Friday, December 24, 2010

Recycled Christmas: vintage paper wreath

This was originally posted on Julie Balzer's Holidays Handmade series

For the past few years my Mum and my Aunt have been taking in turns hosting our big family Christmas dinner. In all honesty, it's turning into a bit of friendly competition as they keep trying to outdo each other in the cooking/hosting/decorating stakes. It's currently at the point where my Mum had asked me and my sister to start thinking about ideas for a theme in March!!


Now it just so happened that I won a copy of GreenCraft magazine around about the same time and it was just so inspiring that I automatically came up with the idea of having a "Recycled Christmas" as our theme this year. And I've dutifully set about making some very simple decorative items for our party.

First up was a wreath for the door. I cheated a little bit when I decided the easiest way was to buy a foam base for my wreath! If you want to remain true to the idea of recycled/green products you could make your own from vines or something similar - but this was just way too hard and time consuming for me at this time of year :-)

So I painted my foam wreath with a gold acrylic spray-paint, not being aware that some chemical in the paint would eat away at the foam and leave a result like this swiss-cheese appearance. Oh well! It's going to get covered up anyway, but perhaps you might want to do it the old fashioned way if you want to avoid this :-)

I love my punches! I don't think a scrappy project goes by without me cracking out some Martha Stewart :-) So I punched about a million (or at least that's what it felt like!) shapes from vintage book pages and a brown paper bag that I got as packaging.

Then I went about layering up lots of different shapes and securing them with a pin in the centre. Each of these flowers has at least 10 layers, but I didn't bother counting each one, I simply just grabbed a couple from each stack of my punched shapes at random.

Next you want to scrunch up the layers of paper to give it a bit more texture. I also sprayed a few with Irridescent Gold Glimmermist, and sprinkled some glitter on others. It's quite a similar method as Julie uses in her tutorial on newspaper flowers which you can read here.

Since I used pins in the centre of flowers (instead of brads or buttons) I could then very easily stick them into my foam wreath to make a lovely arrangement. And if I wasn't happy with the placement, then it was all too easy to pull them out and try again.

Lastly, tie a great big bow around the top to give it a bit of pizazz!

As you can see the materials and colours I have chosen are fairly monotone, but that's because along with our theme of a Recycled Christmas we've chosen cream, kraft and gold as our colour-scheme. But there's nothing stopping you from using more traditional supplies like scrapbook paper in red and green, or try other materials like fabric or felt for example. Go wherever your imagination takes you!

Handmade by Suzanne is having 35% off everything in her Christmas section. That's a lot of products by a lot of brands. You definitely don't want to miss out on this one! If you're anything like me you're going to take a lot of photos tomorrow which will need scrapping! 

Have a very Merry Christmas tomorrow :-)


  1. Wow...the wreath is stunning!! Bookmarking for next year :) Have a great christmas!xx

  2. I have just found your blog via Shimelle. I love this wreath, absolutely gorgeous! I have tried painting foam before and it seems to always do that, not sure what you can use to prevent it, but as you say it is going to be covered anyway.

  3. I've enjoyed all of your recycled goodies- but this is my fave... :)
    And congrats to the little walker!

  4. oh my-I LOVE this!! It will be added to my project list for next Christmas(which I should probably start on next week as it is getting quite long)


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