Now that we live in a massive, meandering apartment complex with multiple wings and fire doors placed with a frequency optimal for hindering those attempting to lug overfull hampers to the laundry room, I’ve noticed a need for door decorations. Two needs, actually. First, there’s keeping up with the Joneses or the Smiths or whoever the heck lives next door. Many of our neighbours’ doors are decked out in Christmas wreaths and smiling reindeer, and despite the reindeer being rather tacky, it does at least show that those people are making a holiday effort. Until yesterday, our door looked woefully out of date, because I still hadn’t taken down the Remembrance Day poppy wreath since I didn’t have anything to replace it with.
Second, a nice cheerful, unique wreath helps you identify your own door in an endless row of doors that are all the same. Especially when you’re staggering home late at night in an exhausted stupor. (No, I wasn’t out drinking, but gosh I wish I had time for that. I was out singing “All we like sheep!” at the top of my choral lungs, because I am a nerd and I currently spend my evenings rehearsing the music of a long dead man.) Last night I dragged myself up the stairs after rehearsal and fumbled around for a moment trying to open my door, not realizing that it was not, in fact, my door, but the door of the person who lives a floor below us. So the wreath didn’t exactly keep me from shoving my keys into his door and probably creeping him out, but it did mean that when I stood back to figure out why my keys weren’t working, I suddenly noticed the lack of wreath and buggered off real fast before the occupant could peer out to discover just who the hell was trying to break in and steal his CDs, or whatever it is that people actually steal now that all music is basically digital.
Anyway, I finally did make it to my own door, and noticed all over again how our little wreath was entirely out of date. So I made a new, Christmassy wreath to replace it. It had to be quick though, because as noted I was at rehearsal until way late, and I had to leave time to get my iPhone Carcasonne fix in before bed.
So this wreath is designed to be simple, fast and use materials I had around in abundance. Like paper. So much paper! It would be a great easy project for kids, too. They can make a wreath for their door, and while they’re preoccupied you get fifteen minutes to throw some Kahlua in your coffee and wrap a couple more Christmas presents.
What you’ll need
- paper - in pretty colours and patterns and such, as well as a piece of black or dark coloured cardstock.
- white glue OR superglue OR hot glue gun
- those little pieces of double sided adhesive foam or plastic you get at the scrapbooking store (they allow you to make some layers of paper on cards pop up above the other layers, giving your project some three dimensionality) OR small scraps of fleece OR small scraps of cardboard
- small circle punches OR a variety of small round traceable objects (lids, bottlecaps, jam jars & empty pill bottles & other small containers, spools of thread, etc.)
- large round plate and a smaller plate OR large bowl and a smaller bowl - exact size depends on the size of your black cardstock. The outside round edge of the larger object must fit entirely onto that piece of paper.
Putting it all together:
1) Trace your large circular object onto your sheet of black (or other coloured) cardstock.
2) Center the second round object in the first, and trace it.
3) Cut out the large circle. Then cut the smaller circle out from inside it. You should now have a large paper ring.
4) Cut a bunch of circles of various small sizes from pretty paper, either using circle cutters/punches, or by tracing a bunch of small round objects.
5) Arrange the circles on the paper ring, messing around until you get an arrangement you like. You can go random, or you can make a pattern. I was planning to go random, but the size of the ring and the size of the circles I cut out seemed to lend themselves more effectively to a patterned arrangement. You want to layer a bit, so circles are overlapping here and there. Make sure that, in the end, all of the paper ring will be covered and invisible behind pretty paper circles.
6) Once you know what goes where, start gluing the circles in place. Do not glue the top layer of circles yet.
7) For the top layer of circles, you’ll use those little adhesive foam or plastic things to make them pop up from the surface of the wreath, giving it some depth.
Pro tip: if you don’t want to buy expensive scrapbooking store foamy things (and why would you, since they’re overpriced and I can’t even figure out what they’re properly called), you can easily substitute other materials. Little squares of fleece work well – just glue them down with white glue or superglue or a hot glue gun, then glue the circle on top of them. Small squares of corrugated cardboard are also great for this purpose. Just whatever you have around, really.
8) Glue or tape some ribbon to the back of the wreath at the top. You could also glue a pretty ribbon bow to the top.
9) Stare at the wreath long and hard, so that you recognize it and it will actually help you to find your home when staggering home long after your bedtime. Then hang it on your door!