Tiny Wreaths

I saw something like these little paper wreaths on Etsy, and I just had to try making them myself.  Not hard, but a little time consuming. Here are my instructions.

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I started with an old book of Dickens stories–a 20 cent thrift store find. Tear out the pages and trace circles to fit the size of the wreath you want to make, My wreaths are about 3 1/2″ in diameter, so I used a large spool of thread to trace around for the circles to be cut out of the pages. Fold the pages in half if the page is large enough so you can cut through 8-10 layers at once to save time. Trace as many circles in pencil on the half page as you can, then cut them out. No need to be really precise in cutting. Toss the circles where the pencil marks show.

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Step two–something to do while you’re binge-watching–you have to crumple each of the little paper circles and then uncrumple them. I do this in a big bowl. Once they’re done, take a piece of 20 or 18 gauge wire (any craft store carries these) and poke the end of the wire through the center of each circle–one after another–until you have enough to create a very full little wreath. You can bend the wire to see if you have enough. Better to have too many then too few. You don’t want the wire to show and the wreath has to look full.

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Join the wire by twisting the ends together, cutting off excess, and bending the twisted join down toward the center of the circle. Then readjust the wire to make it round and fluff up the paper around the wire join to cover it up.

At this point, if you want a more antique look you can simply paint the edges (quickly, no need to saturate or hit every spot) of the paper with hot coffee and let it all dry. You can also you berry juice if you want to tint it a different color. Or even diluted water color paints would work I bet.

For the ties I used some old rayon seam binding, which I dipped in coffee and crumpled into a ball to dry. You could also use ribbon. Tie it to the wire at a place on the wreath that is not where the wire join is.

Print out some little banners on aged paper (stained with coffee) and cut them to size. Put a dab of glue on the banner where it will touch the wreath and let dry. I’ve also used some clear fine glitter along the edges of the banners for some, and it looks great. For a couple, I’ve even added little red/green plaid ribbons to one side.

These are Christmas wreaths but this technique is so versatile. you could make hearts for Valentines day, even pumpkins for Halloween. The banners can say anything you want.

Next up–some little holiday trees using the same method. Get cutting! It’s great to be back working with paper again.

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