My first Craftster challenge! Lots of photos!
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I work in a library and constantly have to take books out of circulation because they have had their pages turned one too many times. Occasionally, this is a sad moment because the book is so beloved, but being read 40 or 50 or even 150 times is a great life for a book!
I like to take my favorites and give them a second life. Thus, book crafts! My favorites for this purpose are Harry Potter and The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I have plans for a Twi"light" lamp.
This is my second design for a book wreath, and my first experience crafting paper flowers and leaves. I used a couple of techniques for paper flowers from Martha Stewart Weddings: the peony and the carnation.
I'm including lots of photos so you can DIY! Please enjoy!
I started with a foam wreath mold, the kind you can actually squish flowers into. This was a mistake - super messy, and absorbed water so easily that it made gluing a hassle. Next time I will buy some pipe insulation from Home Depot and duct tape it into a wreath shape. You can use the firm foam or whatever you like, as long as it is porous enough to jab with wire later. My edges were too square, so I smoothed them down with my fingers.
I then acquired my favorite pages and blotted them with wet tea bags. I used Vanilla Bean Mighty Leaf tea (yum!), but any sort of black tea should work. Used tea bags work nicely. Used coffee grounds don't.
After the pages dried, I crinkled them up into balls and flattened them out again. Twice. This makes them sort of tough, really pretty, and a lot easier to manipulate later on.
I cut the pages into thin strips, maybe .5" wide, reserving a couple pages to become flower petals later.
I glued the strips to the wreath mold. I actually strategically placed the strips, taking into account what text would be showing on top versus what would be hidden, where my flowers would be going, and if neighboring strips were part of the same scene from the book. I had to use a combination for Aileen's and hot glue, because straight craft glue didn't work well with the foam. Once the "bottom" was covered, I could use craft glue for the entire "top" (display side) because it stuck to the other paper strips.
After covering the entire wreath, I went to work on the flowers. I made two peonies and a carnation, using directions from Martha Stewart Weddings. One of the peonies is made of book pages. You just use floral tape to stick your "petals" onto your wire "stem." I used crepe paper for the other flowers and the book cover (a lovely green) for the leaves.
After that, I just positioned the floral features, added craft glue to the bare ends of the wires, and jabbed them into place!
The finished product:
And a close-up on some of the excitement contained on the wreath. Sorry for the lack of focus. Hopefully you HP fans can make out some significant phrases: