Easy Paper Christmas Decoration: How to Make a Paper Leaf Wreath

Learn how to make a modern paper leaf wreath that looks just like a magnolia wreath, for a fraction of the cost. This paper Christmas wreath is easy to make and a great decoration for the winter holidays and all year long! Our step-by-step tutorial shows how to make paper leaves and how to make your own paper wreath base.

You’ll also want to see this easy DIY curled paper wreath, and check out our entire 12 Days of Paper Christmas Decorations (and more) here.

Easy Paper Magnolia Leaf Wreath For Christmas Winter Holidays, Remodelaholic

DIY Christmas Paper Leaf Wreath

As you’ve seen in this series of paper Christmas decoration ideas, we really love using paper to craft with. Paper decorations are affordable and classic, and fun to make as a craft group with friends or with the kids!

We’ve shared a lot of paper Christmas ornaments that you can make yourself. Today we’re thinking a little bit bigger and showing you how to make a paper Christmas wreath of leaves! This paper wreath DIY is so simple to make and it will look great on your wall or on your door.

You remember the paper plate and handprint wreaths we made in kindergarten for the classroom gift to our parents? This is the grown-up version! So channel your inner kid this Christmas season and let’s get making.

I used simple paper leaves that look like magnolia leaves to me, but you could also get creative and use differently shaped holly leaves or mistletoe leaves for a distinctly Christmas paper wreath.

Diy Paper Christmas Wreath, Paper Leaf Wreath Tutorial, Remodelaholic

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How to Make a Paper Leaf Wreath

Materials

I was able to make this entire paper wreath with materials I had around the house (thanks to a stash of scrapbook paper). Even if you need to make a trip to the store, it will only cost a couple of dollars to make your own paper leaf wreath.

To make your own paper Christmas wreath, you’ll need:

  • 1 cardboard wreath form (you can purchase a pack here, or see how to make your own below)
  • 60-70 paper leaves, in colors of your choice
  • a stapler

*You can use any kind of paper for this paper leaf wreath. I used 4 different solid colors of scrapbook craft paper in a mixture of paper thicknesses and liked the standard thickness paper (20 lb or 24 lb) best. Cardstock works well and will be durable but was harder to curl the leaves and keep them where I wanted them. You can use patterned wrapping paper sheets, kraft paper, magazine pages, construction paper, etc. Use neutral tones like I did, or go for colorful paper for your Christmas wreath!

How to Make a DIY Cardboard Wreath Base

AKA how you can recycle a pizza box even when your curbside recycling doesn’t 🙂

You’ll need

  • a large flat section of thick cardboard (the top of a pizza box works great or a cereal box for a mini wreath)
  • 2 large bowls of different sizes (or a large drawing compass, or a thumbtack and a bit of string)
  • box cutter, craft knife or scissors

To make the cardboard wreath base, first, trace 2 large circles on the cardboard. For this paper leaf wreath, I wanted the wreath about 3″ wide between the outer and inner circles. The outer edge of my circular wreath form is about 16 inches in diameter and the inner circle is about 10 inches.

Why yes, that is an old pizza box… the top actually.

How To Make A Cardboard Circular Wreath Base From A Pizza Box, Remodelaholic

The simplest way is to trace 2 bowls of different sizes. Trace the large bowl, then center and trace the smaller bowl.

If you don’t have large bowls to trace, a large compass may be worth the small investment since it can come in handy for woodworking projects.

This DIYer’s go-to for tracing a large circle is a DIY string compass [when I don’t have a bowl the right size haha!]. Measure with a ruler to find the center of the piece of cardboard. Tie a loop for a pencil in a piece of string and then tack the other end of the string in the middle of the cardboard to create your own string compass. Adjust the length of the string to create a larger and then smaller circle.

Once you’ve traced both circles and are happy with the shape, cut out the outer and inner rings of the cardboard wreath base. So easy!

How To Make A Paper Wreath Base From Cardboard For A Magnolia Leaf Paper Wreath, Remodelaholic

How to Make Paper Leaves

Cutting out the paper leaves is the most time consuming part of this paper wreath DIY, but the finished product it worth the time!

