This post is a quick tutorial on how to create a wreath base out of toilet paper rolls and simple paper flowers.
The hallways in our apartment complex may be windowless, but we are very aware of what season is upon us by simply walking past all our neighbors doors. Wreaths, flowers, holiday signage, what have you, the doors are always cleverly decorated. My toddler likes to stand and point at each one saying “ooo, pretty!” So, of course I had to make one for our door! And her reaction; “Oh wooow! I love it Mom!” <3
To make our autumn wreath, I crafted several dozen paper flowers and hot glued them onto a makeshift wreath base created with toilet paper rolls! Yes sure, you can get a wreath base for $1 at the dollar store. But with little miss having been toilet trained recently, she loves to breeze through that TP, so I had an abundance of rolls to work with.
Here’s your brief Art History 101. Paper flowers date back to when China began creating thinner sheets of paper about 2100 years ago. The papyrus created by Egyptians even longer before that was too thick to create flowers. As the paper hit the Silk Road, it spread slowly around the world as we all discovered each other, and the paper flowers were a hit. Victorian women who stayed busy with crafting, would take apart real flowers, trace the parts onto paper, and create paper flowers with glue and wire from those pieces.
The flowers for this wreath are not as complicated or intricate. I used a simple spiral technique to whip out about 100 flowers in less than 2 hours. I used the same technique to create my wedding bouquet and wedding table centerpieces!
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Paper (any kind! Card stock, newspaper, construction, music sheets, etc)
- Toilet paper rolls
- Extra cardboard
- Hot glue gun and glue gun sticks
- A pen, pencil, or stick like thingamajig
- Optional: Extra ornamental bits
Step 1: Create the Wreath Base
Lay out your toilet paper rolls and stuff them slightly into one another, creating a circle. I used 10 rolls total, and once the flowers were glued on, it reached about 16 inches in diameter.
Once they are laid out in a nice circle, hot glue bits of cardboard and fasten the rolls to each other, as pictured above. For the cardboard, I used a flap from a cereal box that was in my recycling container. I cut it into strips and adhered them all around the wreath base.
TIP: If you want some extra reassurance on the durability of this, before you glue the rolls together, string some yarn through all the rolls and tie the ends together.
Next, take about 3 inches of yarn, make a loop, and hot glue the loop to the backside of one the rolls. This will be used to hang your completed wreath on a door or wall.
STEP 2: Make the paper flowers
You can make paper flowers out of any pliable types of paper, like books, construction paper, music sheets, comic books. For this wreath, I used card stock in typical harvest shades, as well as some fun scrapbook paper that resembled aged leather and rustic wood.
First, fire up that glue gun!
Next, cut the paper down to a square(s). So, for a standard size piece of paper, you can get 1 large square and 3 small squares, or 4 medium squares and 3 small squares, etc.
I round off the squares by cutting the points off, then just cut a spiral all the way to the middle, leaving a small circle of a base.
Then take a pen, and starting from the outermost point, wrap the spiral around the pen until you get to the circle base. Hold the spiraled paper, pull the pen out, and hot glue the bottom of the spiraled paper. Then press that into the circle base.
Check out this video for the complete visual on how to do this!
Do that a bunch more times until you have a nice amount and variety of flowers to work with.
Step 3: Glue flowers onto wreath base
This, in my opinion, is the fun part. Where it all comes together! Hot glue your paper flowers directly onto the toilet paper rolls until it’s full.
I also made little leaves with green card stock, folding them in half to create a little crease.
I also added little orange glitter balls to some of the flowers to add more fun elements to the wreath. They were on sale at the craft store, so whoop whoop.
Hot glue dries pretty fast, so this thing was ready to hang on the door as soon as the last flower was pressed on!
All in all, this took about 3 hours to make for less than $10 using up-cycled materials.
Even more truth though- that 3 hours for me was spread out across 2 weeks because my toddler is in clinging mode. I could only work on this when she was napping, and then other life things got in the way. But that’s how I roll!