I'll Be Broke for X-Mas Cardboard Wreath




Introduction: I'll Be Broke for X-Mas Cardboard Wreath

About: I tattoo, illustrate for a magazine called Razorcake, help raise a coupla kids, and make cool stuff outta junk. When we don't have the kids I enjoy drinking, and going to punk rock shows.

Trying to make the home more festive w/ zero bucks... You got this crap laying around.

I need to wash the windows.

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Step 1: You Need:

Cardboard (I used a combo of single ply and corrugated.)
Wire Coat Hanger
Scotch Tape
Hot Glue/ Gun
Green (or whatever color) Spray Paint
Assorted Acrylic Paints
10" of Craft Wire
Something to Make Ornaments Out Of

Polyurethane Varnish Premixed With Stain
Cut it Yourself (by adding a little stain to your clear polyurethane, dealers choice on color, to a coupla cups of varnish.)
Brush for Applying Varnish

Step 2: Step 1 Coat Hanger Into Circle

Bend coat hanger into ring, secure by twisting it to itself or with craft wire.

Step 3: Step 2 Cover Hanger

Wad the newspaper up. Begin taping paper to hanger making  balls in between wraps of scotch tape. Go around the whole hanger.

Add another layer of paper over the first paper layer this time evening out the shape of the wreath. Add layers until the ring looks uniform-ish.


Step 4: Step 3 Paint Cardboard and Cut Out Leaves

Paint some sheets of cardboard in a few colors that will look good together.
TIP: I just dump some paint directly on the cardboard and smear it around with a paper towel, it's easier that using a brush and more fun. I like to pretend I can afford a B.A. wood shop and I'm working with wood and stain... someday.

Cut out 2-4" leaves. They sure don't have to be perfect... there just have to be a bunch of them. I think I cut up like 2 medium sized boxes.

Use a complimentary color and cut out like 15 circles for holly berries.

Step 5: Step 5 Glue on Them LIttle Suckers On

Start hot gluing your leaves on to your paper wreath so the upward pointing end gets glued. Alternation in color is key.

Add another layer... and another... and another... etc.

Step 6: Step 5 Holly Clusters

Pretty self explanatory.  Glue a couple of different colored leaves together to create a little nest for your berries, kid.

The first time I made this I added a little shading to the bottom edge of each berry... shoulda done that for this one. Dang.

Make enough clusters to go around the wreath. Keeping in mind if you are going to use anything else for ornaments.

Step 7: Step 6 Glue Them Clusters Down

After you have got about around 5 layers of alternated color leaves on your wreath you want to finish it off with your holly clusters and anything else you can think of to glue to this sucker.

I took 3" button faces wrapped 'em in a little ribbon and... POOF! Ornaments.

Now find somewhere to hang it!

Step 8: Extra Credit...

I'm at the shop and I ran out of glue sticks but if I could finish this thing right now I would complete it  with a healthy application of polyurethane cut with something like a mahogany  wood stain.

A very effective way of making the colors richer, adding depth with the stain, making it shiny (man, I love making things shiny),  reinforcing the structural integrity of the piece, and just really classing up something you just made outta garbage.

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    5 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This would be too cute for use with a storm door with a few alterations to make it lay flat (er?).

    I'd make a wreath base with a cardboard cake circle (I'd spring for a new one because we have a gazillion fire ants and they are only about $4 for a package of 5 using a % off coupon at a chain hobby store). Cut the center out with a craft knife. Ok, to make this "free" use a big piece of cardboard! It won't matter if it's crooked because the "leaves" will cover it up. Spray paint the wreath base green, silver, etc.

    Then decorate the base with holly leaves cut from green patterned cardstock or wrapping paper glued to plain cardstock and berries cut from felt (or glitter scrapbook paper) as shown making some “pop-out” with foam tape squares (or if u have a TON of holly leaves from another project glue them on for added 3D). Add some red pom- poms for the berries!

    For the ornaments I’d cover circles of cardboard, canning jar lids, orange juice lids, etc. with decorative cupcake liners.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    very cool. ithe one i am making for my mom instead of painted cardboard i'm using a bunch of paint sample cards from lowe's paint section!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Your wreath looks very nice.

    I just hope it isn't the holiday season that puts you in financial straits. It shouldn't. The holidays were never meant to be about buying expensive gifts and ending up in debt. Remember, it is the thought that counts. I refuse to go in for all the hyper commercialism the holiday season has become. I find it detestable.

    I bet no one ever gave Jesus expensive gifts on his birthday. And it was his birthday! OK I suppose he got some OK stuff when he was born but how about all the years after that? I can hear it now, gee Mom a new loincloth, just what I wanted! Hey Dad what are you trying to tell me with this walking stick gift? Some new sandals to go along with it might be nice ...

    Bah Humbug.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Great looking wreath, I like your use of button faces.