Saturday, October 29, 2011

Christmas Printables: Free Paper Wreath Template and Tutorial

Please scroll down and click the "Holiday Wreath Template" link further down on the page to download the free printable paper wreath template. You will also find complete instructions for how to make a wreath on this page.

When I was brainstorming about what I wanted to create in the way of Christmas printables this year, for some reason shabby chic came to mind. Probably because I knew it would provide a beautiful soft look that isn't the normal red and green usually associate with Christmas. not that there's anything wrong with that, but I though it might be nice to have an alternative wreath design that could be used regardless of what holiday you celebrate. This wreath is really more about winter than Christmas. I hope that a wide variety of people will enjoy adding this to their holiday decorations!

The shabby part of the wreath is that the leaves are made of a burlap-looking design with simulated stitching. The chic comes in because it's dusted with iridescent clear glitter, rhinestones and simulated pearls.

In spite of being complex-looking, this holiday paper wreath is actually pretty easy to make -- as long as you like spending time doing some precision cutting. I happen to like that kind of thing, so I had a blast making this. If you like that type of thing, just download the wreath components and follow my tutorial below. I think you'll have fun with it too.

Download the shabby chic wreath template by clicking the link below:

Click the "holiday-wreath.net" link and then click the "Download" button that will appear on the subsequent page. Disregard if it reads "Preview not supported." 

How to make the paper wreath:

Supplies:
Prep: Download the Christmas printables template components to your hard drive by clicking the link above. You'll need an unzipping program to access them. If you don't have WinZip or something similar, you can download 7-Zip free from CNET.

You might want to save the tutorial graphic to the right on your hard drive or print it. It has numbered illustrations that correlate with the Christmas wreath instructions below. To see the largest version of the image, click on the graphic and then click on the "Show original" link to the left. You'll then see a magnifying glass icon over the image. If you click that, you'll see the largest version. (My apologies if you're reading this in the future and those instructions no longer apply. I have no control over how BlogSpot displays images.)

1. Using the heaviest card stock your printer will allow, print one copy of the page with the wreath ring, four copies of the page with the leaves and one copy of the page with the holly. You'll have extra small leaf clusters, but having the extra will allow you to choose whether you want to use all the subtle shades provided or just one or two. You'll also have a lot of extra holly images, but if you want to make the cupcake toppers and holiday gift bags I'll be posting soon, you can set them aside and save them for later.

Once everything is printed, use a small pair of sharp scissors to cut around the thin gray line outlining each piece. I actually used an ancient pair of curved manicure scissors that I inherited from my mother and they worked great.

2. You don't have to embellish the wreath, but if you don't IMHO the "chic" part of shabby chic will go out the window. You can use whatever color of embellishments you like, but I stuck to very subtle colors. To achieve the frosty snow look, I used white iridescent glitter glue over which I sprinkled iridescent glitter. I used them on just one edge of each leaf, so the glitter wouldn't look too overdone. I also used pearl embellishments and clear rhinestones that already had the adhesive applied. For now, just apply the pearls (or rhinestones, if you choose) on the holly leaves, placing three of them in the area on each where there are three berries. We'll get to the rest of the embellishments later.

3. Lay the green wreath ring on a flat surface and arrange the cut-out leaves on it. You can arrange them however you want, but I found it worked best when the leaf stems were aligned like they are in #3 of the tutorial photos. Please be aware that there are two subtle shades of green. I suggest alternating them to give the wreath a variegated look.

Before you move on to the next step, be sure all the leaves are in place and look evenly distributed.

4. Remove one leaf and turn it over, being careful not to disturb the rest of the leaves. Use a glue stick (I don't recommend regular glue for this project, because it will cause warping) and coat the section to the leaf that will be adhered to the ring. You only need a little adhesive; don't overdo it.

Hover the leaf over the position where you want it and carefully put it in place, because glue stick glue dries fairly quickly. Repeat this with all the leaves.

5. Cut mounting tabs to fit the back of the small leaf clusters, as shown in photo #5 in the tutorial graphic. Note that the bottom of the stem in the photo doesn't have a mounting tab on it. That's because we want the stem to lie flat and the leaves to be slightly elevated. Set these aside once you've added the tabs to all of them.

6. Before you attach the small leaf clusters, it's time to add the embellishments. As you can see in photo #6, I randomly placed rhinestones and pearls, using two or three per leaf. You can add more or less if you prefer.

7. Remove the mounting tab backings on the small leaf clusters and then attach them, in relatively the same positions shown in photo #7. Using the glue stick to affix the end of the stems where there aren't any mounting tabs.

8. Add the mounting tabs to the holly leaves, as shown in photo #8.

9. Attach the holly in relatively the same positions shown in photo #9 by removing the mounting tab backings and sticking them in place. This is the same process as step #7, but you don't need a glue stick for the holly.

Hanging your shabby chic wreath: Thanks to Command picture-hanging strips, you can actually Velcro your wreath to the wall. Just follow the package directions; they work perfectly. These little gems are like magic, especially when it comes to hanging holiday decorations and Christmas wreaths. I actually use them all over my house for a variety of tasks.

My shabby chic Christmas wreath is currently hanging over my mantelpiece (with Velcro, of course), but I intend to have it framed once the holidays are over. I think the design is so beautiful (if I do say so myself!) that it would lend itself well to being framed.

I hope you enjoy making this shabby chic Christmas wreath and come back to see my other Christmas printables. Please remember that all the downloads on this blog are for personal use only.

Credits: Thanks to Cajoline of Cajoline-Scrap.Blogspot.com for the striped pattern used in the holly and to Gunhild Storeide for the stitches used on the leaves. Thanks also to KingsThings of KingThingsFonts.co.uk for the embroidery font. 
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You might also be interested in this paper Christmas tree template or this tutorial for creating Christmas decorations out of recycled Christmas cards. 

6 comments:

  1. Lovely. Thank you!

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  2. You're welcome. I hope you enjoy making the wreath. :-)

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  3. I've always wondered how these things are made and I'm glad to see you can do them yourself without having to buy them. That was unexpected...

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  4. It looks like a ton of fun to create one of these! I'll have to follow your instructions soon and make my own Christmas decoration.

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  5. Perfect timing for Christmas! I can't wait to make these with my daughter! Yes, I need HER to help ME, lol!

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  6. So pretty!! When I looked at it, the first thing that came to my mind was it being used for a winter wedding. :-)

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I welcome your comments!