Christmas project: Paper wreath – a quick, easy step-by-step tutorial

TheRedThread_Wreath featured image When we saw this project on Sydney-based designer and stylist Lisa Tilse's The Red Thread blog, we just knew that it needed to be shared with you. The great thing about this project is that not only are you likely to have everything you need around the house already, as Lisa notes "no fancy hot glue guns required", but also you can use any kind of paper that takes your fancy – wallpaper, wrapping paper, scrapbooking supplies, the possibilities are endless... hmmm, matching Christmas wreath and presents? We're really tempted!

Paper Christmas Wreath Tutorial You’ll need the following materials:

  • 1 to 2 sheets of wrapping paper – I used the same paper in 2 different colour ways.  You needn’t limit it to 2 patterns, if you kept to a consistent colour palette you could use any number of patterns or plain colours.
  • 1 large and one smaller plate, salad bowls or similar to trace around (unless you have a really big compass??)
  • Lightweight cardboard – I used ivory card, but it could just be the side of a lightweight box because it will be hidden. A cereal box would be perfect. The size you’ll need will depend on the size of your bowls.
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Sticky tape
  • Ribbon – roughly 65cm (25.5 inches)

theRedThread_wreath_steps 1

Start by finding your plates or bowls to trace around. The diameter of my large salad bowl 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.

1. Place the large bowl upside down on the cardboard and trace around it.

2. Place the small bowl upside down in the centre of the circle you’ve just drawn and trace around it.

3. Cut around the outside of the largest circle. Then cut across your circle, through the centre 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. 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).

4. 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. Because the tops and bottom of my leaves were different shapes I cut the point off the bottom of the leaf so could easily see which end was the one to attach to the cardboard. I used 64 leaves in total, of which 16 were white. The number of leaves you need will vary slightly depending on how much you overlap your leaves.

theRedThread_wreath_steps 2

5. Roll the bottom edges of the leaf together so they overlap and the sides curl up.

6. Staple the rolled leaf to the bottom, just off centre, of the wreath base so the open end of the leaf is pointing out and down.

7 & 8. 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. The leaves should be positioned so that they follow the curve of the wreath base. The placing is fairly random, the leaves aren’t in rows. If you are using an accent paper (like my white one) place one for every 4 -6 of the main colour leaves. Make the colour placement random too.


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.


9. & 10. Continue stapling the leaves in place. I found it useful to stop often and hold the wreath at arms 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 have reached half way stop and go back to your original starting point. Now start again from this point, facing your leaves the other way and going in the opposite direction around the wreath. Make sure that you overlap the leaves at the starting point, so there are no gaps. If this seems a bit too tricky you can always just continue on as you were all the way around the circle so all your leaves will be facing the same way. Complete the circle of leaves.

11. & 12. Tie a half bow in your ribbon so there is a small loop and one short and one long end. Thread the long end behind in the leaves in the top centre of the wreath. Staple the ribbon to the wreath. The wreath is so light that it can easily be hung with Blu-Tac. I just put a blob each at the top and the bottom of the wreath and one on the top of the ribbon.

And that’s it. Using a stapler makes it pretty quick and easy. I hope you have as much fun making this as I did.


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