Each year my list of Christmas gift recipients grows.  I love adding new friends and loved ones to my list, but my bank account does not.  Holiday shopping can feel like a cross between the spin cycle on the washing machine and a pressure cooker.  You are bounced around the stores and squeezed in the aisles until it isn’t fun anymore.  DIY projects are becoming more attractive each season to alleviate the strain both personally and financially.  I saw a version of the paper wreath at a high end home decorating boutique.  It was versatile both for holiday and year round use. The price tag was ridiculous, so I decided to make it for $4-$6.

 
 
It is very simple to make and takes about an hour or so.  You’ll need a couple of old books – maybe old text books, one Styrofoam ring from a craft store, one tube of glue, and a box of pins.  The size ring is up to you depending on the size wreath you’d like to make.  My ring cost $3.  I had the craft glue at home, it costs about $2 from a discount or craft store.  The books were free.  The box of pins costs less than $1, again from a discount or craft store.  Your investment will be less than $6.  Mine was $3.
 
                                           
First tear pages from the books.  Roll one page at a time into a loose cone shape.  
 
                                           
 
The wreath is not meant to be perfect, so make all different sizes and widths of cones.  
 
                                           
 
Mash down the small end completely flat with your fingers.
 
                                           
 
Apply a quarter size dab of glue to the cone and inch or so from the end of the paper.
 
                                           
 
Allowing a bit of the edge of the paper to hang over the inside edge of the Styrofoam ring, affix the glue edge to the ring.  I add extra reinforcement with two craft pins.  It just makes the bond stronger and you can keep working without the glue being completely dry.
 
                                           
 
Repeat this process 1000 times.  I’m just joking, but it may feel like it.  Closely place each new paper cone around the edge of the ring, overlapping each piece just a little.
 
                                           
 
Keep going until the wreath starts to take shape on the ring.  You will want to gently press the paper down because it starts getting full quickly.
 
                                           
 
Once you have completed the first layer, again press the paper down lightly.  It will look like this.
 
                                           
 
Now you are ready for your second layer.  Repeat the exact same process as above.  With each layer, trim 1/2 to 1 inch of the length of the paper so the cones get shorter as you reach the center layer.  
 
                                            
Remember to gently mash down the layers as you go.  It will get tricky to reach the center of the wreath to affix the paper edge if you don’t.  You can fluff the layers once they are completed.  
 
                                           
 
The wreath will quickly take shape.
 
                                           
 
Once you have completed all the layers your wreath will look like this.
 
                                           
 
I added some miscellaneous paper curls throughout the wreath for fullness and more texture.  Mashing down the entire wreath to make it look less perfect is a good idea if you want that particular look.  You may trim any stray edges or paper that are too long for symmetry.  I sprayed the entire wreath heavily with Lysol spray and left it in the sun for the afternoon.  My old books smelled like mold so I used disinfectant.  Much to my delight, the spray turned the pages a deeper caramel/yellow color which was perfect for the room where I hang my wreath.  It was a great surprise.  The wreath gets lots of compliments and no one knows how easy and inexpensive it is to make.  Good Luck!  
 

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