath #fallwreath #budgetdecor

Foraged Fall Wreath with Sweetgum Balls #fall #decor #foraged #sweetgumballs #sweetgum #wreath #fallwreath #budgetdecor

In the meantime, I’m digging the way they look hanging from the peg rail of my new entryway cabinetry. I love their color and don’t get me started on the beautiful texture. It’s something only Mother Nature could provide.

Who knew that what I thought was a nuisance in my front yard could be turned into a stunning foraged fall wreath? I’m so thankful to my mom for this idea. I think I need to also make her a wreath!

Seasons of Home Budget-Friendly Fall Decor:

Now, for additional frugal, foraged, and festive fall ideas, check out all of the links below. I know you’re going to find inspiration in what these talented bloggers have created.

Happy Fall!

Ella Claire & Co. | Dear Lillie | Boxwood Avenue | French Country Cottage

Inspired by Charm | Craftberry Bush | City Farmhouse | Zevy Joy

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  1. I love the sweet gum ball wreath! Our neighbor has a tree, so I will offer him cookies in exchange. But how can I ensure that there aren’t little critters that I might accidentally bring inside? Thanks

    1. You can gather them and then leave them in your garage or a shed for a few days before crafting with them. You could also bake them on a low heat and that will kill anything inside. You could also put them in a zip top bag and then place them in your freezer.

      Lots of options! Hope that helps.

      xo Michael

  2. Be careful. Around here we call them “anklebreakers”!! This will be a good thing, I can collect them and make the neighborhood safer, and by making wreathes, make it more beautiful! Thanks Michael!!

  3. So glad to find this post! We have 3 gum trees bordering our lot, on our neighbors side. The ball are everywhere and our neighbor isn’t ready to take them down. Maybe we can sell the !@@##$$% balls and make enough to take the trees down. Meanwhile I’ll be making lots of wreaths, great idea Mom!

  4. Wow !! Thats really impressive ! I’ve never seen a gum tree – so obviously the ball is something I’m seeing for the first time too. I’d love for you to share with us at Meraki Link Party. Party opens at 10:00 am from Monday to Thursday.
    Many regards

  5. Stunning! We have those trees in Southern California, but I’ve always known them as “liquidambar,” never heard the name “sweetgum” which is much cuter and folksier! You have shamed me sir! In all my years, I have only been annoyed with those balls, and until your article I never noticed their beauty, their textural splendor, or the zen calmness they evoke when arranged in an orderly fashion. Thanks for schoolin’ me in Nature Appreciation 101.

  6. If you plan to hang a wreath such as this inside the house… I strongly suggest placing the collected Sweetgum balls in a plastic bag and freezing them for several days. Doing so kills the vast majority of little “critters” and their eggs/young that may have decided to call the Sweetgum balls home. You’d be amazed at the number of tiny insects that live & reproduce in these balls and pinecones.

      1. Michael,

        They can also be baked, as can pinecones, in the oven at 200 for an hour. Faster, and it makes an interesting smell in the house. Allison at House of Hepworths has a tutorial on it.
        Love the wreaths. You have the best taste. Must try this and maybe paint one? I have a bunch I put into an apothecary jar in the fall.


  7. Love this idea for sweet gum pods. I live in FL and had picked many of them that fell to the ground many years ago from my tree to make a wreath. They are still in a bag waiting for me to do so! Yours look lovely and at least don’t have a ton of sand in them like mine did. Martha Stewart also made wreaths with these then sprayed them with gold and silver spray. Those are gorgeous too. Great job. Love your home and decor inspiration.

  8. Years back we paid our then five-year-old neighbor a penny for each Sweetgum ball she picked up from our yard. (The Sweetgum tree was in the woods behind our house, but some of the balls always made their way into our backyard.) She loved the deal, and so did we. Our yard looked better and was much easier to mow! Ha!Ha!

    1. Oh! Interesting! My tree is HUGE so I would need a crane to trim it. Haha. I’m not sure that’s an option for me. Though, now I have a new appreciate for these balls, so I don’t mind them as much.

      xo Michael