DIY Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback Inspired Wreath

My latest adventure has been rereading the absolutely magical Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I was reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and when I got to chapter 14, which is titled “Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback”, there was an adorable picture of Norbert hatching below it. And when I looked at it, I was like, “I have to make a craft inspired by this dragon!” And so here we are!

He’s so cute!

Because this craft is kind of time-consuming, I would recommend listening to some songs, episodes of your favorite podcast, or an audiobook while working so that it’s more enjoyable. I had so much fun listening to Potterless, which is a podcast that I highly recommend for big Potterheads! It’s about a grown man who is reading the series for the first time, and it’s full of witty comments, pointing out plot holes, and talking about all things Harry Potter!

I tried to make it look like Norbert was hatching, but I’m not sure if I succeeded! The tissue paper is supposed to represent fire beneath the egg because in Hagrid’s book, Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit, it says to keep the dragon egg in fire because their mothers breathe on them. 😊

Materials:

  • 14” by 14” piece of cardboard
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Box cutter or serrated knife*
  • About eight sheets of black cardstock
  • Paper-cutter (optional but recommended)
  • Scissors
  • Scotch/cellophane tape
  • Masking aka painter’s tape (optional but useful)
  • Liquid glue
  • Newspaper (so that you don’t make a big mess)
  • Black paint
  • Paint pallet
  • Toothbrush or fan brush (you can also use a normal brush but it will be harder)
  • Container filled with water
  • All the pieces of the template, which you can print and cut out. I will attach a picture of it below.
  • One sheet of white printer paper
  • Orange and black markers
  • Glue stick
  • Black fine liner
  • Tissue paper in colors yellow, orange, and red (you can also use only one of these colors, two of them, or all three. I just used yellow and orange)
  • Yarn or ribbon
  • Hot glue gun

*Always have an adult help you when you are using sharp objects! Madam Pomfrey is most likely on summer vacation right now and therefore, will not be available to use Skele-Gro for your fingers.

Please contact me if you have any problems with the template! I wasn’t really sure how to make one, so I just decided to draw on a piece of paper. I think that by copying the image onto a Google/Word Document or saving it and then copying it onto the app ‘Notes’ (if you have an Apple device), you will be able to print it out! It should take up a full piece of paper.
Don’t forget the tail! I almost did when I was making the template. 😅

PART ONE: The Egg

Step 1: Using a ruler, draw a 14” line down the middle of the cardboard with a pencil. Mark the 6” point from the top of the cardboard and draw a 5” line on either side of it. You should now have a ‘T’ shape on the cardboard. After that, connect the ends of all the lines together to form an oval. Cut it out using a box cutter or a serrated knife.*

*Be careful and ask an adult for help if you need it!

It’s an egg!

Step 2: Mark 4” below the top of the egg, 4” inches below the bottom, and 1” from either side. Connect all of the marks to form an oval and cut it out with a box cutter or a serrated knife.*

*Do not hurt yourself! Seriously!

Don’t worry about the oval being perfect!

Step 3: Cut out about 30 strips of black cardstock, 1″ to 3″ in width.

Step 4: The next step is kind of hard to explain so I made a video to help. Take a strip of black cardstock and using some cellophane tape, tape one of the ends onto the back of the cardboard, making sure that the other end is pointing towards you. Then flip it right-side up, loop it through the hole in the middle, flip it again, and tape it. Also, make sure that you tape the strip loosely so that the wreath will look more full and wreath-like! I don’t know if that made any sense but hopefully the video will help! 😄

Step 5: Continue to cut strips of cardstock and tape them until your whole wreath is covered and puffy. Make sure to overlap them so that you can get rid of any gaps. If you do have any small gaps that you can’t cover up, then I would recommend to use some tape to do so. Also, I decided to tape some of the strips together on the front of the wreath to make sure that it has an even surface. This will really help with the next part! After you are done, add a layer of masking tape onto the back of the wreath to secure all of the cellophane tape.

Step 6: This step is one of the most time-consuming parts of this craft but I promise that it will come to an end eventually! Using the black cardstock and a pair of scissors, cut out a lot of tiny triangles.

They are very pointy!
A tip that I like to use to help make this process more efficient is to cut strips of black cardstock and then cut those into triangles.

Step 7: The next step is to glue all of the triangles you cut onto the wreath using some liquid glue. Make sure to overlap them so that there aren’t any gaps.

