Sunday, July 10, 2011

Book Page Wreaths!

I'm sure most of you have seen the book page wreaths that have been sweeping the internets for well over a year now. Probably longer. Perhaps many of you have already made one. There are several different versions. I think Lindsay's was the first. Her method is more of a ruffle, fold, and stick. It looks great, but wasn't quite what I was going for this time around.

Instead, I decided to try the one where you roll each book page into a cone. Something kind of halfway between this one by Miss Mustard Seed (whom I've met in real life, and she's very sweet)... and this one by Shabby Nest.

I made one a few months ago and my mom and sister have been eyeing it, so we decided this would be a good project for a ladies' craft night.

I was able to score a few free old books at my local library. They had a shelf of free books to take. One was over a hundred years old! The only other materials you need are cardboard, hot glue gun and hot glue sticks.

Let's get started! First, you will need to detach the book pages from the cover. For some books, you might just be able to get in there with your fingernails and start ripping, but we found a good old Exacto Knife to be the perfect tool.

 Just score the paper that attaches the cover to the binding and start pulling everything apart.

This part will feel like sin. But it's not, I promise. For one, this is not a book you are interested in reading. Also, you have already done a quick Google search to make sure this book is not some sort of rare edition that could pay off your mortgage or send you on a shopping spree at Pottery Barn. Nope, this book was cheap and/or free, and is worth less than ten bucks. Rip away...

Do whatever you must to detach the cover and spine from the book.

Eventually, you will end up with this.

Pretty cool, heh? This is now considered a decorative object in it's own right. Stack a few together, place upon mantle, and perhaps tie together with a bow or jute twine.

But, if you want to make a wreath, which is probably the reason you're still reading this tutorial, you now want to start ripping out the individual pages from your book.

Here is a step-by-step pictoral guide on how to tear pages from a book. If you are still confused, consult your nearest baby. Mine is especially adept at ripping pages from books.

Again, you will probably feel like you are sinning, but by now, it will feel kind of fun too. Just go with it.
Ripping can work well, if you get a pretty straight line and your pages aren't all wonky and go crazy. I love the look of a ripped edge, but my book was being very uncooperative, or "shamey" as I now say when something or someone does not do as I say. :)

So, if you have a "shamey" book as well, get out your Exacto Knife one more time, and start scoring along the edge of your pages.

Eventually, you will end up with a very pretty pile of individual pages from your book.

Now you can start rolling them into cones.

I like to start with the short end facing me.

Roll the short side up towards the long side.

See? Like this.

Now, before you finish rolling it the whole way, add a little hot glue on the "tail" piece.

Finish rolling, and you have a neat-o little book page cone!

Next, take a break with your loved ones, make soft pretzels, and eat them so fast you forget to take pictures until they're almost all gone. Like this.

Toss a little peek-a-boo in there, just to help you unwind.

Now that you are high on carbs and have a renewed sense of purpose, it's time to start gluing all the pages together to make your wreath. You'll need a large piece of cardboard cut into the shape of a wreath. When you glue the first few paper cones, I find it helpful to space them directly opposite each other. I think of them as pieces of a pie.

Now, start filling in the smaller spaces. For this first layer, I like to position my cones so that the narrow tips do not come the whole way to the edge of the hole inside my wreath. We'll cover that up later with another layer.

After a while, you should have something kind of like this.

When your first layer is done, it will look more or less like this.

Not very round... Apparently I was too tired to be able to make a nice round circle.

Maybe it will look better from another angle?

Nope. Oh well. Plunge ahead and hope for the best. If you are pickier than me, rip off the ones you don't like and add some new ones in their place.

Here are my happy accomplices at work.

When you get that first layer done, you'll then want to add at least one more layer of cones. On this layer, you need to bring the narrow tips of the cones into the center, covering up any cardboard still showing. Just add hot glue to the back of each cone and it will stick to the cones of the first layer behind it.

(It can be helpful to place a jar in the center of your wreath, to help keep the hole round as you add the paper cones.)

Taa-dah! Now you have this.

Like my shoes? I could not figure out how to keep my feet out of this shot.

Step back and take a good look at your wreath. If it looks a little thin, you can add a few extra cones here and there to help fill it out. You can even add another layer. If you do, just make sure to bring the tips of the cones into the center a good inch or so beyond the previous layer. This will help the wreath keep a nice wreath-like contour.

Here are our finished wreaths!

I love how each one turned out a little different based on what book we used and the tightness of how we rolled our pages. Don't they look great? And my favorite part- Pottery Barn style decor for the cost of a few glue sticks. Everything else was free!

Here's a few shots of the one I made a few months ago. It now hangs above the bed in our master bedroom.

Have you attempted this project before? Where did you hang your finished wreath?

I'm linking up to The Shabby Chic Cottage's Transformation Thursday!

The Shabby Nest



  1. These are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. love this--I made a similar wreath and get so many compliments from visitors on it. I would love it if you would share this at my linky party this week.

  3. Michele, thanks for letting me know about your link party. I will be sure to link this post to it!

  4. I love book wreaths! I haven't done one like this before and yours looks fabulous! I am definitely going to try this!

  5. Really like this variation - how fun to get together and make them!

  6. I absolutely adore book page wreaths- all of yours turned out so lovely!! Would love for you to come share this at Feathered Nest Friday at my blog sometime!

  7. Beautiful! I love how you hung one over the bed. I have been trying to figure out what to hang over my guest I know. :)

  8. Hi there~ Just stopping back by to say thanks so much for linking this up to Feathered Nest Friday!! Hope you will come link up again soon! :)

  9. Thanks Courtney! And thank you everyone else for all the lovely comments. :)

  10. Gorgeous!! I love vintage things in our home too!

  11. Looks chic and Shabby!

    come link it to my woot woot wednesday linky party!