Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Book-Page Wreath of My Own

I decided to undertake the book-page wreath project I found on Jones Design Company Blog. It seemed pretty easy, inexpensive, and I was itching for something other than painting furniture. Also, my walls could definitely use some interesting additions. Between Emily's tutorial on Jones Design Company and this tutorial, I think I did pretty well:

What do you think?

Let me tell you, there are many, many more rolled pages there than it seems. So my disclaimer for this project is: It is very, very time consuming. With that said, it's super fun to watch it take shape and definitely makes me proud.

Here's how I did it.

(It would be helpful to check out the tutorials listed above as well.)


1.) A book. Preferably one that the literary community would not be offended by you ripping up. A grocery store romance novel, perhaps? It needs to be a thick one though, with LOTS of pages.

2.) A hot glue gun, a LOTS of glue sticks.

3.) Acrylic paint. This is optional, you'll see why below.

4.) A foam wreath. I couldn't find a 10" wreath, so I used a 12".

I started off with my Classics of the Renaissance Theater: Seven English Plays book. I bought it at a book store across from my office on the clearance rack for $1.

I used brown and gray acrylic paint, and spread a thin layer on the edges of the book.

This gives the paper rolls a bit more depth. I'm really glad I did this step when I see the finished project, and I think the next one I make will have some very exciting orange? We'll see.

Let the paint dry, then rip out the pages. I ripped out about 50 at a time. I didn't want to tear up the whole book for this project and then end up having loose pages to store.

I started with just plain paper roll ups. Some thin, some bigger, etc. At the beginning you're only doing the bottom layer so I saved the more creative folding for later.

You can see the painted edges a bit here.

Piles and piles of paper rolls. 

I started counting them after awhile. Doing chunks of 50 at a time, 10 tight rolls, 10 loose rolls, 10 crazy folds, etc. etc. Somehow the counting pleased me and seemed less tedious.

For the first layer, you want to glue the rolls on as shown below:

This will be the back of the wreath, so flip it over to continue.

I had started stacking the first layer (on top of that back layer) at this point. Sorry, I was watching TV and forgot that I should be documenting for this.

As you can see in the last picture, once you flip over the wreath and start building on the back layer, you want to fold a little tab at the bottom of each roll. Then, put the glue on the bottom of each tab and start layering. You want the rolls to sit on top of each other with the tabs facing up (see picture above).

Continue doing this, around and around and around. Somewhere during my second layer I panicked because I couldn't tell where I was on the ring. Did I do the second row here? Or was I here? Ah! But then you realize it really doesn't matter. Try to continue around as evenly as possible and you'll be fine. After the first few hours, I quit for the night.

Here is what I had the next morning.


Looks like it's almost done, right? Wrong. It took another 2 hours. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't annoyed, just ready to see my wreath! See that one right in the middle that isn't a roll? You will want to make lots of those ones too. They add to the fluffiness, and at the end, I actually needed them.

Here's how I made the snake-pages. Lay your book page flat, horizontally. You want the rough edge that was ripped closest to you. Put a straight line of glue horizontally, right above the ripped edge. Then you want to do an accordion-ish fold, but WITHOUT creasing the page. If you crease the rolls you will get a completely different look at the end. Use the glue at the bottom to hold everything together as you go. Then you'll have...well, geeez let me just go make some pictures. This is hard to explain.

Okay, I'm back. See below.

It's hard to focus a manual camera and fold paper, sorry.

I was clearly using US Weekly to cover the floor. There's upside-down Ali from the Bachelorette.

It should look something like this, but it doesn't have to be perfect.
Notice, again, that it isn't creased.

There will be a fold in the middle that didn't get any glue..

So fill it in, and viola! 

As I said before, these types of roll ups were crucial for me at the end. I was getting a little worried when I kept adding more and more and it was hardly covering the styrofoam. But I kept going and eventually the rolls started to collapse on themselves, into the middle. I did one more ring (the innermost one) and used only the "snake" roll-ups. See below.

I drew on this picture so you could find them a little easier.

See what I mean? They just kind of got so crammed and then caved in to cover the wreath. It was pretty hard to get in there after awhile, but try to avoid bending all of the pages. I would put one in place then stick a pen down there to push it further and make sure the glue could set.

I don't know how many roll-ups I used, but look at how thick this thing is!

I absolutely LOVE it. It was worth every burn on my fingers.

What do you think?
I've shared this project on Jones Design Company!



Blake said...

Fabulous! And I fully sympathize with the hot-glue burns, having sustained hundreds of those myself. Hooray for weekend projects!

M and C said...

I love this. I was thinking of making a fall wreath with fallen leaves from Izzy's walks. I think you've just convinced me I should do that. :)

Robin said...

This is one of the most beautiful of the book page wreaths I've seen! Thanks for showing your steps so well!