A good part of my posts over the last two weeks have focused on recycling your old Christmas Cards into decorations for the home (Christmas Card Door Hanger, Pyramidal Christmas Trees, Woven Ornaments, 20-sided Sphere Ornaments, Christmas Card Mosaic). So, my wife, Dixie, suggested a Christmas Card Wreath. Later on, she said that she imagined using a grapevine wreath as a base, but what came into my imagination was a wreath made entirely out of Christmas cards. I thought the biggest problem would be that Christmas cards are naturally two-dimensional, and I couldn’t imagine a two-dimensional wreath looking very festive. So that became the hurdle and here is the result:
You’ll need quite a few Christmas Cards of varying sizes to complete this project, as well as glue, cutting implements, a whole punch and various spacers (to give it that three dimensional feel). I decided to recycle the piece of illustration board I accidentally ‘curled’ with paint last week as a base (it had been intended for the Christmas Card Mosaic project, but I ended up using something else). To begin with I trimmed it into a square and cut a sizeable circle in the middle with a circle cutter.
Next, I lopped off the corners to give it a ’stop sign’ shape. It is all going to be covered up, so it doesn’t need to be a perfect circle.
I glued some strips of the excess board to the back to take the curl permanently out of the board . . .
. . . and then punched a whole in the top end for hanging it when the project was finished. You can hang it with other means if you wish, there are picture hanging tabs for light-weight projects like this that peel-and-stick on to paper, etc. I chose the simplest hanging mechanism.
Now comes the first layer of cards. This is a good place for cards you are NOT crazy about. Later on, only the corners of these cards will be showing. I used regular Elmer’s glue, spread around thinly with my finger, to attach the cards and for all the rest of the glueing. If you are concerned with longevity, you may want to look into more permanent adhesives. However, I used a LOT of glue in this project, so maybe it will hold together fine. Time will tell.
The second layer of cards should be again, ones you are not crazy about. Some of the cards tend to curl when you apply the glue; just put a heavy book on them for a moment and that will take care of that.
For the next layer of cards, I wanted to start building up a more three-dimensional feel, so I broke out some wooden shapes I picked up at a garage sale. The shape doesn’t matter, so use anything you have. I could have used card board, but these were handy.
Hearts aren’t my thing, so I used them first:
The first layer on spacers:
This next layer is the final, complete Christmas card layer. You’ll want to reserve some smaller cards for this layer. This is a good place to showcase handmade Christmas cards and cards with 3-D elements, like the hanging mittons card shown here:
The above cards were put in a ring, closing the center whole a little. To add a finishing touch, I now added some cut-outs from cards. These were placed on little wooden spools (I got them at a garage sale, but they’re available at craft stores - anything with some real depth, that you can ‘hide’ under the cut-outs, will work). I used variously sized circle and square cut-outs as well as a couple of irregular shapes.
That completes this Christmas Card Wreath. All in all, it was a simpler project that the mosaic I made last week. A few hours and I think it really hits the ‘festive’ spot.
This is a continuation of yesterday’s post on making a paper mosaic from leftover Christmas card pieces, which you’ll have plenty of once you’ve done some of the other Christmas card projects on Old Father Christmas (Christmas Card Door Hanger, Pyramidal Christmas Trees, Woven Ornaments, 20-sided Sphere Ornaments). Yesterday, I said that my choice of illustration board as a background for the mosaic was a big MISTAKE! Let me explain now: after I had painted the illustration board with a mixture of acrylic and gesso and left it to dry, it curled up and would not uncurl. I should have primed the board with something first, but who wants to go to that trouble? So I grabbed a canvas art board (which is pre-primed) and started over. I wasn’t happy with the color of green anyway. So this time around I mixed gold acrylic paint with black gesso on the canvas board (for a not completely mixed effect). This was a much richer and inviting looking surface.
With a new surface to work on, I set about transferring the basic pattern of tiles that I had worked on the day before over to the acrylic-coated canvas board; one piece at a time. Each tile was secured in place by a small amount of Elmer’s glue (which, if you make a mistake, it not that hard to remove from the acrylic surface - I only had to do this once though). Once the basic pattern was in, then came the time consuming task of filling in the rest of the spaces. I used scissors, an exacto knife and my squarish punch to create custom fitting tiles to fill the space. If you look at my design below, you can see that I included many irregular-shaped cutouts and circles. The more of these you add, the more custom tiles you’ll have to cut to fit around them.
So, here it is (or view a large version):
Even though the design is finished, I would not consider the project finished until it was sealed somehow. I have not yet decided if I am going to use Mod Podge, gloss clear coat (as is used on faux-tile projects), or several layers of varnish. When I get to it I may post again with the finished project . . . UPDATE! I decided to go with Mod Podge for a sealer-coat. I poured it on and used a foam brush to spread it evenly over the surface:
It took overnight for it to dry completely, but it dried clear and well-sealed:
I plan to put an epoxy clear coat over this to make it look like tile, but that is for another post . . . Hope you enjoyed this.