I created this wreath for a workshop in our studiOH! Christmas series, and thought I would share with you how to make it. Christmas is just over two weeks away so if you haven’t popped a wreath up yet, now’s the time!
You will need:
- clothes drying rack
- old towel
- 25g pack fabric dye
- 3 packets white tissue paper
- piece of chicken wire measuring 40cm x 40cm
- permanent marker
- wire cutters
- spray adhesive
Set up your drying rack indoors if possible (or in a sheltered spot outdoors), with your old towel underneath to catch drips.
Mix up your fabric dye according to the packet instructions, but skip the step about adding salt – it’s not necessary as you’re dyeing paper, not fabric. Once you have your dye bath ready, take a sheet of tissue paper and hold it by two corners. Carefully lower it into the dye, up to about the halfway point. How much you dip is really up to you – obviously the more of the paper you dip in, the more colour you will get in your wreath. Quickly remove the tissue from the dye and hang it over your drying rack. As the tissue is very thin you don’t want to leave it in the water too long or it will fall apart. The tissue will have clumped together a bit when wet, so use your hands to try to spread it out, but be careful as it will tear easily. If it is still quite squashed up it doesn’t matter as it’s usually possible to spread it out when dry. Repeat the dip dyeing process with the remaining pieces of tissue. You may like to leave a few sheets plain white to add to your wreath, depending on the look you’re going for.
While your tissue is drying prepare your chicken wire frame. Using your permanent marker, draw a large circle on your chicken wire so that it comes almost to the edge on all four sides. If you’ve started with a perfect square it should be relatively easy to draw a symmetrical circle freehand. Measure 10cm in from your circle and draw another, smaller circle (this one should have a diameter of around 20cm).
Use your wire cutters to cut out first the larger circle, then the smaller circle, leaving you with a donut shape. Try to follow your marker line as closely as possible with your cuts – it doesn’t matter if you’re left with spiky edges as they won’t be visible.
Once your tissue paper is completely dry, tear it into pieces measuring around 15cm long x 10cm wide. You don’t have to be exact but keep the pieces large enough that they will securely fit in a hole in your chicken wire. Try to get a mix of colours (i.e. white and the colour of your dye) on as many pieces as possible. Hold each piece in the middle and scrunch together, leaving the ends loose. Pull the scrunched end through one of the holes in your chicken wire so that it fits tightly in the hole. Continue this process, filling each of the holes in your chicken wire and working from the outside of the circle inwards.Once the wreath starts to fill up you will be able to skip some holes as you won’t be able to see them amid the tissue. Continue until you have filled enough holes that you can’t see any gaps and you have a full and fluffy-looking wreath. You can fill your whole wreath with dyed tissue or you can mix in some plain white as well for a nice effect.
Finish your wreath off by spraying with a good dose of spray adhesive on the reverse side (where the pointy ends of the tissue are poking through). This will help to hold it all in place.
Display your paper wreath standing on a shelf, lying flat as a table centrepiece, or hanging from a wall or your front door. If it’s outdoors just make sure it’s in an area that is reasonably protected from rain and wind.