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Tutorial: Make a Paper Wreath

Christmas is sneaking up on us at an alarming rate… time to get your craft on! I designed this paper wreath a few years ago and decided it was time for an update with pastels and gold. The wreath is easy to make with materials you already have around the house or in your craft stash. Or you could buy something special – I found some beautiful Japanese paper at Daiso in the exact colours I was after and I love the result. The garland is a snap with left over leaves.


• Wrapping paper – You only need a couple of sheets, or more depending on how many colours you’d like in your wreath. But you needn’t use wrapping paper, you could upcycle magazines, old comic books, scrapbook paper, anything! My paper is double sided, but it doesn’t have to be – you won’t see the back of the leaves.
• 1 large and one smaller plate, salad bowls or similar to trace around.
• lightweight cardboard -A cereal box or the side of a lightweight box It will be hidden so it doesn’t have to be pretty.  The size you’ll need will depend on the size of your bowls.
• scissors
• stapler
• sticky tape
• Blu Tac to hang the wreath

Begin by finding the plates or bowls to trace around. The diameter of my large circle is 34cm (13.5 inches), and the smaller one is 21cm (8.25 inches). If your circles are much larger or smaller you will have to adjust the size of your leaves accordingly. The diameter of my finished wreath is 42cm 16.5 inches), which is a great size to hang on the door.

Place the large bowl upside down on the cardboard and trace around it. Then put the small bowl upside down in the center of the circle you’ve just drawn and trace around it.

Cut around the outside of the largest circle. Then cut across your circle, through the center until you reach the far edge of the small circle. Next cut across the line you just cut so you now have a + in the centre of your circle. This just makes it easier to cut the small circle out. Cut out the small circle so you end up with a donut shape. Don’t worry about being too neat as it won’t be seen. Join the open ends of the donut back together with sticky tape. (Of course if you have a craft knife and cutting mat you could just cut around the two circles.)

Draw a leaf shape about 12.5 cm (5 inches) long on a piece of paper, and cut it out to use as a template.  I used about 64 leaves – the number you’ll need may vary depending on how close together you place your leaves. Before you cut too many leaves look at the papers you have and decide roughly what the ratio of the colours will be. I wanted my wreath to be mainly aqua with coral and gold accents.

Roll the bottom edges of the leaf together so they overlap and the sides curl up. Staple the rolled leaf to the wreath base so the open end of the leaf is pointing out. Continue rolling each leaf as you go, stapling them in position so they overlap the previous leaf. They need to overlap and be placed close to each other so the cardboard base and the staples aren’t visible. Using the stapler makes it quick and easy. The leaves should be positioned so that they follow the curve of the wreath base. The placement is fairly random, don’t place the leaves in rows and make the colours look random too.

Continue stapling the leaves in place as you work your way around the circle. I found it useful to stop often and hold the wreath at arm’s length so I could see the overall shape that was being formed. Make sure the tips of your leaves follow the curve of the wreath base.

When you meet up with the first leaves you stapled make sure you overlap the leaves so there is no obvious beginning and end. Looking at the back of the wreath you can see that the staples attach the leaves to the center of the cardboard ring, and the leaves fan outwards.

The wreath is so light that it can easily be hung with Blu-Tac – four small blobs should do it.


If you’d like to link to this tutorial that would be lovely – I’m always happy and grateful for that and I’m all about sharing. But first please take a look at the FAQ page about using my content. Thanks!



  • http://irenelovescrafts.wordpress.com Irene

    I absolutely love this! It’s beautiful and seems so easy to make, really glad I have stumbled upon it. Lovely website as well, definitely keeping an eye on it from now on. x

    • the red thread

      Welcome Irene! It is easy to make, and you can’t really make mistakes, it’s pretty free-form which is always a plus!

  • http://www.alisonlawsoncakes.com Alison Lawson Cakes

    Lisa – I love this wreath! REally stunning!

    • the red thread

      hey Alison! thanks lovely.

  • Cindy Eikenberg

    I have seen many paper wreaths but this is my absolute favorite! I am definitely adding this to my “must make” list! Am so happy that I discovered your lovely blog. Thank you so much for the fabulous inspiration!

    • the red thread

      Oh thanks Cindy! And thanks for visiting, I hope you hang around for more crafty goodness to come.

  • http://www.shopellalou.com/Turkish-beach-towels-s/1878.htm Lindsay

    Oh my goodness this is gorgeous! I love the colors, the execution, the simplicity – the end result! And, I love that it could be used both for Christmas but also at other times of the year.

    • the red thread

      Love your enthusiasm Lindsay! thank you

  • http://mulot-bricole3.blogspot.com Mulot

    Beautiful , so poetic !

    • the red thread


  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bellenza/62711768890 Bellenza Bistro

    So glad to have found your blog via Alison Lawson Cakes! This is such a lovely wreath project!

    • the red thread

      I’m glad you found me too – welcome!

  • http://ayhandcraft.blogspot.com/ Agus

    Love it! never seen before golden paper of that kind!

    • the red thread

      The paper is beautiful isn’t it? There are so many gorgeous Japanese papers available now.

  • http://blog.luulla.com/ Jeanie

    So gorgeous.. totally Love the colors~~!!

    • the red thread

      thanks Jeanie – the colours are my faves too.

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  • http://nailandpolish.blogspot.com Melanie

    Hello there! Amazing wreath and i’m just about to try it out! I just want to double check that the wrapping paper you used is actually crepe paper? :)

    Thanks for the inspiration! :)

    • the red thread

      Hi Melanie, I emailed you earlier, but I’ll reply here too in case others are wondering. It’s not crepe paper, although the texture makes it look like it is. It’s a Japanese paper. I;m not sure that crepe paper would hold it’s shape, but having said that I’ve never tried it. Let me know how you go.

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  • http://www.aboutfoood.blogspot.com Yoanna

    I have to try this, it’s so pretty!

    • the red thread

      I hope you enjoy making it Yoanna!

  • http://None Karen

    My dad is in assisted living and I make him seasonal wreaths for his door to his apt. Others @ Sunrise don’t have anyone to pretty up their door; so I try to make wreaths when I can afford to buy materials.You’ve shown me a way to make affordable wreaths for everyone…and I’m so very grateful. I’m going to share this with the activities director there; maybe inspire other families to try and be creative for their loved ones.
    Again, thank you so much !

    • the red thread

      Karen – thank you for commenting, your story really warmed my heart. I’m so happy that my tutorial will be put to such a lovely use. The materials needn’t cost anything – you could use paper grocery bags, magazine pages would be nice and colourful, old book pages… any paper! I hope your dad and the other residents enjoy their wreaths – you’re so lovely for making them and adding cheer to their environment.

  • jet

    lovely and beautiful, like it, so simple and sooo gourgious, well done!!!

    • the red thread

      why thank you!

  • Billie

    Love this idea and will try it this weekend with some Japanese papers I’ve been hoarding. The pictures above with the wreath hanging from a door. It looks like the leaves flattened. The first picture and the Christmas wreath looks like the leaves stand up more. Do the leaves flatten as the wreath sits? Or is it the type of paper that’s used.

    • the red thread

      Hi Billie – it will look lovely in Japanese paper! No they don’t flatten, it’s just different lighting making it appear different. The photos were taken on the same day.

  • Cay

    Hi and thanks for this beautiful tutorial!
    Christmas is almost back again so I tried to make this wreath, but with crepe paper and it doesn’t look as good as you at all. I have never seen such a paper in my local craft store, do you have any idea where I could find it online? I really love the colors and the golden side… and I think I’m ready for another attempt at the wreath! (but with the appropriate paper this time!)

  • Stephanie

    Made one really similar to this! http://instagram.com/p/hEs5HenuKa/
    Same cardboard base and gluing technique, but I used paint chips instead of decorative paper (but I work in a paint store so they’re pretty readily available!)

  • http://blog.libero.it/jmathewviolette/12763290.html Dolores Claiborne

    Hi therte just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried itt in two different web browsers annd both
    show the same results.

    • the red thread

      Hi Dolores, Thanks for letting me know… that’s odd… I can’t see any problems this end. I’ve gone into the post and checked the images and they are also fine when I view the post. If you’d like me to I’m happy to email you the images. Let me know, and apologies that you’re having problems. Lisa

  • http://off-to-the-park.blogspot.com.au/ Julie @ Off to the park

    I love the colours! This wreath is gorgeous. I have a wreath that is looking a bit dated, I might have to give this one a try :)

  • Edith Monin

    I don’t know what to say… just ” ouaaaah” ! tomorow, i will try. for sure. It’s going to be perfect with my christmas tree and the little pingus i have made last week… (http://www.jolichahut.fr/pingouin-diy-noel/ ). Thanks a lot !

  • Candy

    Love the colors! I may have to make another paper wreath. My fall wreath was made folded and fairly flat. I may need to make a new spring wreath, giving you credit for the inspiration.