Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Reader's Wreath Tutorial

Mr. Wilson recently displayed more of his manly skills around the house by putting up book shelves in our room ...

I was inspired by some of the antique books we placed on the shelves to create this Reader's Wreath.
(I will include the timings for you ... all timings combined added up to approximately 1 hour and 12 minutes)

(don't laugh at my Dr.Phil book on the shelf's a good one!)

- Pages from an antique book

(I used the pages I cut out and saved from THIS tutorial)
- a foam wreath form (I used a 10 inch form)
- paper cutter
(not necessary, but will cut down significantly on your time!)
- scissors
- hot glue
- satin ribbon
I started out cutting my pages into3x3 inch squares. I cannot tell you how many pages I cut, but this was half my pile ... I can estimate that it was close to 300 pages.
(I used approximately 5 min to cut the squares)

Then, I rounded off the edges of the squares.
I think I grabbed 10-12 pages at a time on average to get the job done as quickly as possible.

My rounded edges didn't turn into perfect circles, but it doesn't matter ... you won't be able to tell in the end.
(I used approximately 7 minutes and 30 seconds to round off all the edges)
(as I'm sure you can tell, I used the pages from an antique cook book for this project - click HERE to see what I did with the rest of that book)

Now you should have a pile that resembles this ... except I took this picture half way through the cutting process - my final pile was twice this size
Now let's get to the folding.
You are going to fold your circles in half and just squeeze the center of that fold with you fingers ...
no need to make sure that fold is tight and secure all the way across.
That's where I squeezed my fold.
Then, fold it in half again and squeeze right in the center just like you did the first time.
On the first layer of folded circles you are going to have to put a little dot of glue on the inside of that second fold ... like this:
Now, fold that semi-circle in half again (your second fold) and put a dot of glue on the bottom of that pointed edge to secure it to the wreath.
Then start gluing them right across the top of the wreath ... like this:
I glued them so that the open end faced to my left and overlapped them about 1/2 inch at the most. 
I'm right handed so gluing them down that way felt better to me.
You can make the call there.
One thing is for sure: make sure you follow the circular shape of the wreath as you go around.
It should look a little like this when you've made your way around the top of the wreath form.
Your pieces won't lay flat right now, but no worries ...
we'll take care of that when we add the other layers!
Now onto the second layer ... no need to put any glue on the inside of your fold, I only put a dab of glue on the outside of the pointed corner and then slipped it in between two pieces from the top layer
Then, pressed down on the glue to make sure the new piece was secure.
Continue all the way around the outside.
Then do the same on the inside.
(you see that band-aid? I almost cut off the tip of my finger with my paper cutter during this project! Believe me ... I had to stop my timer for a while to recuperate!)
Tuck it in there between the layers ... if you do it right, they will all start to hold each other down.
don't forget to press them down firmly
You might find that there will be some holes after three layers ... I did.
What did I do? I just added more.
One more layer on the inside and one more on the outside.
5 layers in all using the same technique all the way around.

My goal was to make sure I couldn't see any green foam from any angle. It looked much better after that!
Once I was happy with the front, I turned it around, put a line of glue along those pieces that stuck out a little and pressed them down in the back .... like this:
(I used 58 minutes to fold and glue all 5 layers)
Then, I added an ivory satin ribbon ... and BAM!
My finished Reader's Wreath

(2 more minutes for the ribbon)

Perfect for my little reading nook in my new bedroom!
(12 minutes and 30 second of prep work + 58 minutes of folding and gluing + 2 minutes of bowing)
hah! I know 'bowing' isn't a word ... just seeing if you are paying attention.

I don't know ... I think I'm obsessed with little thing right now.
What do you say?!?!


Nebuchudnessar said...

gorgeous, I must make this!

Christina said...

So cute!!!

❀ⒹⒺⒺ❀ said...

I love your gorgeous wreath.


Lindsay said...

LOOOOOOVE IIIIT (i'm singing it. can you hear me?) :-)

Paige (Final Clothes-Out) said...

Saw this on Not Just A Housewife and I had to come say hello. I love book-ish crafts, and this is one of my favorites. Great work!

Confessions of a Stay at Home Mommy said...

I love this!! I would love it if you would link up to my Tuesday Confessional link party going on now: I hope to see you soon!

Ginger said...

Great tutorial. Loved all the pictures. The wreath is amazing! :) Following from Not Just a Housewife. Would love to have you link this up to my {wow me} wednesday link party going on right now over on my blog. The most view link will receive a set of fancy rectangle chalkboard labels from my etsy shop. Hope to see you there.


V said...

What a great look! I love it!

Michelle@Somedaycrafts said...

What an awesome wreath to have! I'd love that in a library! I am featuring this at

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Visiting via Someday Crafts. Your wreath is beautiful. From the photo I would have never known how you created it. Great project.

ddmayf said...

Books are the bomb, whether for reading or for crafting or both. LOVE your wreath! Is there a way to get your posts by email ?

Heather said...

Heather! It's been a LONG time, like since freshman year of college long time! I saw your gorgeous wreath on Someday Crafts, and clicked over. Delighted to see a familiar face on the header! Had fun looking around....your boys are sure cute! :)

Dominique B. said...

I think you did a wonderful job! I just bought some old books, so I should give this a try!

Thanks for sharing!

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