Watercolor Paper Wreath

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Welcome holiday guests with a stunning paper wreath that showcases your watercolor talents! Use favorite colors and techniques to paint beautifully textured, cold press paper, then learn techniques for quickly cutting and positioning the pieces to form a dimensional, laurel-style wreath. You’ll be l...

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1. Paint a sheet of 140 lb. watercolor paper using watercolor pans, tubes, pencils, mediums, or inks. Incorporate your favorite techniques, including wet-in-wet washes, dry brush strokes, splatters, drips, resists, salt techniques, and more, to express your personal style. Allow time to dry completely.


1. Print the leaf template. A single leaf is you’ll need to trace, but we've grouped multiple leaves to indicate how to place them together on the page in order to maximize space. Do not cut.

2. Place your dry painting face down, so the white side faces up. Turn leaf template over so that the printed side faces down, and align the edges of the leaves with the edges of the paper. It will only fill a corner of the sheet. Tape in place if desired.

3. Using a ball point pen and firm pressure, trace leaves so that some of the ink from the print transfers to the paper below. Repeat until traced leaves fill page.

4. Cut out leaves using scissors. Lightly crease and pinch at the narrow (pointier) end to make more dimensional.

5. Using a pencil and a ruler, make hash lines around a cardboard ring by measuring from the inside or outside edge of the circle. Measure at 1" inside first (this will be the center), then 1/2" from the inside ring. Connect the hash marks to make two circles on the cardboard, one in the center and one towards the middle of the ring.

6. Select a leaf and apply a glue stick on the back (white side), on the end that is not creased. Align the flatter edge of the leaf to the center pencil ring and position at an angle close to 45 degrees, extending beyond the outer edge of the cardboard. It does not need to be precise. Glue a second leaf next to it, positioning along the same edge and as close to the first leaf as possible. Continue placing leaves around the ring, moving the cardboard in a circle for best view.

TIP: Don’t worry if the circle of rings is completed and there’s extra space between the first and last leaf placed (or not enough space). It will be compensated for in subsequent layers.

7. A final ring of leaves will be positioned on the same penciled line as the last step, but this ring of leaves will be angled in the same manner as those in step 5, towards the outside of the wreath. Position these leaves so that they overlap the first circle of leaves (those on the outer edge of the ring) and cover remaining gaps that reveal the cardboard base.

8. To seal the wreath so that it’s resistant to moisture and damage, spray with an acrylic fixative. Turn the wreath so that the spray reaches all sides and angles, then turn over and spray the back side as well. Apply at least 2 coats, allowing it to dry completely between coats.

9. Hang the wreath by tying a coordinating string or ribbon through the ring.