Free Leaf Template

Download our free leaf template to make it easy to cut all the leaves from the same pattern. The template includes both a full simple leaf shape (the same as we used for our layered paper flowers and simple paper flowers) as well as the leaf shape with one end trimmed off, to make it easier to roll the leaves for the wreath.

DOWNLOAD FREE LEAF TEMPLATE (PDF and SVG FILES)

You could also use the paper leaf template to make a paper leaf garland, or attach to pipe cleaners or twigs as leaf stems to go with paper flowers.

First, pick out the paper you would like to use.  I chose scrapbook paper in textured gold tones with a shimmer of glitter. I had 4 different shades of paper and I used roughly equal amounts of each color, but you could choose one main color with a couple of accent colors, or mix in some patterned leaves, too.

How To Make Paper Leaves For A Paper Christmas Wreath Diy, Remodelaholic

To make paper leaves with scissors

Trace the PDF template on cardboard and cut it out. Use that cardboard leaf to trace onto your papers, then cut out leaves (60-70 total, depending on the size of your wreath). This is a great time to binge a favorite show, watch a favorite Hallmark Christmas movie, or turn on your latest audiobook!

To make paper leaves with a cutting machine

If you have a Cricut machine or Silhouette machine, cutting the paper leaves will take hardly any time at all! Download the template above and load the free SVG leaf shape into the Design Space app or Silhouette Studio. You can use the full leaf shape or the one with the flat end. Change the size of the leaf, if you’d like, to fit your wreath form size. Duplicate the image enough to fill one page, then send the cut to the machine and let it do its work.

Cutting machine tip: When removing your work from the mat, flip the mat over and peel the mat from the paper (so the mat is the part that is curving, not the paper). This keeps your paper as flat as possible rather than making it curl as you pull it from the mat. (You can choose to curl your leaves later if you want, but trying to uncurl them doesn’t work that well!)

How to Make a Paper Leaf Wreath

Once you have all of your DIY paper leaves cut, you’re ready to assemble the paper leaf wreath!

How To Make A 3d Paper Leaf Wreath With DIY Paper Leaves, Remodelaholic

Roll the bottom of your leaf slightly to give the leaf some shape. (Trimming one pointy end of each leaf will make this easier, but as you can see, I did it with the full leaf shapes).

If you’d like some additional definition and texture, you can fold the leaf in half and crease the center to make it look more like a real leaf. You can also lightly sand the edge of the leaf pieces or slightly singe with a candle if you prefer a less crisp edge and more realistic look, more like end of fall paper leaves 🙂

How To Make A Magnolia Leaf Paper Wreath DIY For Christmas Paper Decorations, Remodelaholic

Carefully staple the leaf in place on the cardboard wreath ring. Overlap the sides a little bit with the next rolled paper leaf, to fill the width of the wreath form and cover the cardboard base. Work one section of the wreath, then move to the next overlapping section.

Continue rolling and stapling leaves around the ring until the entire wreath form is filled in! If there are gaps, use glue dots to attach the leaves to one another where you’d like them.

How To Make A Recycled Cardboard Wreath Form And Paper Wreath DIY Leaves Magnolia For Christmas Decorations, Remodelaholic

If you’d like to add a little bit of sparkle to your paper Christmas wreath craft, use a paintbrush to brush a small amount of white glue or modpodge onto the tips of the leaves. Sprinkle with glitter and enjoy!

You can also make this wreath extra festive by adding white berries or red holly berries (from Dollar Tree, or by making tight rolls of strips of paper) in clusters around the wreath.

To hang the wreath, I stapled a looped twist tie on the back. That’s all folks!

Easy Paper Magnolia Leaf Wreath For Christmas Winter Holidays, Remodelaholic

This paper wreath is so easy and so cute to make in any colors you’d like!

