Sunday, December 2, 2012

kraft paper magnolia wreath

By now you may have noticed the paper magnolia wreath that has appeared in some photographs on my blog over last month. I'm in love with this wreath and is possibly my favourite holiday item in our house.  The reason why no "how to" on this wreath was ever posted was because this project actually happened without much thought - and therefore, without much effort in documenting (via photos) how I did it. I was actually in the middle of doing another craft project (paper macheing a a tunnel Oscar's train set) when I suddenly felt inspired to make this wreath.  I did take some iphone shots during the project, which I've put together with a lot of details. Should you like to know how to make your own, the long list of instructions is after the jump. :) Good luck! xo Lindsay

In high school I took a series of art classes and in one we learnt on how to create art by the manipulation of paper. I was amazed at how with careful folding, rubbing and sometimes adding a wee bit of water - paper could be manipulated.  Although I do feel as though anyone can do this project - this project will require patience and some love when it comes to making the leaves. Good luck! 

Materials: You will want to have lots of kraft paper on hand, and cardboard (any will do) White Glue, Hot Glue Gun, Scissors, and something that is BIG and round - this will be what you use as a template for the outer circle of the wreath. I used a board game that was round.

Step 1: Make a wreath out of cardboard
Pointer: Super time consuming. Even I got frustrated at this part.
Get a lot of cardboard. It doesn't need to match. You can get old cereal boxes. Lay them all out and I'd suggest you tape them with heavy duty tape together. Once they are laid out, lay your circular template item above it, and trace a circle. I know that this isn't very clear, but basically you want to make a wreath out of cardboard. It needn't be pretty - or perfect, because eventually it will be covered in leaves. But try your best to make it as circular as possible. I'm sure you can figure this part out, it's a little time consuming and awkward but it's not a huge deal if it's not perfect.

Step 2: Paper Mache Your Wreath
Pointer: Easy as pie
You're going to paper mache your cardboard wreath in the same kraft paper that you're going to make the leaves out of. Why? You don't want the cardboard to show through the leaves and this also means that if you hang the wreath on a mirror, as I have, the back of the wreath isn't ugly. I simply took white glue, added a wee bit of water to it, and plastered my cardboard wreath in kraft paper.  [See a picture below of the wreath covered in kraft paper to get a better idea of what I mean]

Step 3: Cut out leaves out of paper
Pointer: Some judgement on leaf size will have to be made by you
This is a bit time consuming but grab a ton of kraft paper and cut out large leaves. Although I cut out small, medium and large leaves, the nature of a Magnolia leaf is really that it is all BIG leaves. I didn't use a template - nature isn't perfect, nor were my leaves. You're going to go through a LOT of paper. Make more leaves than you think you will need so you're not skimping out on them when layering.

Step 4: Fold your leaves
Because the leaves are symmetrical, gently fold the leaves in half and using your finger, run a crease up the centre of the leaf. You don't need anything fancy, just the back of your finger. Don't be too hard on the leaf - you want the crease to be subtle.


Step 5: Attach your leaves to the wreath.
Apply a small dab of hot glut to the back of the leaf at the bottom. You don't need a lot of glue because too much glue will flatten your leaf. You want this to appear as natural as possible - so this is where patience and attention to how you handle the leaves will be important.


As you can see above, you want to carefully put each leaf over one another - layering, but being mindful not to squish the layer under it. Take your time, do it with love, and step back to admire your work.

And that's it.


I hung my wreath using a wreath hanger from the dollar store, that I covered in a beautiful ribbon.  If you're looking for other paper crafts then House & Home has some gorgeous ones! 

Enjoy!

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