Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cutesy Curly Paper Wreath

Aaack!! I love this project so much- turned out so fun!

Awhile back I saw this great, curly looking wreath at our local craft store. I loved it, could hardly walk away! But it was $30 and I just simply could not pay $30 for a wreath and still call myself crafty! The one I had seen was made of cream colored paper that looked a lot like light tree bark. I immediately had the thought I could try to mimic it using fun colored paper. I searched Pinterest for a starting place, with absolutely no luck! I found a lot like this one: 

... which is stinkin' cute, but I wanted more of splayed out look
like I had seen in the craft store, which was kinda more like this:

... only a lot more full. So, I set out to figure out how to create it!

Confession: this is the most involved project I've made in awhile. In part because I didn't really know to do what I was wanting to do. And in part because it is a large piece! But I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! I couldn't be happier with how my cutesy curly wreath turned out- I wanna be able to hang it up and then preserve it in the biggest hat box ever for the next lotsa years!

Wanna make one for yourself? Have some patterned paper that you like so well you're only willing to use it on the exact right thing? (Hopefully it's not just me that does that, at least!) Well, this could be the project for you- this wreath is simply stunning! It's not hard, just time consuming (a lot like another wreath you might have already seen around here)...

Stuff you'll Need:
Coordinating patterned papers
paper trimmer
small (mine was 9") wreath base- I got mine at Dollar Tree
hot glue gun and glue
Covered floral wire- I used my roll of "Naturally Wired"
wire cutters
clear tape
small piece of ribbon

I got this great Recollections The Sweetest Thing paper pack at Michaels when it was on sale for 40% off. It is a huge stack of paper! And I love most all the patterns in this collection. 

So, gather a collection of coordinating patterned papers- any combination you like the look of together will be great! I think I used 14 papers total, though you wouldn't have to have that many. Cut the entire sheet, or close to it, of each of your papers into 1" strips- I think there are six curly strands of each of my papers and it takes two strips of each for one finished strand on the wreath. So that would be a total of 128 strips! This number may be less or more for your wreath, that's just to give you an idea of how many. If you are using fewer different papers, cut a few more strips of each. 

I then laid one of each of my strips out so I could see what order to work in. This just gave my wreath balance, so I wasn't guessing which strip to use next kind of thing. If you're better at straight up randomness than me, don't worry about this part! :)

Then use your wire cutters to clip 10-12" segments of floral wire. I did end using about a roll and 1/4 or so of this wire, though I has used part of my original roll for THIS project, so one roll might very well be plenty! Also, I did not cut all the wire segments I would need for the whole thing in one blow... I cut these progressively throughout the project, just creating a smaller bunch each time. I also kinda bent them a bit to look like the curve I wanted around the wreath- don't get too picky about the shape of them now, just make sure they aren't entirely nutso shaped either :)

This next part is what got me so hung up as I started this project. And I can't believe I didn't realize that you can literally curl scrapbook paper just like gift wrap ribbon! I wasted time taping a strand of smaller wire to the back of my paper strips and then curling around a marker, only to realize after a bit more researching that I could grab my handy dandy scissors and get the paper to curl just right on it's own!

So grab the end of your paper strip that the arrow is indicating, and pull it! Keep it taught against the blade of your open scissors and move fairly quickly, with just enough pressure as you go... you'll get the hang out of it fast!

Se how cute those curls turn out! They make me smile- I love cutesy curls like this!

Indeed, there will be mistakes and tears as you go with the paper curling- I ripped several along the way of pulling them. I also did have to go over all or part of most every strip twice or more- it's not a one time thing for the most part. But it's not hard at all and the result is pure fun!

Now with two of the same pattern strip curled, you'll need to attach them together to get enough length to make the wreath as full as it is. I used very small pieces of clear tape and lined the curls up so they would be fluid together. Once you see them, it will make sense :) Then add the tape to the edge of both sides- the smaller your piece of tape the better. Then I kinda fixed the curl again and moved on to the next step!

Take one of your wire segments and slide it down through the middle of your lengthened curl.
I like doing things in stages, so I did several at once:

Put a dab of hot glue on one end of your wire and
bring that same end of your curl up to adhere to it:

Next you'll put another dab of hot glue on the opposite end of the wire and tuck it into your wreath form like above. You'll want to make sure it's pretty snug. I did end up using this grapevine type wreath above instead of the lighter one from the "stuff" picture earlier, but got them both at Dollar Tree. As far as making this project, either one would work :)

So at this point your strand looks like this above- attached and one end, inserted in to the wreath form at the other, but still unfinished. Now take the other end of your curl and attach it to either the end of the wire at the point where it meets the wreath, or to the top of the wire more on the wreath form itself. This picture should clear that up:

See the difference? Some strands will work better laying on top and some will work better on the actual wire. I kinda layered my curls- they are on top of each other kinda, not much space inbetween, so that's why the different ways of attaching the end. :)

You'll probably notice that the strand wants to kinda wig out- like above. So now you'll take it and kinda reach between the segments of curl to bend it until it matches up. Don't stress this too much- more bending and fixing will happen in the end anyway.

And don't look too closely at the first several strands, either. It took me about a quarter of the way around my wreath form to decide that this project wasn't a total bust! The first several strands simply won't look right at all:

But as you go, it takes care of itself beautifully! See how at the stage above, I needed to spend some time bending the strands to look the best, a bit closer together, more curved, etc? Just a little bit of tweaking is all :) 

You'll just keep curling, taping, attaching and bending until you get around your whole wreath form. This project was spread across my table for four days- not something I got done in one sitting for sure! But it would be possible- pick a handful of events on your DVR and your set if that works for you too :) 

(Boys Life around here= in no way possible for me) ;)

Last thing, attach a section of ribbon (about 4-5 inches) to create a hanger for the wreath. I held mine up and turned it around to figured out where I wanted the top to be- the curvature of the wires and density of the curls kinda determine that for themselves. Also, you won't see the ribbon really at all. I picked some that was pretty opaque, but just know that it doesn't necessarily need to match or anything :)

Now hang it up and smile! In truth, this will not actually be residing on my front door, probably actually above my mantle. But the outside light was better than in my living room! If you want to hang yours outside, it might be wise to find a protective varnish spray to make sure your papers don't get ruined :)

Fav project I've done in awhile- I think I could've photographed this all afternoon... does it show??
Enjoy if you make your own- I'd love to see it!


I'll be sharing this project at these great blog's parties:
Tatertots and JelloLove of Family and HomeSugar Bee CraftsGinger Snap Crafts36th Avenue


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