Upcycled Christmas wreath

Craft guru Magdalena Franco shows us how to transform old cardboard and newspaper into this colourful Christmas wreath. It's a fun activity to reduce landfill and teach the kids the value of upcycling.


a old cardboard moving box


string (any kind will do)


spray adhesive

paper shredder or herb scissors

circle shaped templates (look in the kitchen for pot lids and plates)

felt pompoms

hot glue gun

spray paint

How to:

1. Using a large pot lid or plate, trace around the outside with a pencil/marker onto your piece of cardboard. 

2. Draw another, much smaller, circle inside the larger circle ensuring you’ve got enough width between the two to make a nice bulky wreath. Make sure the second circle is centred so that the base of your wreath is symmetrical.

Poke a couple of holes near the top of the cardboard wreath and thread some string through and tie-off, so you later have something to hang your wreath from. 

3. Take a sheet of newspaper and feed it through a paper shredder or use herb scissors (they’re scissors which have multiple cutting blades in a row) to cut spaghetti-like paper strips. You’ll want nice, health coverage across your entire wreath base, so make sure you cut enough to fill the surface. 

4. Lay down some newspaper outside or in a well-ventialted space and place your cardboard wreath base onto it before spraying adequately with spray glue. Working in small batches, attach clumps of shredded newspaper to the cardboard, pressing it down gently as you go to ensure it’s well-attached. Make sure to finesse the shredded newspaper around the edges so that it sits as neatly as possible. When you’re done covering the cardboard you can clean up any stray edges with a pair of scissors so you don’t end up with an unruly “crazy haired” wreath.

5. Once the glue has dried (give it 1/2 hour) you can start applying spray paint. The best way to do this is the work in small areas rather than one continuous stream of paint application. Go light. You’ll need around 3-4 coats depending on your chosen brand and finish of spray paint, but you’ll only be able to apply one coat at a time. Make sure you leave the paint to dry for around an hour in between coats otherwise you might risk turning your wreath into a mushy painted mess. If you’re worried about the spray paint you have, you should use an undercoat or primer which is suitable for use on paper before applying your final chosen spray paint colour.

6. Once you’re happy with the paint application, you can attach some pompoms using a hot glue gun. I also made an origami bow out of a square of newspaper which I spray painted in contrasting yellow. I also attached the bow using hot glue. 

Now you’re ready to hang and admire your upcycled wreath. 

Back to top