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Making Ornaments

At this time of year I get very distractible, and trawl through the web finding Christmas ornaments to make. I have no shortage of ornaments — I just like making stuff — and I save patterns and possibilities on my computer, so I thought I’d share some here, starting with paper ornaments.

All the ornaments in this photo are made of paper, except the holly wreath, which is polyclay. I’m not terribly patient so most of these are very easy, even though they don’t immediately look it. Three of them are “german bells” — the red and white pointy one, the green one and the small red and gold one) and they can look really beautiful, especially if you use gorgeous paper. (I love the red and white paper which was wrapping paper I got in a shop.)  If you want to make some yourself, here’s a link. You can also hang them the other way up and they look lovely that way as well.

Years ago my Vietnamese students showed me how to make fat little stars out of the strips you used to pull off the sides of computer paper. (That’s how long ago it was *g* ) We made heaps and strung them on a line all over the classroom and staffroom.  I spray painted some gold and some silver and left most of them white, and they looked so pretty.

And one year I made a heap of these kirigami stars  —kirigami is like origami except you cut the paper as well as fold it. These are made out of the inside of envelopes. I was recycling, but also I kept finding more patterns inside envelopes and so kept making more stars. Until then I never realized that there even were patterns inside envelopes. There are made from 8 small rectangles. You can glue them together at the end, but I didn’t and they stayed together remarkably well.

I really liked the ones here made from old music sheets, but I didn’t have any music sheets, and if I did I probably wouldn’t have wanted to cut them up anyway. This site shows you how to make them. Believe me, they’re very simple — a bit fiddly the first time, but after that — well, I made heaps while watching TV.

And there’s a slightly harder version here that looks very spiffy. You can see how the choice of paper makes such a difference. Her stars are olive green and silver and look so lovely.

This is one of the easiest of all — a pinecone, from a Canadian site.  It’s just a matter of cutting out the pattern and threading the pieces with a bead between them to keep them separate. I don’t know how much like a pinecone they are, but they do look lovely and graceful once hung up, when they catch the slightest breeze. 

And this one is even easier — it’s just strips of paper glued or stapled together. Really easy but quite elegant, and would look lovely in silver or gold paper. I love the way paper ornaments twirl and move in even the faintest breeze.

I have lots more, but I don’t want to bore you so that’ll do for today. Do you like to decorate your home for the festive season? Do you make any ornaments yourself?

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theo
theo
4 months ago

Those German Bells look (except for the paper of course) just like my earrings! ;) I wear them often and can verify that they hold up ridiculously well. I might have to try making some. I bought a Charlie Brown tree this year and it’s pretty sparse.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
4 months ago
Reply to  theo

Theo, I’m so pleased the earrings have survived. Try making the German bells — or the other patterns. They are much easier than they seem at first glance. And fun to make.

Anne Gracie
Anne Gracie
4 months ago
Reply to  theo

I just looked up a Charlie Brown tree and thought it wasn’t unlike my effort of the last few years when I’ve spray painted some pretty twigs, put them in a vase and hung tiny paper ornaments from them. Minimalist tree effect — though I still love real trees best. You can’t beat that pine scent that permeates the whole house. Love it so much.

theo
theo
4 months ago
Reply to  Anne Gracie

This tree is real and the house smells wonderful. But you can see right through it. I couldn’t use all my ornaments because they’re heavy glass and I was afraid they’d fall off.

We go to a local tree farm every year. I’ll have a real tree until my husband can’t get down on the ground and cut one anymore, I guess. But this one isn’t happy and is losing a lot of needles. Of course, the cat wandering around underneath it isn’t helping ;) Thank goodness she doesn’t climb it!

theo
theo
4 months ago

Anne, I wanted to come back, I just read this article. It’s a repost from 2015 I think, but I thought you might find some of the ornaments interesting and there’s links to all of them :)
https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/handmade-holiday-14-diy-origami-ornaments-213818