The idea for these brilliant clothespin wreaths came from Kirstin at Kojo Designs, who made it as a tea wreath, and it is one of my favorite projects.
O Tea Wreath, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You are
- easy to make
- eco-friendly, reusing items that would other get recycled or trashed
- a showcase for gorgeous papers
- frugal, using up small scraps of paper
- the perfect gift – beautiful, unique, and useful!
- versatile – start with tea and adapt for many other displays
I think Kirstin’s tutorial pretty much covers it all. I had only a few variations for making mine. I also loved thinking up new ways to use these wreaths!
Here are the simple steps with my tips.
Creating the wreath base:
- Cut a cardboard wreath using sturdy corrugated cardboard or two pieces of thinner board glued together. I used a plate for tracing the outside circle and a scrapbooking template for the inner circle, though you could also use a cup. If you are using scrapbooking paper, make sure your wreath is no bigger than 11 inches in diameter, so you can wrap the 12 inch paper around.
- Cut your paper in a circle 1/2 to 1 inch bigger all around than your wreath. The more room you have the easier it will be to wrap the paper around. I used a beautiful wrapping paper called Hydrangeas by Kate & Birdie. I’ll have more projects with that paper coming up!
- Center your cardboard base on the paper and glue in place. I preferred to use a glue stick for this step, to give a smooth finish.
- Cut tabs around the outside and the center. I didn’t cut all the way to the cardboard, so the the tabs would not show on the sides.
- Glue down the tabs in the back. I used the glue stick here, also.
Wrapping the wreath base. After glueing the circle in place, cut tabs around the outside.
I used a craft knife to cut the tabs in the center and held the wreath up to the light to see where to cut.
I liked the glue stick for glueing down the tabs. It sticks quickly and doesn’t wrinkle the paper.
Creating the clothespins:
- You can find wood clothespins online or at a hardware or craft store. Try the dollar store, too!
- Cut strips of paper the width of the clothespins. This is a great way to use up all sorts of small scraps of paper that are too beautiful to waste. To cut the thin strips, I used the trusty quilting ruler and mat I used in making the fabric growth charts.
- Glue the strips to the pins. I used white glue to attach the paper to the clothespins, because it soaks into the porous surface of the wood and leaves a smooth finish. I spread the glue on one pin and then pressed it against a second one, to get a thin layer that completely covered the side of the pin.
I used a quilting ruler and mat to cut precise strips of paper for the clothespins.
I used white glue for covering the pins with paper. By pressing two pins together, you get a thin even layer of glue.
Wow! These clothespins are so beautiful!
Finishing the wreath:
- Using a glue gun, attach the pins around the wreath, with the clips facing outward.
- Loop a ribbon around for hanging. You could also use some adhesive strips on the back, if you don’t want to see the ribbon. I like the 3M picture hangers I used for putting up the oversize wall initials.
Finish the wreath by glueing the pins in place with a hot glue gun and adding a ribbon to hang it.
I made several of these wreaths for Christmas and birthdays recently, including teacher gifts, and they were always a big hit. I made them in a variety of colors for many different looks
While I gave the wreaths away with tea bags, my friends and I have found new uses for these beautiful wreaths. Here are some of our ideas. I’d love to hear yours, too!
- Appreciation wreath – My friend Monica used hers to write messages of appreciation to her kids. She used index cards cut in half and wrote in a different color for each child.
- Inspiration board – I’m using mine to pin ideas for craft and DIY projects.
- Photo display – what a pretty way to display your favorite pictures!
- Card holder – for holiday cards, birthday cards, business cards.
I’m using my wreath to organize ideas for projects. I might need some more pins!
I think there are lots of great uses for the decorated clothespins themselves, too. You could
- Mount the pins on a rectangular backing for a memo board or photos.
- Put magnets on the back to use on fridges or magnet boards. If you don’t have a fridge that holds magnets, you can stick the clips directly on the fridge with a removable adhesive, which is what I did with these clips for kids art.
- Set up a “clothesline” art gallery and use these pretty clips to easily hang and change the kids’ projects.
- Clip together papers or swatches to organize your office or craft room.
Thanks again to Kirstin at Kojo Designs for this wonderful project idea. It has become a standby for me, and I hope you will let me know if you come up with new ideas for these beautiful wreaths and pins!