When I was a teacher, the month of December was Christmas central in my classroom, especially when I taught Junior and Senior Kindergarten. This paper Christmas wreath was one of our favorite craft projects to make.
It reminds me of one I made when I was a kid. I remember spending a couple of art periods working on it, diligently cutting and gluing. Then finally, I got to take it home. I was beaming from ear to ear as I presented it to my parents. My parents proudly hung my paper wreath on the front door and it stayed there the whole Christmas season.
Paper Christmas Wreath
One of the great things about this Christmas craft project for kids is that it is SO inexpensive to make. I was able to find everything I needed at my local dollar store. And quite frankly, these are all items I keep on hand all the time in a kids’ craft bin – perfect for rainy days or cries of “I’m bored!”
Variations on this wreath:
- You can skip the candle completely or make smaller candles and put three in the center.
- Instead of a candle, add a family photo in the center of the wreath (using it like a frame).
- Cut up old Christmas cards or use additional construction paper to create a small wintery scene for the center of the wreath.
- Attach the berries with foam tape to add some dimension to the wreath.
- Use small pompoms or beads for the berries.
- Make the wreath from glittery scrapbooking paper. Or brush some glue on your wreath and sprinkle with glitter (green to blend in or how about white to look like snow?)
Construction paper (you could use scrapbooking paper instead) –
- red (1 sheet)
- green – two different shades are nice but not necessary (3-4 sheets)
- white (1 sheet)
- yellow (1 sheet)
Note: If these traditional Christmas colors aren’t your thing, change them up whatever way you’d like! I made a pink, purple, and turquoise wreath to go with my Grinch/Whoville decorations.
Hole punch (optional)
A piece of ribbon
A piece of string (or yarn, or more ribbon)
Colored markers (optional)
1 – Begin by cutting a hole in the paper plate to make a wreath shape. This is a step that may require adult assistance. You can do it one of two ways – poke a hole in the center to have an opening for your scissors and go from there.
Or, you can cut a straight line from the outer edge of the plate towards the middle and go from there. With this second method. you will then need to tape the plate back together once you’ve made the hole. Don’t worry – this won’t show once you’ve covered it with paper strips.
2 – Fold the green paper lengthwise (a hotdog fold instead of a hamburger fold). Begin cutting strips of folded paper. You can measure and draw lines for cutting, eyeball it, or make a series of folds to indicate where to cut.
I like to cut the strips about an inch and a half wide, but you can make them whatever width you want. Once you’ve cut the strips, use your scissors to make a notched end on each one by cutting two diagonal lines (to make sort of a triangle shape). See the picture above for reference. This is optional but adds a nice touch.
3 – Begin gluing the strips around the paper plate wreath form, overlapping each strip slightly. If you’re using two different colors of green paper, you will want to alternate them.
I like to secure them right at the inner circle of the wreath (where the fold in each strip is) and then again at the outer edges of the strips (where you have cut those notches). I found that if I glued the entire strip down to the paper plate, it sometimes took on the shape of the ridges in the plate (depending on how thin the paper was) and I wasn’t keen on that look.
Making the candle:
4 – To make the optional candle in the center, you are going to use an accordion-type folding technique. Cut two strips of white paper. I made mine about an inch wide and the full length of my construction paper (11.5 inches).
Place one strip on top of the other at a 90-degree angle. Fold the bottom strip over the top. Repeat. Continue to fold the bottom strip over the top strip until you’ve come to the end of the strips. Secure with glue at the ends.
Cut out a flame from yellow and red paper. Leave an extra strip (like a flap) at the bottom of the flame so you can fold that down and use it as a base for gluing the flame to the candle.
Adding the berries and finishing touches:
5 – Cut red and white berries from construction paper. You can use your scissors for this or a hole punch if you have one. Glue them onto the wreath. Alternatively, you can color on some berries using markers.
6 – Assemble your wreath. If you made a candle, glue it into the center. I found that depending on how sturdy my candle ended up being (weight of the paper, how tightly I folded it, etc), I sometimes needed to add some strips of tape on the back to make it hold securely to the wreath.
Use the ribbon to make a bow and glue that to the wreath. Add a hanger for the wreath from more ribbon, yarn, or string. Hang up your beautiful wreath and enjoy!
This makes a lovely gift for grandparents and other special people in your life.