This is a free tutorial on how to make a stylish origami wreath. It is also about repurposing used milk or juice cartons! Because liquid packaging cartons come with a moisture barrier coating, your wreath will be waterproof and thus can be displayed outdoors!
Materials and tools that you will need to make your own paper wreath:
- 10 used cartons made of liquid packaging board, such as juice-boxes and milk cartons, of similar sizes, cut open into flat sheets*;
- 10 or more bonbon wrappers (or aluminum foil in a color of your choice);
- Aluminum foil;
- Craft glue;
- Sturdy board to temporarily rest the wreath on;
- 6 or more rubber bands that stretch enough to go over the board and the wreath together;
- Wire (I used stainless steel 20 gauge (0.8 mm) wire);
- Wire cutter;
- Awl, or something hard and pointy to pierce through multiple layers of carton.
*If you do not have plastic coated cartons, you can also use paperboard or thick construction paper instead. In that case, I recommend that you waterproof your paper first, if you want to display your wreath outside.
1. Make a square from the smallest of the cartons that you have gathered for this project. Then, cut the rest of the cartons into squares of the same size.
To give you an idea, my squares measured 25 cm (10″) X 25 cm (10″), and they created a wreath that is approximately 30 cm (12″) in diameter.
Note: All of my cartons came with silver-colored lining on the inside, which became the exterior color of my origami wreath. If your cartons came in different colors or in a color that you do not like for your wreath, I recommend that you either glue on aluminum foil or another type of waterproof sheet, or apply a layer of waterproof paint on one side of your squares.
This mono-color side of the square will become the outer side of your wreath (in my case, silver, as shown in the image on the left).
2. Let’s start by making the first of ten unit pieces.
Take one of the squares, and make two diagonal creases (highlighted in blue in the image on the left). Also make one vertical crease and one horizontal crease that pass through the center of the square (highlighted in orange).
3. Place the sheet on a flat surface with its mono-color side facing down. Then, fold each corner inward to meet the center point of the square.
4. Cut off two of the four triangular segments, as shown in the image.
5. Fold each of the two remaining triangles in half so that their corners meet the midpoint of their base lines.
6. Fold the same triangles down so that your piece looks like the one in the image.
7. Flip the piece over, and then fold the four corners to meet the center of the square.
8. Hold the folded piece in your hand as shown in the first image on the left.
As shown in the second image, press its center down with your thumb while pushing the two sides inward, as indicated by the arrows.
Your piece now should look like the third image. This is one of ten unit pieces that you are going to make for your origami wreath.
9. It is now time to add some shine to your carton piece!
Cut out 2 square sheets of aluminum foil that are slightly larger than the two squares highlighted in the first image on the left.
As shown in the second image, glue the aluminum sheets onto the square areas of your unit piece.
10. Now, cut a bonbon wrapper (or aluminum foil in a different color from silver) into a square that matches the size of the square between the two aluminum squares (highlighted in the first image on the left). As you can see in the images, the bonbon wrapper overlaps with the aluminum foil.
Glue on the bonbon wrapper onto the square area, as shown in the second image.
On the reverse side of the unit piece, fold in any excess of the aluminum foil and bonbon wrapper, and glue them onto the reverse side (see the third image).
🔄 While you are letting the glue dry, repeat the above steps with the other 9 carton squares. If you like how I alternated two colors (gold and orange) in my wreath shown at the beginning of this post, then make 5 units of one color bonbon wrapper and 5 units of another color.
11. When the glue is dry, fold the unit pieces back into their original shapes. (I am only showing two pieces in these images on the left, but you should have a total of ten.)
Apply glue to the non-decorated square area on the inside of one of the unit pieces (highlighted in pink in the first image).
Then, as shown in the second image, place the bonbon wrapper square of the second unit on top, gluing its reverse side onto the first unit piece.
12. Repeat with the rest of the unit pieces, connecting all 10 pieces into a ring.
Place your wreath on top of a flat sturdy board, and hold it in place with a few rubber bands, as shown in the image.
Lastly, place one rubber band around the wreath to keep it in a perfect circle.
Let the glue dry.
13. When the glue is dry, place the wreath on a flat surface with its front facing down.
As shown in the first image on the left, you are about to put a wire through the wreath’s outer rim.
Using an awl, or something else that is pointy and sharp, make holes through the pointy outer edges of the wreath (see the second image).
When you have pushed the wire through the ten pointy edges of the wreath, you should be back to where you started. Cut off the excess wire, leaving enough to twist the two ends together and make a small ring for hanging (see the third image).
Your wreath is now finished, ready to adorn your door or wall!
I think that this repurposed carton paper wreath looks pretty elegant and modern. I hope you are happy with your origami wreath, too. If you decide to share images of your wreath on social media, please tag me (@muumade) in your image; that way, I can see it, too!
Below are a few more paper craft ideas that you may enjoy: