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 in the exact colours I was after and I love the result. The garland is a snap to make with left over leaves.
This is the version of the paper wreath that I made previously from lovely hand screen printed wrapping paper. It looks so different in more neutral colours and patterns on the craft paper. You’ll also notice that the leaves on the latest version all point in the same direction around the circle, while here they point outwards from the centre.
Materials to make a paper wreath
• 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.
• 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 paper leaf wreath is so light that it can easily be hung with Blu-Tac – four small blobs should do it.