An Autumn Wreath

This is one of those “3-D” kinds of paper projects that allows me to enjoy the overlap between the various crafts I love so much. My crafting life began when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, watching my granny embroider, and I guess I’ve dabbled in most of the fabric crafts to some extent. One of my fave things to create with printed fabrics was wreaths. I’ve been making wreaths of one kind or another for many, many years. And I’ve actually made one from paper before–but that was back in the 80’s when there was a “paper-twist” craze. I’d buy hanks and rolls of different colors of paper, all twist-ied up into what ended up being a strong cord-like strand. You could use it like that…or untwist it and cut it into shapes….I’ve got an old photo of one I made somewhere around here still.

Now, however, SU’s dies offer me another way to work with fabric or paper to create a one of a kind wreathly work of art. I used a retired SU Bigz Die to cut out each of the leaves on this wreath, using a mixture of DSP and cardstock from the SU collections.  For THIS wreath, I went green. Nope, not too much green ink or paper…just some serious recycling going on here…and using up some old paper stash.

The base of this wreath is made from the packaging material included in shipments from Stampin’ Up!…it’s a long coil of kraft-colored paper that’s both strong and pliable….and it’s an excellent source of great up-cycling opportunities.  I took the packing and opened it out flat, cut it vertically into three really LONG strips (my wreath is about 24-inches in diameter), and then folded each strip vertically….and then braided it. I took apart a wire clothes hanger and wove it through the braided paper and twisted it all into a circular shape. While time consuming, it was super easy to make a completely FREE wreath form/base to work with. And it was already in the neutral color I wanted for my base.

I cut maybe 250 million leaves with my Bigz Die.  Well, that may be a slight exaggeration–but I cut a LOT. There were four different leaf shapes to work with, and I WORKED a lot on them, too. I sponged the edges of every single leaf with a similar or deeper color, and then I put “veins” on each leaf with my bone folder. And then I folded each leaf up and curved them and shaped them a bit with the bone folder too. This gave them a bit more “movement”.

Then I took my trusty glue gun, and randomly glued these lovely leaves all around my wreath base.

This wreath took a lot of time to create, but it was a project that I was able to work on “in stages”, as I sat watching tv or relaxing. The interim wreath result with the leaves attached looked like the photo to the left (here with a couple other projects I was working on at the time.)  At this point, I had also made a paper bow using some more of the packaging material. But I knew I wasn’t quite done with this … and I knew I wanted to do some more upcycling.

Which led me to making a bunch of flowers, using my Blossom punch. I punched a bajillion individual flowers with my punch, sponged all the edges in various colors already used on the leaves on the wreath, and then assembled five or six layers together, scrunched up all nicely, and held together with a brad in the center. Each of these “dried flowers” was then glued randomly around the wreath, to give it more fullness.

To finish off this many-layered creation, pictured at the top of this post, I added some lengths of SU ribbon and some tulle–again randomly glued around the wreath, among the leaves. I also added some ribbon and tulle lengths to my original bow, which I had already split into thinner strips to make the overall bow more in proportion with the rest of the wreath.

Since this IS a paper creation, it hangs on my front door inside a storm door, out of the way of any rain that might threaten it, but it’s glued together so well, it’d take a hurricane-strength wind to tear it apart!   By the way, although I used retired SU product on THIS wreath, the current SU Holiday catalog includes a brand NEW Bigz Die–Autumn Accents–that has four lovely leaf shapes AND a cute little acorn. I intend to make another one of these with the new die and lovely new autumn-patterned papers very soon!

Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today! –Terri

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