I don’t normally do ‘step-by-steps’. I say I don’t ‘normally’ do them, I haven’t done one YET. And the reason for that is because I don’t like to be too prescriptive. I prefer people to take ideas and do their own thing with them. You know, let the creative juice flow etc etc…
Ok, I’m lying. It’s because I’m too lazy to take all the requisite photos. Plus I always forget some crucial step or ingredient, probably because I’m high on creative juice.* And actually I’ve never been asked before. But this wreath has had a few people wanting to know what it’s made of and how to do it so I thought I’d oblige. It’s not a perfect step-by-step but I hope you’ll be able to work out any bits I haven’t specifically featured. Here goes…
So. I decided I wanted a Christmas wreath for my door this year. But I didn’t want any old tinselly crap. I mean, seriously, THIS was not going to cut it.
I wanted something obviously festive but that also reflected my style and taste and went with our decor. So I had a root around in my various Boxes of Creative Crap (FYI the Boxes of Creative Crap contain things like wallpaper samples, old birthday cards, newspaper and magazine cuttings and recycled wrapping paper – yes, I’m one of ‘those’ people) to see what I had by way of materials. Turns out, quite a bit. So starting from the beginning, here’s what you need:
1 x sheet cardboard
2 x round bowls of various sizes (or other round things which you can draw around… or a compass, I suppose, but I haven’t owned one of those since I was about 14 and even then I mostly used it to stab holes in my pencil case)
Some sort of poking device for making a hole in the cardboard (I used a sewing unpicker but again, a compass would come in handy… wow, maybe I should get one?)
Various different cards and papers (I used some shiny gift tags, a piece of red card, and some wallpaper samples – wallpaper samples are brilliant, I mean, they just send you free sheets of cool patterned paper, well worth stocking up if you can)
STEP 1. Use the bowls (or compass) to draw a ring shape onto the cardboard. It’s worth bearing in mind that it will appear wider once it’s got all the ‘leaves’ stuck on. Once you’ve cut it out, use a piece of the leftover cardboard to draw and cut out your leaf shape. I went for quite a narrow, spikey leaf but I reckon it would also look cool with holly or ivy-shaped leaves.
STEP 2. Use the cardboard leaf shape as a template. Simply draw around it onto the back of your coloured card (or wallpaper) before cutting yourself out a veritable forest of paper leaves. It’s better to have too many than too few so you can play around with the sequence and colour combinations.
STEP 3. Using the poking device/compass, make a small hole in the ring. Cut your thread of ribbon in half and thread one half through before tying at the end to make a loop. Thread the other half through and tie a bow at the front. This will be the top of your wreath and the point from which you hang it. I went for a black and white striped ribbon because it looks like a humbug… and Bah! Humbug! was very much the attitude I was getting from my boyfriend at the time.
STEP 4. Starting from the bottom, layer the leaves two at a time onto the cardboard ring. Each layer should slightly overlap the one below. I found it helped to place a couple of layers on without glue at first to make sure I was happy with the way it looked before sticking them in place. But to be honest, I didn’t really use a pattern or sequence. I just layered them on randomly based on what I thought looked good.
STEP 5. In my experience, anything stuck with PVA glue tends to curl up at the edges if you don’t keep it pressed (I also stuck the post cards on our DVD storage with PVA and had to spend ages smoothing them down) so once I’d finished I stuck the wreath under a couple of heavy books and left it overnight. Hmm… DIY and sewing manuals, how apt.
And here it is:
Of course, I neglected to notice one crucial thing when making this wreath… our front door is a kind of rich reddish-brown wood. So the damn thing doesn’t show up!
Oops. So instead I’ve put it on the cupboard door in our kitchen… which is fine, right?
And because no blog post would be complete without it nowadays, I’ll also stick in the Instgrammed version. Merry Christmas!
Check out my boyfriend looking totally unimpressed with my festive mood and also incredibly nonchalant amid my Boxes of Creative Crap. It’s quite amazing how quickly he’s adapted to having his space overrun with buttons and glue and bits of sequin. These days he just clears himself a spot on the sofa and carries on
faffing about on Twitter working.