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Fall Cardstock “Leaf” Wreath

I had such a hard time deciding what type of fall wreath I wanted to make.  Truth be told, I’ve never been much of a wreath kind of person, but seeing all of these really creative wreaths lately made me long for one of my own.

I find seasonal wreaths to be a bit of a challenge because I have a dark red front door.  I wish I didn’t.  I wish I had the freedom to paint my front door any color I wish.  But I live in a condo, so I don’t have that freedom.  (I guess I can’t really complain since I’m the one who chose the door color for the whole building, but that was three whole years ago!!)


Because of my red door, I didn’t want anything with oranges and/or reds, so I stuck with greens and browns.  I love how the wreath turned out, but I failed to have the foresight to know that a green tone wreath on a red door would look more like Christmas than fall.  Oh well.  I still like it.  Here’s what I ended up with…

fall wreath 1

I made it out of cardstock scrapbook paper in four different colors, and cut out “leaves” roughly the shape of a magnolia leaf (but much smaller in size).  After cutting out each leaf, I dry-brushed a bit of gold acrylic craft paint over each leaf, creased them down the middle, and then glued them to a wreath form.  Easy peasy!

And yes, even the cutting out the 360 leaves was quite simple, thanks to X-ACTO.  Oh, I’m sure you’ve heard of X-ACTO knives, and probably even have one or two tucked away in a drawer somewhere.  Well, they were kind enough to send me three of their products to try out!


For the record, my favorite one is the fat Designer Series pink knife on the far left.

X-ACTO knives are awesome, and no toolbox/craft room is complete without one (or five).  I actually did a little time test on this project to see how much time X-ACTO saved me over cutting out the leaves with a pair of scissors.

Using 12 x 12 cardstock, I traced my leaf template onto each sheet.  I got 30 leaves on each piece of cardstock.  Then I timed myself cutting them out.


Using the X-ACTO knife, it took me 48 seconds to cut out a whole sheet of 30 leaves.  Not too bad, right?  And using scissors…are you ready for this?  Eight minutes, 32 seconds.  Wow!  That’s over 10 1/2 times the amount of time that the same task took with an X-ACTO knife.

Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of X-ACTO products, and have been for as long as I can remember.  I like that they can be used for more precision cuts than you would be able to do with a standard utility knife.  I also like how easy it is to change the blades.  I wouldn’t imagine that it even takes a full minute to change out the blades on an X-ACTO knife.  It’s that simple!

Every craft room, garage, tool box, and kitchen junk drawer should be stocked with X-ACTO, in my humble opinion.  And today, I have two prize packs to give away!  Each prize pack includes:

  • a Retract-a Blade knife,
  • a Designer Series Gripster craft knife, and
  • a self healing cutting mat.

But first, here are a couple more pics of my wreath.  I really like the subtle shimmer that the gold craft paint added.  I simply used a craft paint brush to dry brush some of the paint onto each leaf before attaching it to the wreath.

fall wreath 2

I definitely need to find a better way to hang my wreath, but temporarily I had to use this cheap wreath hanger.  I used some brown burlap that I had in my fabric stash to hang the wreath.  I was hoping that the chocolate brown would help to make it look less like Christmas and more like fall.  I think it helped, at least a little bit.

fall wreath 4

So there it is…my less-than-$10 fall wreath made from cardstock scrapbook paper, gold acrylic paint, and a wreath form, and all made very simply with help from X-ACTO!

Would you like the chance to win an X-ACTO prize pack?  Here are the details:

  • Giveaway item: A prize pack from X-ACTO which includes one (1) Retract-a-Blade knife, one (1) Designer Series Gripster craft knife, and one (1) self-healing cutting mat.
  • To enter: Simply leave a comment on this post.  (Facebook comments will NOT be counted.)
  • Giveaway closes: Monday, October 10, at 8:00am, CST
  • Number of Winners: Two
  • Prize available to: Anyone in the continental U.S.
  • Other details: One entry per person, please! And remember, anonymous comments cannot be counted. If you comment under “anonymous”, your name must appear within the comment. Winners will be selected via random.org, and will be announced Monday, October 10.

Looking for more creative uses for X-ACTO knives?  Check out this Creative Knife Uses Guide, filled with over 100 different uses, submitted by X-ACTO Knife users.

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  1. Your wreath is beautiful! On my computer the colors look taupe or brownish and it doesn't look like Christmas at all. Very elegant and of course, it is wonderful that it is so inexpensive to make!

  2. Wow.  Thanks for the education on X-acto knives!  I haven't used one in years.  About front door colors:  I have a deep purple painted door and it seems all my wreathes look good on it.  Pinks, yellows, lavender and apple green in the spring; rust, golds, purples and deep reds in the fall; white, beige, dark green in mid-winter and evergreen at Christmas time.

  3. Oh, I think the wreath turned out great!  I don't think it totally looks like a Christmas wreath, but it sure would be easy to bump it up to Christmas-y when it's time, right? =)  Cool giveaway too. Love x-acto.  http://heartjournaling.blogspot.com/

  4. I think it looks great! Remind me not to make you mad when you have an exacto in your hand! 48 seconds? Wow!

  5. What a great giveaway, and Panther, I'm keeping your purple door in mind when I get my OWN front door!

  6. Love it!
    I could really use and new Exacto knife, as I find myself needing it more and more often.  And this set would be perfect b/c I need a new cutting mat too!

  7. So genius to put a gripper on the x-acto knife.  I have an old one and always get that indention on my middle finger from gripping.  Great giveaway 🙂

  8. Love the wreath!  And, I actually like your door color, much better than it could have been.  😀 

  9. How come I've never thought about using an x-acto knife for my cutting projects? My thumbs are sore from using my scissors!! Okay, I really need to win this one!!

  10. I love your wreath!  You would need a good knife to keep from getting a sore hand cutting out all those leaves!  ~Kim

  11. Love the simplicity of your wreath and I think it's very fall! You should make and sell those. 🙂

  12. Love it!!  Not sure I have the patience to do it, but would love to give it a try.  I have double doors, so anything I do has to be done twice!!

  13. Are those X-actos new models? I use X-actos all the time, but never have seen the fatter handles – looks much more comfortable.

    Your wreath technique got me inspired; i wonder how the 'wreath' would look flat and not in a 'donut' shape like on a wall or cubbard backing with cut-out and stacked leafs hhhmmm…

  14. Yep, these are the new models.  They're so much easier to use (easier on the hands) than the original all-metal style.

    If you try your idea, I'd definitely like to see it!!  I saw something similar with just round pieces of paper cut out.  It was kind of a "fish scale" effect.  Looked amazing!

    1. Hello Kristi!
      I wanted to ask if you have a step by step of this wreath. What kind of wreath did you use? How did you apply the leaves etc….I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m a visual person!! lol

      I love the cool things you do!
      Thank you,
      Melanie 🙂

  15. Your wreath looks very expensive and I love it. I have double doors so and X-Acto knife would probably help. I will patiently wait and see if I win before trying to tackle leaf cutting with scissors.

  16. Your wreath is beautiful and I don't think it looks too Christmas-y at all because the green is so muted. Thanks for the chance to win!

  17. Love that you up'd the wow factor with the gold acrylic paint.  I think the colors make the wreath great for fall and winter!

  18. Awesome!  I could think of a lot of things to do with those knives!

    Your wreath turned out awesome!  Have you seen the lima bean and acorn wreaths floating around?  Those look pretty cool too!

  19. Love that you up'd the wow factor with the gold acrylic paint.  I think the colors make the wreath great for fall and winter!

  20. I really like the wreath – I don't think it looks too Christmas-y or anything.  Would love to try one on my own 🙂

  21. I love the wreath and the bow!  Don't know why I haven't thought of attached a bow to my wreath, but I'm going to go find some spare ribbon or fabric right now!