Easy Paper Christmas Decoration: DIY Paper Leaf Wreath

Learn how to make a modern paper leaf wreath that looks just like a magnolia wreath, for a fraction of the cost. This paper Christmas wreath is easy to make and a great decoration for the winter holidays and all year long! This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to make paper leaves and how to make your own paper wreath base.
Print Recipe
Easy Paper Magnolia Leaf Wreath For Christmas Winter Holidays, Remodelaholic

Ingredients

  • Cardboard sheet (16" or more square) or cardboard wreath ring
  • 4-6 sheets of scrapbook paper or other paper
  • Stapler
  • Scissors and/or cutting machine
  • 2 large bowls, large compass, or thumbtack and string (to make the cardboard wreath base)

Instructions

Make a cardboard wreath base (3 ways)

  • Here are 3 ways to make a circular cardboard wreath base for your paper leaf wreath. My wreath is about 16 inches in outer diameter, and about 10 inches in diameter in the center, so the cardboard wreath form is about 3” wide.
  • Option 1: Use 2 large bowls of different sizes. Center and trace each of the bowls, then cut out the circles using scissors, a box cutter, or a craft knife.
  • Option 2: Use a large woodworking compass to trace 2 large circles, about 16” and about 10” in diameter (8” and 5” radius). Cut out the inner and outer circles using scissors, a box cutter, or a craft knife.
  • Option 3: Make your own DIY string compass. Measure with a ruler to find the center of the piece of cardboard. Tie a loop for a pencil in a piece of string and then tack the other end of the string in the middle of the cardboard to create your own string compass. Adjust the length of the string to create a larger and then smaller circle (about 8” for the larger circle radius, and 5” for the center circle radius). Cut out the inner and outer circles using scissors, a box cutter, or a craft knife.

Cut out the paper leaves

  • Download our free leaf template at Remodelaholic.com. The free download includes both PDF and SVG templates.
  • Print the PDF leaf template and cut one from cardboard or thicker paper. Trace this template onto your desired paper and cut with scissors. You'll need 60-70 leaves about 3.5" long for a wreath like mine.
  • Open the SVG template in Cricut Design Space or Silhouette Studio. Resize as desired, and duplicate to fill the page. You'll need 60-70 leaves about 3.5" long for a wreath like mine. Cut using your machine.
  • Tip: When removing your cut paper leaves from the cutting mat, flip the mat over and peel the mat from the paper (so the mat is the part that is curving, not the paper). This keeps your paper as flat as possible rather than making it curl as you pull it from the mat.

Make the paper leaf wreath

  • Roll the bottom of one paper leaf slightly to give the leaf some shape. (Trimming one pointy end of each leaf will make this easier, but as you can see, I did it with the full leaf shapes).
  • If you’d like some additional definition and texture, you can fold the leaf in half and crease the center to make it look more like a real leaf. You can also lightly sand the edge of the leaf pieces or slightly singe with a candle if you prefer a less crisp edge and more realistic look, more like end of fall paper leaves 🙂
  • Carefully staple the leaf in place on the cardboard wreath ring.
  • Roll the next leaf and overlap the sides a little bit with the first rolled paper leaf and staple in place.
  • Continue rolling and stapling leaves to fill the width of the wreath form and cover the cardboard base. Work one section of the wreath, then move to the next overlapping section.
  • Continue rolling and stapling leaves around the ring until the entire wreath form is filled in! If there are gaps, use glue dots to attach the leaves to one another where you’d like them.
  • If you’d like to add a little bit of sparkle to your paper Christmas wreath craft, use a paintbrush to brush a small amount of white glue or modpodge onto the tips of the leaves. Sprinkle with glitter and enjoy!
  • You can also make this wreath extra festive by adding white berries or red holly berries (from Dollar Tree, or by making tight rolls of strips of paper) in clusters around the wreath.
  • To hang the wreath, I stapled a looped twist tie on the back.

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Easy Paper Leaf Wreath Paper Christmas Decoration Tutorial, Remodelaholic

First published 14 Dec 2009 // Updated 10 Nov 2023

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Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

We love hearing from fellow Remodelaholics, so let us know what you like about this and leave any questions below in the comments. If you've followed a tutorial or been inspired by something you've seen here, we'd love to see pictures! Submit pictures here or by messaging us over on Facebook.

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4 Comments

  1. >Man, you guys are talented. You never cease to amaze me with all of your projects. And your little girl is soooo cute! She is growing so fast!