Christmas Projects #2: The Bookish Wreath from Effing Hell

I bring you Christmas Project number two of three- the wreath from effing hell.

When I first saw the inspiration for this wreath made out of recycled book pages on Pinterest I was immediately determined to make one. I prefer more classic, simple holiday decorations and this, along with the literary look, fit the bill. I had a stack of old book from my Master's program that I was absolutely positive I'd never crack open again and knew from another wreath using rosettes that it shouldn't be difficult. What I never considered: the time. I'm estimating over the past two months or so I've put in somewhere around 50 or 60 (or more) hours, meaning I've read basically nothing this month (womp womp womp). Now that I'm down I'm really not sure what I'm going to do with my life... Anyway, in case you too are a masochist, here are the instructions (for the site it is was adapted from see link above):

Styrofoam floral wreath 
White paint (only if the wreath is green)
Hot glue
Something circular (for tracing)
Several old books
Embellishments (optional)

1. If you're using a wreath that isn't already white, slap a quick coat of white paint on it, just so that in case there are some visible cracks it's not obvious. Make sure to let it dry quickly- you should only need one coat.

2. In order to make the flowers you'll need to find something circular- the "something" will depend on the size you want your flower to be. I used a cheap coaster, but in the past I've used things as small as shot glasses and as large as a bowl. Play around what size you like best.

3. Depending on the thickness of your paper, pull out 2 or 3 pages from your book and trace your circles. Apologize for mortally wounding your book. Now cut them out.

4. Cut a spiral, trying to maintain an even distance from the sides at all times. Some tutorials will have you draw the spiral first, which may be a good idea in the beginning, but I find the pencil marks to visible once the rosette is finished. I'll generally cut out 5-10 spirals at a time before I start rolling and gluing- too many more end up hurting my hands.

5. Start rolling! Making sure your papers are evenly together, start on the outside edge where you first made your cut and roll inwards. The flower will automatically form, don't worry. Typically, at about an inch or two from the end (the very center of the circle) things will start getting a little uneven and you can clip the rest off.

6. It's time to glue. I do this in two parts- first I put a small dot of hot glue between each of the end layers where you just stopped rolling to help reinforce. Then I load up on glue on the bottom and immediately place on the wreath. Hold for thirty or so seconds while it becomes tacky enough to stick.

7. Repeat 7.56 million times. Remember the back is unnecessary and to place them very close together. 

8. I added a star ornament to mine, just to jazz things up a bit (my husband claims it was cheating and that I just did it to speed up the process- not my original intent, but it was definitely a nice side effect). 

9. When you're done fill in any gaps on the edges, pick off the dried hot glue (an ongoing process), and hang up!

I love, love, love the finished project, I do, but it really took a lot longer than I anticipated. It is a great mindless activity, though- something that can be done while watching countless episodes of Scandal, your husband play videogames, or listening to podcasts. 


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  2. Sooo this looks way too time consuming for me to even attempt. (I don't have that kind of patience.) I'll skip it. But it came out great!

  3. Oh god. You are a saint. I love how it came out but ahh what instructions! This reminds me of a craft we did for my wedding that turned into the biggest to-do. I was so annoyed I just wanted to burn all the paper I could find.

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