  22. I'm a brand new crafter and would love to try out my skills with the exacto knife, as I am finding out that I'm not so good at painting and drawing but pretty good at cutting stuff up and glueing it to other stuff.  Thanks!

  23. Hi, came over from the CG link party.  Love the wreath, and I don't think it looks Christmas-y at, definitely Fall to me! Great job : )

  24. i saw this on pinterest and i love the wreath!  i think i will have to make me one tomorrow while it's raining!  thanks for sharing!

  25. Kristi, that cracks me up that you timed yourself! (I did that once when I was making my bed.  Took under 3 minutes.  It's been good motivation over the years).

    Love the wreath.

  26. i'll definitly keep you posted – the 'fish scales' could even be interesting on a coffe table with a glass top…..hhhhmmmm

  27. i love wreaths, but I hate spending a lot on the ones in the store and they are such a pain to store. yours looks great, and with a $10 price tag, I wouldn't feel bad if i decided not to keep it for another year. could you reuse the wreath form?

    i think i have an x-acto knife somewhere, but it is likely rusted. a self-healing mat, though, i don't have. this is a great giveaway!

  28. I have an exacto but would love to have some of the newer models! Your wreath is beautiful and I think it loks like Fall.  : )

  29. lovely wreath,, but I cant imagine having to cut out all those leaves.   Count me in for the giveaway,, I'd love to try the fat pink one, I have a hard time with my hand cramping if I use my little skinny one for very long. 

  30. Kristi, since I am definitely NOt a wreath person either, I was prepared not to like your wreath 🙂 But I do really like it because it is quite chic — not at all like so many wreaths that scream DIY-in-the-60's !!  It doesn't look the least bit "Christmasy" to me, and the brown burlap was just the right counterpoint to the contemporary style & colors of the wreath itself.  Perhaps you might try wrapping that gold portion of your wreath hanger with a bit more of the brown burlap — that might make it look more pleasing to your eye!  I love my exacto knives — just wish I kept better track of the clear plastic covers.  Most times I locate mine by sticking myself with the pointy ends.  Someone suggested placing pencil erasers on the points to keep from injuring yourself & that's a pretty good idea that I need to implement.  The give-a-way package you've assembled sounds like a wonderful combination of excellent items.  If I happen to be the lucky winner, I'll definitely have to make the wreath you've posted.  Who knows — I may find myself in the pro-wreath camp for a change!
    I LOVE your blog and make a point to read it — even during those busiest of times when I find myself having to skip over a dozen design blogs among those I subscribe to and select just 1 or 2 design blogs to read from beginning to end. With yours, I can't stop at just your current entry — I scroll through old posts & photos and click to my heart's content!
    Thanks for your inspiration and truly chic, well-executed design projects!!
    Donna Johnson

  31. Very cute! I'm looking for ideas to make own one of my, and this is definitely at the top of my list 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!!

  32. Love the wreath! And X-ACTO! I just recently gave in and bought one. You're not joking about the amount of time they save!

  33. I love your wreath! I totally agree scissors take SO LONGG! I would be able to do so much more with all the time savings!

  34. IYou can see any photo, but unless you actually see it, it is so beautiful. Nice article and will for sure share your site. Thanks for the info. can see any photo, but unless you actually look at it is so breath taking. Nice article and will for sure share your site. Thanks for the info.

  35. I am new to the wreath-thing and I just spent an hour cutting out little leaves and pumpkins for a Halloween wreath. Not easily done with Rheumatoid Arthritis! I have never heard of X-ACTO, but if it can do all of those leaves that quick, I would LOVE to try it! BTW, I also love your website, keep up the great work!

  36. Love the fall wreath, can’t wait to try it. I have a bag full of wine corks, want to make a wreath out of them, any ideas out there?

  37. I was searching the internet for an idea for a Christmas wreath and came across your fall wreath……neat idea! I’ll have to try this one also 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

  38. Love your wreath. I have never thought of using a knife to cut paper, I’m going to have to try this.