Last winter, when my Silhouette Cameo was new, I spent a lot of time looking at Christmas paper decorations, trying to decide which ones looked like they were within my new skill set.
At the same time, this pin kept surfacing in my Pinterest feed, (which does not feature paper decorations) and I knew somewhere these two searches were going to overlap.
Of course, it happened last week. When it is most definitely not Christmas decorating season.
No matter. At SuzerSpace, I’m not really limiting myself to doing crafts by season, or, for that matter, in “appropriate” colors. It’s spring in Kansas City, and that means show stopping blooms of Crab Apples (the pink and the white) Forsythias and Magnolias.
These are happy colors, which means it’s a perfect inspiration for a Happy Day Mini Wreath.
For the true Boxwood Paper Wreaths, I’ve seen tutorials and have downloaded free cutting files from a couple of sites. For this craft, I’ve mixed up the best parts of these (and other’s I’ve visited) to create my version.
I resized the cut file from the InMyOwnStyle blog so that I could could cut as many stems as possible from my 6 x 6 card stock. I used my standard trick of setting up the Design Page settings as 12 x 12, and then setting up 4 sheets of different colored stock on my mat, being super careful how I positioned the sheets and matching that with the artwork in Silhouette Studio.
I adjusted my cut settings and sent that file to cut.
For the round wreath shape, I used a coffee can lid to trace a circle on a cereal box. And I used a beer glass to trace an inner circle. I cut this out with scissors, although you could do this on on the Silhouette as well. It isn’t going to show, so I just cut it by hand.
To get to the inner ring, I sliced an “X” somewhat at the center with an Xacto knife to give me a place to slip my scissors in at to start cutting.
Once the stems were cut, I weeded them, and then began placing them, starting in the upper left corner. I test fit a few to make sure I had a plan, and then started gluing, working counter clockwise. You’ll quickly realize you don’t need to put glue on the entire back of the stem – it’s mostly just the bottom right edge that actually gets adhered to the circle base.
I wasn’t too worried about getting a perfect ring of stems – I wanted this to be loose, happy and fun. Mostly I was aiming for hiding the cereal box frame and keeping the outer edges approximately the same height. I kept rotating the ring so I was always working in the upper left corner. When I had made it completely around, I still had a few stems left over, so I cut off the long end branchy ends and fit them in under a few stems that had wiggle room to spare.
When that part of the assembly was complete, I measured the space available in the center, and then created a new document in Adobe Illustrator that was the size. I drew a red box inside that space to show me where the words would go, and then typed up my phrase and chose a fun font.
I added a thin rectangle across the top of the letters, adjusting it so that every letter touched it in some way. After converting the Text to Outlines, I used a combination of the Pathfinder Palette’s Combine, Minus Front and Divide filters to create two welded shapes for my strings of type.
I extended the edges of the rectangles at both sides to give me a little extra gluing room, and then exported the file. The basic version of Silhouette Studio won’t import an Illustrator file, but it has no problem with a DXF file.
In Silhouette Studio I set up my Design Page settings for 6 x 6 card stock, and then brought in my text. I flipped the bottom line of text using the Rotate settings so that I could move it up closer to the first line, which saves paper. I sent that to cut, and then carefully weeded it, wondering why I chose such a thin font 🙂
Once weeded, I flipped the mini wreath over and centered the two lines of type on the back, and then used a little tacky glue to glue those little extra pieces.