Thursday, March 20, 2014

Crafty Thursday: Book Page Wreath

Let's make book wreaths with Kerry Hammond...

I love old books and am always trying to come up with new ways to repurpose them. This year I decided to attempt a Book Scroll Wreath project and they really turned out well. Here is how I made them.

Straw Wreath (12 or 14 inch worked best for me)
Burlap strips (you can buy it by the yard and cut it or pick up a precut roll)
Greening Pins
Tidy Pins (look like small greening pins)
Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
Exacto Knife or Razor Blade
Wooden Dowel the thickness you want your scrolls to be

You’ll notice that I don’t give quantities for most of the supplies. Unfortunately, there are a lot of variables that go into it. The larger the wreath form you use, the more burlap you will need, for example. Also, I am extremely OCD and used a lot of pins whereas others may not.

Step One: Burlap Prep
Cut burlap into strips that are about 2-3 inches wide and long enough to wrap around your wreath form with a slight overlap for gluing. Heat glue gun while you’re doing this.

Step Two: Burlap Wrapping, Gluing & Pinning
Wrap strips around wreath and glue each overlapping end. I also put glue underneath each long side of the strip as I was wrapping (I mentioned the OCD above). As you add each new strip, you want to overlap the side of the previous strip slightly so that you can’t see the straw through the cracks. 

I then used tidy pins to then pin each strip to its neighbor on the back of my wreath. Hot glue is great, but I didn’t want anything coming apart.

Step Three: Book Prep
Using an exacto knife or razor blade, cut pages out of the book you’re using. Try to get as close to the spine as you can because the type on the pages is centered and the white space on each side will look even if you can cut right to the edge of the spine.  The wreath pictured here used about 60 scrolls (which is a 120 page book since both sides are printed).

Step Four: Scrolls
Cut pieces of twine that you will use to tie up each rolled page, the length is up to you. I tried to roll my pages semi-tightly and use just enough twine to have a small piece on each end of the knot show.

Roll each page individually using your dowel (trust me on this, if you don’t use a dowel the pages will crease, especially if the book is old). With the page still on the dowel, put a strip of hot glue at the end to keep the roll tight, then slide off the dowel. Tie a piece of twine around each and tie in a knot. (Do this right away or your glue may come undone and then that scroll is wasted). Tie some in groups of 2 and 3 rather than 1. (Make at least 4 groups of 3 scrolls, you’ll see why below.) You will mix these all in together to fill our your wreath.

Step Five: Scroll Attachment
Slide either a tidy pin or a greening pin around the twine on your scroll (side opposite the knot) and then push the pin into the wreath. I attached the four 3 scroll bunches on the wreath at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock and 12 o’clock. Then I put the 2 scroll pieces on next and filled the spaces in with the 1 scrolls. Once they are all pinned on, you can turn and twist them the way you like them. The way to get the ones on top that look crooked, I used a greening pin through the twine on the outside scroll and then put the pin legs over the top of the scroll underneath (kind of straddling it). 

Once you attach all of your scrolls and primp them the way you like them, use your hot glue gun to glue them where they are loose (either to other scrolls or the wreath). Because the pins through the twine will be loose, you will need this step so the scrolls don’t shift. 

Now all you have to do is hang your absolutely fabulous wreath.