Saturday, November 24, 2012

Catalog Wreath

I said I wasn't going to put up Christmas decorations yet. I said I wasn't going to turn on the Christmas music yet. I lied, at least a little. The Little Drummer Boy is playing as I type, and we just completed our first Christmas-themed craft.

My son went out to meet the mailman today and kindly brought in an entire stack of Christmas catalogs. Catalog season is now in full swing. I dumped all of the day's mail into the recycling bin. Grumbling about the wasted paper, I muttered to the kids that we should try to figure out a project using all the catalogs we'd be receiving. My daughter reminded me that I'd been planning on trying this wreath project at Boxers, Cleats, and Me using an old encyclopedia I picked up at the used book sale. "Why not try it with the catalogs?" she said.  Why not, indeed.

With two very eager helpers, a metal hanger, a stack of catalogs, a cork, wire cutters, and a pair of pliers, I made this.

wreath made from catalog pages

This was super easy, and the kids were genuinely helpful. First, I cut off the hanger part of a metal dry cleaner hanger. I straightened it as best I could, then bent it into some semblance of a circle.

The kids were in charge of catalogs. We used what arrived today--Pottery Barn, L.L. Bean, Fisher-Price, and Dick's Sporting Goods. I particularly liked the color palette of the first two (Christmas stockings, flannel shirts, and such), but we used them all. We ripped the pages out of the catalog, then ripped them vertically more or less in half. That made a giant mess on the kitchen counter, which the kids particularly enjoyed.

I loosely folded each half page into random shapes, trying to keep the results around the same size, then shoved them onto the end of the hanger. I added them to one end, sliding to the center, then did the same from the other side so I didn't need to cram them all the way around. We scrunched them down as tightly as we could.

When I completed one side, I jammed the wire hanger end into a cork to keep the pages on that side from popping off while I finished the second half.  My original plan had been to twist the two ends of the wire together at the end, but I quickly realized that was going to be quite difficult. Instead, we inserted both wire ends into the cork, using a pair of pliers to really jam them in far. I cut a piece of red and white ribbon, tied it around the cork, and hung the whole shebang on the wall.

The three of us are really pleased with the result. The best thing was that we worked together happily for more than an hour, listening to our first Christmas music of the year while we did it. Christmas crafting family teamwork at its best.

wreath made of catalog pages

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