Please ignore the fact that I used navy blue cardstock for the base of my wreath. I didn’t have any black cardstock so I had to color the triangles with a Sharpie, but I didn’t want to waste my time coloring the strips that would be covered up eventually. 😅
Finally!!! This part took a REALLY long time because of the whole black cardstock situation! Eventually the Sharpie fumes were starting to make my throat hurt and I was like, “I don’t want to die of Sharpie fumes!’ so I decided to wear a mask which really helped!

Step 8: To create some texture, I decided to use a fan brush to splatter some black paint onto the wreath. A toothbrush or a normal bristle brush works just fine too! There are two methods to achieve this step and I have videos that demonstrate both. Also, I recommend placing a newspaper on your work surface because the paint tends to splatter everywhere!

The first one is to dip your brush into some black paint that is mixed with a tiny bit of water (it’s important to add some water so that the paint isn’t super thick, but don’t add too much), and then flick the bristles upwards with your finger. This creates a really nice speckled effect on the wreath! The video below shows you how to do this.

The second method is to dip your brush into some black paint that is mixed with a tiny bit of water and then gently tap the brush so that the paint splatters onto the wreath. Make sure to tap lightly or else you will end with blotches of paint, rather than careful splatters. This method is a lot more efficient and creates more of a constellation effect on your wreath. I used both methods for this project! Also, please ignore my hands in the next video, they look very scary! 😂

PART 2: The Dragon

I was looking up pictures of Norbert to use for inspiration when I came across this one that was so cute!

I couldn’t figure out who the original creator of this picture is but it is absolutely adorable! I would put a citation for it but this picture takes me to Pinterest which then takes me to an Instagram post that isn’t this picture! Anyways, at first I was going to try to make Norbert look more like the drawing from the book but after a while I was like, “He can be a cute Norbert instead!” So I basically recreated this picture except I changed the color of the body, wings, and eye.

Step 1: Trace the body, tail, and solid wing pieces onto a piece of black cardstock and then cut it out. Trace the thin wing outline pieces, nostrils, spikes, and all the eye pieces onto a piece of white printer paper and cut everything out. Color the thin wing outline pieces, nostrils, spikes, and the medium-sized eye piece with a black marker. Color the largest eye piece with an orange marker and leave the smallest eye piece white.

I’m sorry, I forgot the nostrils in this picture!

Step 2: Using a glue stick, glue the eye pieces on top of one another (the orange should be at the bottom, then place the black piece on top, and finally the tiny white circle).

Step 3: Using a glue stick, glue the wing outline onto the solid wing pieces.

Step 4: Glue the nostrils, spikes, and eye piece onto the body.

Step 5: I totally forgot to take a picture of this step so I’m using one that I took after I glued the dragon onto the wreath. Don’t glue the dragon onto the wreath yet, that’s the next step! Step 5 is to glue the wings and tail onto the body piece. As you can see in the picture, I glued it onto the back of the body piece.

Step 6: Now glue the whole dragon onto the wreath using some liquid glue.

PART 3: Finishing Touches!

Step 1: To make the fire, cut out about 30 2″ by 2″ squares of tissue paper. I cut out 20 yellow squares and 12 orange squares. To create a flame-like shape, pinch the middle of a the square of tissue paper and then crumple it around that center point. I have a video to help because I cannot explain things! 😂

Step 2: Now glue all of the mini tissue paper flames onto the bottom of the wreath with some liquid glue. Feel free to bunch them up, make them overlap, and spread out the colors however you would like!

You are almost done!

Step 3: Cut a 14″ piece of yarn and knot it together and the end.

Step 4: Place the knotted yarn on the top of the wreath.

Step 5: Hot glue the yarn onto the back of the wreath. Make sure to use a lot so that it stays!

Step 6: Cover the yarn in some masking tape so that it is extra secure!

Step 7: Hang it up! I looped mine around a plastic hook but you can also use a nail or hang it on another object.

Yay! All done!!

Tadaaa! You are all done! Thank you so much for reading this post and if you do decide to make this wreath, then please tag us on Instagram at @booksloveandlife24 so that we can see your lovely creation! Norbert, or Norberta, as my friend pointed out to me because I totally forgot, is such an amazing creature and I’m starting to feel as obsessed with dragons and Hagrid is! I really want one now! Anywho, I hope that you have a wonderful day and stay magical! ❤️—Rishika