Create your own DIY paper leaf wreath perfect for Christmas decorations and winter weddings
We haven’t had much of a chance to get that Christmassy here at The Natural Wedding Company, but today we have a great DIY project to inspire you all to get into the festive spirit. The lovely Julie from Hollyhock Lane has put together this ‘how to’ guide on creating a simple wreath made from paper leaves – ideal for hanging in your home or equally nice to be incorporated into a winter wedding.
Over to Julie to tell you how to get crafting…
So it’s that time of year to adorn our houses with pretty ornaments and festive decorations and if you have even the smallest urge to make something, now is as good a time as any to get crafty.
Of course, if you’re getting married, then you probably have even more reasons to get those hands busy, so here’s a tutorial for a wintry wreath which can work as a Christmas decoration, but it’s not so obviously Christmassy that it could also work as an elegant wedding decoration. Think over the front of a church door or, perhaps, adorning a table or the back of an important chair or pew.
- Wreath base, mine was 30cm diameter (or you could make your own by winding together some hazel/willow twigs)
- Decorative fake berries
- Craft knife (not pictured)
- Cardboard cereal pack (not pictured)
- Super glue / hot glue gun / contact glue
- Acrylic paint – white and brown (I used raw umber for my brown)
Dismantle an old cereal packet so it’s flat, and paint it with the acrylic paint. I used white dabbed with a few blobs of raw umber (aka a grey/brown colour) which I blended all together so it had a bit more to it rather than just bright white, but really you can choose any colour you like. Paint it on thickly so it covers up the cardboard’s previous life and don’t worry too much about brush marks. In fact I’m all for them, as the more texture, the more interest it gives to the leaves. Leave to dry.
Using your scissors, cut out the leaves from your cardboard. Mine were averaging about 7cm long but cut some smaller and some bigger so you have a bit of a range, which again, adds extra interest. I didn’t bother to outline them first, I just cut freehand which gave me a nice range of natural leaf shapes.
Turn the leaves over to the unpainted side and gently score a shallow line down the middle of the leaf with your craft knife. Again, this doesn’t have to be exact so don’t feel the need to use a ruler unless you just prefer to for safety’s sake. You are basically making a groove so the leaf can gently fold without making a messy crease. Once you have scored your leaf back, fold it paint side inwards and it should bend pretty easily and hold itself in place neither returning flat nor completely folded, but just right, just as a leaf should be.
Glue the leaves onto the wreath. I used superglue although when I came to adding the berries, I wish I had got out my hot glue gun or perhaps tried contact glue instead, as I had to re-stick some of the leaves that snapped off with my clumsy fingers. You also need to be careful you don’t stick your fingers together/to the leaves.
After each application you need to hold the leaf in place until the glue has formed a bond. It can be a bit messy and a bit fiddly but it does work if you’re patient (maybe watch TV whilst you’re doing this bit otherwise it can be a bit laborious sitting there with your fingers stuck together holding things in place).
As you add the leaves, make sure you vary the angles that you apply them at, so as to give a nice shape to the wreath. Each side, I made my leaves fan upwards so they met at the top in a pleasing formation (I was kind of thinking Ceaser’s laurel wreath). You could also make them go all the way round in one direction like a classic Christmas wreath shape.
Glue or wire on the berries. This is when some of my leaves came unstuck, when I tried to wire the berries around and over the leaves. I do think you need to do the berries last, as they’re a bit of a finishing touch, but I did have to re-stick quite a few leaves that had fallen off in the process. That’s why I think some other glues like a hot glue gun, might have done a better job at keeping the leaves in place in the first place.
Stand back and admire your handiwork!
I think these wreaths look lovely, simple and plain (in a good way), and with the white leaves they add a bridal elegance that would be fitting for any wedding. Wreaths aren’t just for Christmas don’t you know!
Hollyhock Lane is a recommended supplier of The Natural Wedding Company. Based in West Sussex, Hollyhock Lane creates wedding stationery that is quirky and alternative, charming and beautiful, perhaps a little bit vintage and always lovely. Hand drawn invitations and stationery by artist and illustrator Julie Annis printed on 100% recycled card using vegetable based inks. Visit www.hollyhocklane.co.uk for more details or contact Julie at email@example.com.