DIY paper wreath

I have been dying to have a cute fall wreath, so I scoured Pinterest and every corner of the internet for ideas. Most of the ones I found, though, required buying something like a wreath form, flowers, felt, ribbon, etc. I didn’t feel like spending money on a seasonal wreath (and goodness knows, Andrew didn’t want me to, either!), so when I found this tutorial for a wreath made of folded paper strung onto a wire hanger, I decided to go for it.

She used pages out of an old dictionary, but since I didn’t have an old dictionary, I decided to use brown paper that I had recently received in a purchase from World Market. They shipped my purchase with a grotesque amount of paper, actually. Apparently they’re not on board with this whole “go green” thing. If they had just fluffed the paper instead of leaving it folded, they could have used a lot less, but boy am I glad. I needed so much more than I thought I would!

I was worried that mine wouldn’t look as dimensional as the one in the tutorial since her paper has writing and is naturally aged, so I thought I would try to make up for that by using a few different colors. There just happened to be two different shades of brown paper in the package, and then I added in some white paper, too. First, I shaped a wire hanger into a circle. Then I tore the paper into long strips. I wasn’t super picky about size, but just made sure to alternate using thick pieces and thin pieces.

Using one piece of white and one piece of brown paper, I folded the paper into thirds or fourths, poked a hole in the middle, and strung it onto the hanger. Be sure not to crease the edges of the paper when folding. They’ll condense enough on their own as you add more paper, and you want to maintain that soft, rounded look.

I tried to fold them randomly like she mentions in the tutorial. Sometimes the end result was square, sometimes it was more triangular.

I started by just trying to poke them onto the hanger, but since I was using thicker paper and usually had a minimum of 6 pieces to go through, I found that a hole bunch worked much better.

I have to be honest, though. I wasn’t expecting this little project to take as long as it did. I just kept adding strip after strip of paper, and the paper just kept condensing. I finally thought I had enough pieces (I had to push down pieces to add any more) so I twisted the ends of my hanger together and hung it on my front door with a ribbon.

The next day I went to look at it, and to my dismay there was a huge gap at the top! I was so frustrated! I had stuffed it soooo full, AND I was out of white paper anyway. I didn’t want to undo it and add more, because I had no more white to add and I didn’t want it to look uneven. I also didn’t really want to undo the clasp I’d made. That was hard work! So instead I took little pieces of brown paper, wrapped them around the wire, and stapled them into a circle. Then I pressed the paper around them so you couldn’t see them.

That helped add a little bulk, but it still wasn’t enough and I knew I could only add so many of those before they would be visible and change the look of the wreath. Next, I folded up brown paper into small pieces and stapled those to the existing pieces, being sure to staple through only one layer of each strip so they didn’t get too flat. At first it seemed like it wasn’t helping, but finally I got it to a point where the gap was closed. I added a few more the next day, too, just to be sure. I’m still having to keep an eye on it as it seems to condense all on it’s own over time, but for now there’s no gap. Hopefully it will stay that way!

I probably added 50 or more extra pieces, but thanks to the rough edges of the torn paper, you can’t tell at all!

I hung it with a satin purple ribbon (that I also had on hand). I think the wreath and ribbon really pop against the gray door.

And it looks oh so pretty with all the fall colors outside (which are already all over my yard just waiting to be bagged up!).

I’m really glad I decided to alternate using the light brown and the dark brown paper and that I added the white, too. It really keeps it from being one-dimensional.

Unfortunately, it gets a little squished by our storm door, but it looks pretty anyway. Can’t say the same for that awful doormat, though. It was there when we moved in and until this moment I haven’t thought much about it. Now I’m thinking I should go throw it away. Immediately.

But anyway, I just love my fall wreath! I think it’s very welcoming and definitely adds some much needed visual interest  to the front of the house. I love that I made it, but even more than that I love that it was 100% free!!


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