Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring Wreath

Last week, while unlocking my front door, I was greeted with a sight that I've experienced every day since last November: my Christmas stocking. Seeing that it was over 4 months past the holidays, I figured it was about time to replace the holiday door decor with some spring/summer appropriate dressings. (Procrastinator much?!)

So I went to Google/Pinterest and started searching "spring wreath" or "summer wreath" or "paper wreath" for inspiration. I found some amazing photos, and these 4 were my favorites.

Alisa Burke (left) and BlueSkyConfections (right)

Tatertots and Jello (left) and 1060 Bliss (right)

I'll likely try some of these projects in the future, but in the end I decided to go with an idea that's been floating around in my head for years...

Do you ever get any Nordstrom catalogs in the mail? They're absolutely divine: shiny and thick paper filled with every color imaginable. I always feel bad throwing them in the trash because I feel like they're a crafty person's goldmine. So when I happened to get a catalog in the mail right as I was searching online for wreath ideas I knew exactly what I needed to do.

Spring wreath!

Adding these paper flowers was key

If you search "rolled paper wreath" on Google you'll find a few sites with some general tutorials. I didn't follow any exactly, I kinda just winged it as I went along. It's quite simple though, and after just a few minutes you'll get the hang of it. But here's a mini-tutorial:

1. Gather the Goods
All you need for this project are: (1) a colorful catalog with good quality paper (Nordstrom's are the best for this), (2) scissors, (3) tape, (4) chop stick or a thin dowel, (5) ruler (optional, if you're measuring and cutting your paper to size before rolling)

I love recycled art

2. Prep for the Project
Rip out the pages of your catalog. See how bright and colorful they are? Perfect for a spring wreath.

3. Roll the Refuse
Here's where the fun begins- and where it's hard to explain the best stratergery without telling you to just experiment with the pages. But the basic premise is that you create the paper sticks by laying a chopstick at a corner of a page and start rolling tightly. When you're done, just seal the edge with a small piece of tape.

I liked cutting the pages in half or thirds for the perfect sized rolls. However, this will depend on what you want for the final size of your project.

4. Admire your Achievement
My paper sticks were about 8" to 9" long. I felt that it was a bit much, so I started cutting them in half (making sure to retape the rolls after cutting). But then I felt they were too stubby looking. So in the end I ended up with a mixture of long and short rolls. I told you I was winging it when I went along! I really had no idea what I was doing.

It took a few hours total to roll the entire catalog. Perfect thing to do while plopped in front of the television.
Colorful bounty

5. Stick the Sticks
And now, the fun begins! I took all my paper sticks and laid them out in a general pattern on the floor. Then I started gluing the sticks to a circular piece of cardboard (from a cereal box!) using my hot glue gun. I'm sure lots of different types of glues would work, but that's what I had on hand.

At first, this is what I had. But it looked so bare and nekked, and I just didn't love it. It was also a bit "off balance" in the positioning of my sticks.

This is exactly one Nordstrom catalog's worth of paper sticks. 
A second catalog could definitely have been used to give the wreath a more full and 3D feeling.

6. Flourishing with Flowers
A lot of wreaths have some kind of detail that draws your eye and breaks up the monotony of the single circular shape. So I figured paper flowers would work well. Luckily I found this awesome tutorial online that showed me exactly what to do.

Paper flowers add the perfect touch

For the paper, I used the front and back cover of the Nordstrom catalog as they were made of a thicker paper that keeps its shape well. The shininess of the paper made them a bit more frustrating to glue, but with enough hot glue it eventually worked.

I had originally placed the flowers in the lower right-hand corner of the wreath, but you couldn't really see the inside details. And for some reason it just looked weird. So I just rotated my wreath so that the bouquet would be in the upper right-hand corner. Much better!

7. Enjoy your Endeavor
There are so many things I love about this wreath. First and foremost, I made it using something that was literally going in the trash. And I pretty much used almost nothing else other than that single Nordstrom catalog (save a stick and a half of hot glue).

It's obviously a DIY project, but there's something I love about the look of a piece that is so clearly handmade. And colorful. And girly.

Yours in making sure each evening at home starts off with a smile,


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