Vintage Book Leaf Wreath

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If there is one thing I love, it’s getting ready for the holiday season.  I wanted to start by  making a wreath for the front door that wouldn’t be damaged by the opening and closing of the door.  Given my love of vintage paper, that seemed the logical choice for material.  I have several books with beautiful fraktur print which I bought with the idea of cutting up (though I still cringe a bit at the thought of cutting up books).  I comfort myself with the thought that this way the beautiful print will be viewed and enjoyed, rather that closed off on a dusty bookshelf somewhere…


So how to begin?  Rather than go through all of my machinations for deciding what stuff to use, I’ll just show you what I ended up with after some trial and error.  Some of the illustrations below will have items that got edited out of the final wreath so bear with me.  I started by gathering what I thought I would use.  For sure I needed a substrate of some sort.  I ended up getting a simple pressed-board wreath base (available at hobby stores for a couple of bucks).  You could probably use a heavy cardboard ring instead but I wanted more strength.


I have some wonderful dies from Tim Holtz that I’ve been wanting to try out.  I cut some from each before deciding on the Tattered Leaves die for most of the cuts.  This die has the added benefit of being able to cut heavier material.  I first glued book pages to chip board and trimmed those to fit through my die cut machine.  I also used the new Holiday Greens Thinlits, using the magnetic base to cut those.  The Thinlits will only cut paper though so I used a few for accent after the main leaves were glued down.  I covered the base ring with spray E6000 and my book page sheets.  Once dry I trimmed the paper and sanded the edges.  Then I painted the edges with cream colored acrylic paint so none of the press-board would show.

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After cutting what seemed a million leaves, I decided surely that was enough!  I inked the edges and added texture to some using the Textured Leaves embossing folder. I painted a few with accents of gold (acrylic paint).  Then I began to glue.  I started in the center bottom and worked up one side, stopping a bit before the hole at the top center.  Then, again starting from the bottom, I worked up the other side to the top.  It was kind of like roof shingles, over-lapping as you go up.  When all were glued I reviewed and added a few more where there seemed to be gaps.  I  also added a few of the Thinlit greens (which recall are just paper so I slipped them in here and there).

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Once I had everything glued down, I sprayed both front and back with a clear acrylic spray.  This is stinky stuff, do it in the garage or outside.  Let it dry well in between coats.  I did two coats.  After all was dry and done stinking, I applied a ribbon to the top.  Since I needed a way to hang it I made a loop in a length of 19 gauge wire and passed the straight ends through the top hole from the back (so the loop sticks out the back).  From the front I gathered the ribbon making two loops, leaving two dangle-y ends out each side.  I wrapped the wire around the ribbon to hold it tight, curling the ends of the wire so there was nothing pokey sticking out.  Then I took a smaller flat piece of the ribbon and wrapped it around the bow loops and the ring base, tying it off and securing with staples.

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Voila!  Now I have a wonderful wreath to carry me through the holiday season and beyond!

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Thanks for visiting!  I will be sharing more holiday decor soon!


Sharing with the following excellent link parties:

Craft Dictator – Craft Frenzy Fridays

The Crafted Sparrow – the Creative Collection

French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday

Mod Mix Monday at Mod Vintage Life



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One Response to Vintage Book Leaf Wreath

  1. JSelep says:

    The result is lovely. I also cringe at the thought of books being cut up, it is kind of a conflict of loves, isn’t it?

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