We may have only just commenced pumpkin season, but friends, I’m feeling major holiday vibes right now! Do you feel them too? Yesterday I went through all my holiday-themed crafting supplies and it got me SO excited about many weekends of festive card making ahead.
To kick things off, I went to town with my die cutting machine and made a whole bunch of wreath cards – traditional ones, rainbow ones, glittery ones – basically ALL the wreaths! Prior to this craft session, I didn’t have much experience assembling these so I certainly learned some lessons along the way. I’ll share my tips for making holiday wreath cards in this post, as well as a few more and some additional inspiration later this week.
The hard-working die for this job came from The Stamp Market’s Holiday Greenery set, but you could absolutely do this with any sort of leaf cluster die. Once selected, I made myself some tea, put on a podcast, and started going back and forth and back and forth and back and forth with my die cutting machine until I had a whooooole bunch of greenery cut out. With that step out of the way, the next step involved my first tip.
Tip 1: Use green shades for your first wreath
We’ll get to rainbows shortly, but I started with a green wreath because I wanted to get a sense of how many die cuts I’d need to complete a full circle. I used green cardstock in the shades Cactus, Leafy, Greenery and Mossy, and knew that even if there wasn’t exactly the same number of each in my pattern, the inconsistency would be far less noticeable than if working with a whole rainbow of colours. In the end, it turned out that I needed 22, or 24 if I spaced them slightly closer together. More about spacing in a second.
Tip 2: Choose either (what I’m calling) the assemble-then-mount method or direct application method
I shall explain both:
The assemble and mount method is where you’d assemble the wreath entirely on its own, then adhere it to your card panel. This is what I did for the card shown here with the all-green wreath.
Rather than trusting myself to magically arrange the leaves in a perfect circle, I cut a very thin round frame using two nested circle dies. (Think of it like a very skinny, sad donut with a disproportionately large hole.) I then adhered my die cuts around it, covering all parts of the donut with leaves. To be honest, this was harder than the next method that I’ll suggest, which is…
The direct application method: I realized by the time I got to my second card that a much easier tactic would be to cut a circle out of the middle of my card panel with a circle die. Then, I could directly adhere the leaves around the edge instead of having to worry about mounting the wreath later. (This could be totally obvious to you, but it took trying the assemble-and-mount method for me to realize there was an easier way!) This is the method I’d recommend, unless of course, you really don’t want to cut a circle out of your card panel. It just felt more secure, less-finnicky, and in the end it was faster, too.
Tip 3: Use clear, matte-drying liquid adhesive
I adore double-sided tape, but in this case, I think liquid adhesive works a lot better for 2 reasons:
- It allows you to secure each stem, but also lets the leaves move a little like they would on an actual wreath.
- Since it requires a bit of drying time, liquid adhesive gives you some flexibility when you’re assembling the leaves to adjust spacing if needed.
I have a big pot of Ranger Multi-Matte Medium and used a chopstick (yes, a chopstick!) to apply the glue around the rim of my die cut circle. I love this adhesive because it dries matte, so even if you use a little too much, it’s not noticeable a few hours later. (Side note: I have yet to find a glue pen that I like, but have just ordered a few so I will report back if any are worth mentioning. For now, I’ll be using the chopstick method!)
Tip 4: Divide the total number of leaves needed by 2 or 4 to help with spacing
As I said in Tip 1, I knew it would take 24 die cuts to make it all the way around my die cut circle. 24 divided by 2 is 12, and 24 divided by 4 is 6. Therefore, I also knew that when adhering them around the edge, I should only need 6 to get 1/4 of the way around, and by the time I’d used 12, I should be half way around the circle. Using these numbers helped to ensure things looked nice and even in the end.
Alrighty, that’s enough tips for now! I’ll be back later this week with a few more, plus some additional cards that’ll hopefully inspire you to give this a try as well. Have a great week!