Quarantine Crafting with Mary S

Welcome back, everyone! I hope you’re all safe and well.

This week I chose to do another papercraft – a Paper Dahlia Wreath.

In the past, I had never really explored paper crafting but I really enjoyed the bookmarks last week and when I discovered this wreath online I thought it was so beautiful. The wreath looks more complicated than it actually is. The steps are very repetitive and since I was listening to The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card (a great fantasy read about mythological gods in present-day https://lclibs.overdrive.com/search?query=The%20Lost%20Gate) it became almost meditative once I got into a rhythm.  I hope you’ll find some inspiration and make a new décor item for your home – or a gift for a loved one you’re missing!

If you’re worried about destroying a book to use for this craft, you can also use basic colored paper or explore with other materials – just make sure you have enough to make a complete wreath. I used 101 cones for mine. The book I used was about 10 years old and had some water damage on the last few chapters making it unreadable. I was happy to recycle the pages and give them new life instead of leaving the book on my shelf feeling guilty for wanting to throw it away!

The materials you will need:

  • An old book/paper
  • Scissors/rotary cutter/paper cutter
  • Hot glue gun
  • Cardboard – I broke down a box from a delivery
  • Pencil/pen
  • Ruler and/or square ruler
  • String/tape – optional if you have to make your own compass
  • Paint – optional

There are many, many tutorials online for paper wreaths so I’ll just list my steps here. My finished wreath from point to point is just under 20 inches wide.

Step 1: Cut cardboard into a circle 12” in diameter. I did this by flattening a delivery box large enough and marking a middle point. From there I marked 6” to the left, right, above and below the middle point. I fashioned a compass using a pencil, string, and tape and drew a circle for me to cut. Once the 12” is cut out I recommend drawing another circle about 10” diameter. This will be the guide for where you will glue your first row of cones.

Step 2: Now it’s time to cut your squares. I cut mine with a rotary cutter and square ruler. This made it very easy to cut my squares to 4”. The majority of your squares should be this size with approximately 7-10 cut to 3” size for the very center of your flower. I was able to get two squares from each page by cutting the bottom corner and then turning the paper over and cutting the top corner.

Step 3:  OPTIONAL I decided I wanted a small pop of color in my wreath. I used clamps to secure my stack of paper as tightly as possible and used teal acrylic paint to color the edges of the paper. This gave just the right amount of color for my liking. If you do this, I suggest pulling the pages apart before the paint dries to avoid any tearing.

Step 4: This is by far the most time-consuming part of the process. You’ll want to gently pull up two opposite corners towards the center of the square and use your hot glue gun to glue them down where they overlap. Please be careful and don’t burn yourself! I found that the tiniest amount of glue on only one corner was enough to hold the cone together. You will not make a completely closed cone; the gap at the bottom point will end up being covered by other cones so it isn’t a big deal.

Don’t forget your small stack of 3” squares!

Step 5: Once you have all of your cones made (or most – I ended up going back to make more once I started gluing them to the cardboard as I underestimated how many I would need) you will now glue down your first row. I recommend gluing each cone about an inch apart from each other. This gives row two a nice gap to lay in when you glue them down. I only used a small dot of glue on the back of the lower point to glue it to the cardboard and it worked great! I did go back and put a small amount on the backs of a few cones to help them lay more flat if they started to turn over.

Step 6: Row 2! Glue row two the same way you glued row 1, letting them nestle into the gaps left between each cone from row 1. Continue this same process with rows 3 and 4. As you progress in the rows the cones will start standing up more vertically than horizontally. You can fold the points to help with gluing them at a severe angle to the cardboard.

*I used the 4” cones for row 5. I saw that most tutorials use 3” cones for this. To be honest, I was in the zone listening to my book and forgot to use the 3” cones but I actually like how row 5 sticks forward instead of the flower having a smoother gradation to the center. If you want a smoother look from the outside edge to the center of the flower.

Step 7: Glue down the 3” cones for the center rows and your dahlia is complete! I was able to hang mine with command strips onto my wall but you can also attach a ribbon to the back if you’d like.

Because I underestimated how many cones I needed and had to make more I had enough left over to make a smaller wreath for my kids’ bookshelf wall. I just glued the sides of the cones together until they formed a circle. I love the blue wall showing through the center!

I would love to see the wreaths you make and please share what book you listened to while working! Happy crafting!

The Library will begin curbside holds pickup on Monday, June 8. Hours for curbside: Mon & Tues, 1pm - 7pm; Wed, Thurs & Fri, 10am - 4pm; Sat, 10am - 2pm (July & Aug, 10am - 12:30pm).