Saturday, January 21, 2012

DIY Paper Wreath

Today I thought I'd do my first tutorial!  As I've mentioned before, I absolutely love the website Pinterest.  For someone like me, who is horrible at creating things, but great at copying things others have done, it is an awesome tool.  I have seen several paper wreaths on Pinterest, and was disappointed when I could not find a tutorial for my favorite one, the link was just to a picture.  So, I pushed up my sleeves and got to work figuring it out.  It's hanging above the bed in my spare bedroom.  I think the pieces of paper look like calla lilies, some of my favorite flowers.  Here's my version: 

After seeing this wreath, my mom asked that I make her one as well.  I decided to work on it today, and take pictures along the way in case some of you wanted to make one as well!  Hopefully this won't be too long and confusing. 

Ok, here goes.  As the Pioneer Woman says, here are the cast of characters.  (Unfortunately, these characters and not edible.)

They are as follows:
1. Hot glue gun
2. Scissors
3. Box cutter knife (can use scissors if you don't have one)
4. Old book (that you don't mind tearing up)
5. 1 Large Plate and 1 Small Plate (or jar lid or coaster)
6. Piece of cardboard, foam board, etc.  (needs to be large enough to trace the plate onto.  I broke down a box I got in the mail for an Amazon order)
7. A coke can tab

Go ahead and plug in your glue gun, to get it heated up. 
Next lay out your piece of cardboard and trace around your plate. 
Note on the plate: use the size you want for your wreath.  Your wreath will be the size of the plate, plus about 5 inches (depending on the size of your paper).  I wanted a larger wreath, so I used a 12.5" charger (a little bit larger than a regular plate).  After tracing around your plate, cut it out.  Here's my circle.

Next, use a smaller plate that is about 1/5th the size of the large plate, to make a smaller circle in the middle of your big cardboard circle.  I used a 2.5" coaster,   Trace around the coaster or smaller plate and then cut it out.  (Quick note: please don't do what my friend in elementary school did and stab yourself in the finger trying to cut this middle part out.  You can fold the circle in half to make a center cut and then cut around the circle.) It'll then look like this:

Next, we're going to make an improvised hanger on the back of our wreath.  I found the best and cheapest thing that works is a coke tab, like the one below. 

If you don't have a coke tab, you can skip this step, or use another item to create a hanger.  Before attaching the tab, bend half of the tab forward, like this:

Next, place a little dollop, (of Daisy?!) no, of hot glue on the straight part of the tab.  Press that down on the back of your piece of cardboard, like in the picture below.  You'll see in a minute why we're not putting it closer to the edge.  When you go to hang your wreath, this tab will hang perfectly on a nail.

Now the fun and time consuming part!!  Open the book you are using.  I am using an old encyclopedia that my sister got at a Goodwill store for like 50cents.  I like using old books because the pages are long rectangles and are not stark white.  Use your box cutter, or one blade of your scissors, and go down the edge of the page.  If you use a lot of pressure and a sharp blade, you can normally cut out about 10 pages at a time. 

Ok this is the confusing part.  Hold you piece of paper longways, like a hotdog (thank you elementary school).  Grab the bottom corners and curl one side in.  There's really no good way to explain this without a video, but the finished product should look like a waffle cone.  The side that you did not curl inside should be on the outside (obviously).  Take that outside tab, and glue it down with your glue gun.  Here's a picture of what it looks like.  You can see the part above my thumb that is glued down.

Allow the glue to cool.  I went ahead and did 20 at one time so that the first ones were cooling as I glued the last ones. Once they're cooled, flatten down the bottom part of the cone.  Like this:

Now, take your cardboard circle.  It should still be bottoms up, so you should see the little tab you glued down.  Take your cones, put glue on the bottom flattened part and afix them to the cardboard and 1.5" from the edge.  They need to be close together, so that the top/fattest part of the cone sides are almost touching.  Like this:

For my size wreath, I used 20 cones for the first layer, on the back of the cardboard.  Allow those to cool, and make about 20 more cones.  Once the glue is cooled, flip your cardboard over. There should be nothing glued to this side yet.  Take your new batch of cones, with the tips flattened, and start gluing to the front.  This layer should be about the same height as the cones glued to the back, but should be glued in the "windows" or spaces between the cones on the back.  Make sense?  Should look like this:

Allow that layer to cool, and guess what?!  Make some more cones!  About 15 should be right.  Take these cones, and glue them so that the tips go to the edge of the middle cut out.  Again, find the windows of the layer above.  You should barely see any cardboard now.  Looks like this:

Allow this layer to cool and make about 8 more cones.  This layer gets a little complicated.  For these, you will actually bend the edges through the middle hole, to the back.  This way, you're gluing the ends to the back of the cardboard.  You see this in the front:

With the ends bended around to the back, like the picture below.  Glue the flap to the back. 

Now, you have two options here.  If you want this last layer to kind of stand up like the first picture of my wreath, you can do some bending and coaxing, and just leave this last layer as is.  Or you can glue the front side down.  Just put a little bit of glue on the back of the big open cone shape on the front of the wreath, and push them down, so that the front part doesn't flop around.  It should look like this:

You can leave your wreath like this, or you can add something else around the middle.  I thought this looked a little bare around the middle circle, so I crumpled up some small scraps of paper and glued them around the hole.  The end product looked like this:
Not really sure which I like best? 
Ok, hopefully that wasn't as confusing as it sounds in my head.  If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!  Hope everyone had a fun and productive Saturday!  Happy crafting!


Catrina Bradley... said...

Very cool!

Allie L. said...

Awesome job explaining a very difficult task. Looks great! Can't wait to make one myself.

Joy said...

That looks awesome! I've seen these but thought they'd be really complicated...but I might try this one day.