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Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Page Leaf Wreath

I saw a gorgeous book page leaf wreath in another blog post several weeks ago and I just KNEW I had to make one for myself. I have a huge pile of vintage books from the nineteenth and early twenieth centuries. Yes, I read them long ago in case you are wondering! I felt a little guilty about cutting up books, but that feeling didn't last long.

I started out by downloading a template of a maple leaf off the internet. The link to this exact leaf can be found at http://www.lmsugarbush.com/festphotos/kidsarchives.html (you must scroll down to find the leaf). I wanted one that would be fairly easy to cut out and I think this one is just perfect.

I gathered up a few old books from my collection that were languishing in the basement and started looking for pages I wanted to use. The color of the pages varied from book to book, and I thought that the color variance would add interest and depth to the wreath. Here are two of the books I used:

I placed my template over the book pages and used a super-sharp Exacto knife to cut around the leaf template.

Depending on the thickness of the book pages, each cutting yielded about 3 to 4 leaves. It is very important to use care when cutting with an Exacto knife! One little slip could send you to the emergency room. Make sure you are cutting on a hard, stable surface with plenty of lighting. Depending on how many leaves you want to cut, you may want to change your blade frequently so that you end up with clean cuts.

Once my leaves were cut out (I think I cut out around 50), I used Distressing Ink in Tea Dye to distress the edges of the leaves.

I wiped a small dry sponge over the stamp pad and then lightly brushed the edges of each leaf until I achieved the effect I wanted. Here are some leaves after distressing:

For the wreath form, I used a Dollar Store willow wreath measuring 15 inches across.

I purchased burlap garland at Michael's for $3.99 for 10 yards. I snapped up a few packages because there are sooooo many uses for this versitile product!

I wrapped the Dollar Store willow wreath in the burlap garland. It only took about 2 or 2 and a half yards to wrap it.

I laid the leaves on the wreath to get an idea of how I wanted them to look then I started hot-gluing the leaves to the burlap wrapped wreath.

To add a little depth to the leaves, I used Zots to raise a few of them.

I stacked the Zots about 3 high because they decompress a bit when you stick them on.

I really like how the wreath turned out, though I may decide to add a bow or other embellishment later on. Here it is hanging on my front door.

Cost breakdown:

Books ($0) I had them for a long time
Willow Wreath form 15 inch diameter: $2.00 from the Dollar Store
Burlap Garland: $3.99 for 10 yards from Michael's
Distress Ink ($0) had on hand (you can also distress with a tea bag)
Zots glue dots ($0) had on hand
Hot glue ($0) had on hand



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