Wreaths aren't just for Christmas anymore. A Valentine's Day-inspired wreath is the perfect way to bring a dash of flirty color to your home. This wreath, decorated with pink and purple butterflies and flowers made of book pages, is easy to assemble, but makes quite an impression. You might say it's love at first sight.
To make this wreath, you will need an 18-inch foam ring, burlap ribbon, book pages, colored paper, a butterfly punch, pink ribbon, twigs, and string. You will also need a glue gun, a stapler, and double-sided tape.
Wrap the Foam Ring in Burlap
Wind burlap ribbon around the foam ring to cover all the white. You can buy a foam ring at the crafts store. I used an 18-inch foam ring and 4" wide burlap ribbon. Overlap the ribbon so none of the white shows through, and hot glue the end of the ribbon to the back side of the foam ring.
Making the Paper Flowers
Flowers made of paper provide a romantic, vintage touch to the wreath. I used dictionary pages, but you can use regular book pages, sheet music or even phone books. Tear three pages from a used book. Then fold them in half lengthwise. Staple at the bottom of the fold on the left and right edges to keep the sheets together.
Tear Slits in the Pages
With three pages folded in half, you will now have six paper sections stapled together. On each of these sections, tear about five slits perpendicular to the fold. These will be the petals of the flowers.
Roll Up the Pages To Make the Flower
Apply a length of double-sided tape to the folded edge, i.e., the edge where the staples are. Starting on one side, roll up the pages, constantly pinching the bottom together where the tape is to hold the flower in place. When you finish rolling up the pages, peel the "petals" downward to unfold the flower.
Glue the Flowers to the Wreath
Use a hot glue gun to attach the paper flowers to the wreath. If you find that the flowers are unstable even with the hot glue, use a pin to give them extra support. I attached six paper flowers to one side of the wreath.
Making the Ribbon Rose, Part 1
Because the paper flowers are primarily white and black, I created one pink rose made of ribbon to add a pop of color. To make this rose, cut a piece of ribbon that is about 36 inches long. Apply double-sided tape along the bottom of the entire length of ribbon. Then starting at the right side, roll the ribbon, pinching the bottom where the tape is to hold the flower together.
Making the Ribbon Rose, Part 2
At first, the ribbon should be tightly wound to resemble the closed petals of a rose, but as you roll the rest of the ribbon, let the ribbon get looser. Again, keep pinching the ribbon at the bottom where the tape is, so the flower holds its shape. When you've finished rolling up the ribbon rose, hot glue it to the wreath next to the paper flowers.
Making Twig Hearts
Curl two twigs into loops and tie them together with some string to make hearts. The twigs need to be thin enough that they bend without breaking. Here's a hint: soak the twigs in water for a few hours, and they will be more flexible. Instead of twigs, you can also make these rustic hearts out of ivy vines, rosemary, or tall grasses like flax.
Two Hearts As One
Reinforce the string holding the twigs together with some hot glue. Then glue two hearts on the wreath. You should always have two hearts together; you don't want one heart alone. For additional support, tie the hearts to the wreath with string.
Making the Butterflies
With a large butterfly punch, which you can find at the crafts store, punch out butterfly shapes from pink and purple sheets of paper. If you don't have a punch, butterflies are easy to cut by hand. You can also cut out heart shapes instead.
Arrange the Butterflies
Fold the butterflies to give them added dimension, and hot glue them to the wreath. I placed them around the twig hearts, and along one section of the paper flowers. Keep in mind that the butterflies look very dramatic when they are overlapped.
Make a Hanging Loop
Wrap some pink ribbon around the top of the wreath and hot glue it to create a hanging loop.
Make It Your Own
Although this wreath has various decorative elements in it, customize it however you'd like. For example, you can create a wreath entirely of paper flowers, or one entirely of colorful butterflies. After all, Valentine's Day is all about following your heart.
Jonathan Fong is the author of three books: "Walls that Wow," "Flowers that Wow," and "Parties that Wow." He currently hosts the web series "Style With A Smile."