Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tutorial: Book Page Fall Wreath

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I LOVE all the book page wreaths people were making a few months ago (I know, I’m a little behind the times). My absolute favorite wreath in blog-land was made by the Paper Princess and shown here. I just never made one because I didn’t think I had a very good place to hang one in my house. But then, Mad in Crafts did a post this week about how she loved Pottery Barn’s use of leaves cut from pages. And that inspired her to dress up her fall wreath a bit, which in turn inspired me! While she used book page leaves as accents in her wreath, I thought it would be fun to make wreath of book page leaves. I found a template of four leaf shapes here, make patterns out of the cardboard backing on a stack of paper, and traced the shape onto stacks of pages.
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(I have to tell you how sacrilegious I felt doing this—I have a degree in English Communications which means I took a LOT of literature classes in college. One of the books I had to buy (and loved reading, of course) in different editions for different classes was the Norton Anthology. These books are HUGE. And expensive. And the bookstore could never buy them back because I went to a small Christian college where many of the lit classes were only offered every 4 years. So I was stuck keeping these books. Do I ever crack them open again? Do I think I’ll ever read from them again? No. So I chose to use my anthology of American Literature and took pages from the back… so at least I was destroying the writing of modern classics from the 80’s, which to me aren’t that phenomenal. I figure better that than some Whitman or Emerson, right? Also, at least I know that my wreath is full of good writing!)
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I try to make the projects for my house with items I already have, so I cut out my wreath form from the cardboard box my son’s backpack carrier came in. I used a large serving platter for the outside circle, and a dinner plate for the inner.
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I then hot-glued quilters batting to the cardboard to give the form a little shape.
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Then wrapped the thing in linen.
(Good thing you can’t see the back, it isn’t pretty.)
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I then glued a layer of leaves to the form. I just went through the leaves in a pattern—alternating simple and complicated styles.
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For every row after that, I tucked the bottom of the leaf over itself a bit so it would have a little shape/depth to it.
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And then glued it down. This took a longer line of glue for each leaf, so both sides of the fold/tuck/pleat what-have-you would stay down instead of coming unfolded. I just kept going until I had the wreath at the fullness I wanted and it completely covered the form.
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This is my crafting buddy, Sophie. She’s OBSESSED with being with me when I craft or sew. She could care less about me the rest of the time, but if there’s a glue gun in my hand, she insists on being petted.
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All finished gluing!
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I thought it could use a little color to make it more fall like, so I added paint to Mod Podge and randomly painted different leaves. I liked how some of the leaves turned out, but others I wasn’t so fond of (the ones that had more of the messy look to them).
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And I felt like it still needed a little something, so I pulled out a silk leaf piece of a garland I had and glued it to the wreath. It still needed a little something more, so I added the orange bow (I’m not sure where that stuff came from, I randomly found it in a basket in a closet a few weeks ago!). I used a little more of the orange ribbon/jute stuff (whatever you call it), braided it, made a loop from that and glued it to the back at the top to hang the wreath with.
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In the end, I’m happy with the results!
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Check out the parties I may be linking up with…


  1. You are so crafty, and the wreath is beautiful and very Fall'ish:)
    I'm over from NFF and I can't wait to read more about you.

  2. Good to see you on New Friend Friday! I'm following you now. Please follow back!

  3. Very clever and it looks great. Love your perseverance to get the finished wreath just right.

  4. Holy crap! I still have my Norton Anthology down in my basement too! Although I would probably cut up my Age of Romanticism in England textbook before I would cut up that one. :P

    You wreath turned out beautifully! Thanks for coming back to Mad in Crafts to tell me you had made one! If you want, you can join the link party on Monday and share your tutorial.

  5. I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I linked to this post today from the new Home & Garden channel at Craft Gossip. :) My hope is to share many of the fabulous projects I see everyday with the vast CG audience. I hope you will not only stop by and subscribe to CG, but will tell your friends about the new category! Hope you see some traffic from it!

    Your feature will appear in the main Craft Gossip RSS feed, on the main home page and can be found directly here

    If you would like a "featured by" button, you can grab one here!

  6. woww it's fantastic,congratulations!!

  7. Suh--weeeeet.... the style of your wreath's a welcome and unique change. Thanks for taking the time to share detailed instructions! : )

  8. This looks great! I am going to feature this tomorrow! I love good uses for old books!

  9. Thank you, ladies, for all the love! I love coming home each day and seeing this wreath on my door :)

  10. Love your tutorial how to make this wreath awesome details!

  11. I will be featuring it this on my blog this morning!

  12. Your wreath turned out beautiful!! And SO sweet of you to mention my book wreath @ Paper Princess Studios...Glad I inspired you!! You inspired me with your take on the book wreath :0

  13. Looks great and I love the randomly painted leaves in there!
    (via TT&J)

  14. Georgeous wreath and the amount of patience it must have taken to make it is more than I can ever hope to have!! So beautiful!

    Visiting from TT&J



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