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Hanging paper ornaments

Next in my series of inexpensive Christmas decorations… these paper ornaments.

I loved the shape of these when I came across a photo of them the other day… they have a midcentury feel to them, don’t you think? There are many images and tutorials online for these… here’s one at Design Sponge.

I had some red and turquoise paper, but wanted to add some shine. I couldn’t find any silver paper like the image I had in my head, but I did find a large bow at Michael’s made of flexible plastic, with one side completely covered in silver glitter. I took it apart, cut it into strips, and it worked perfectly…. aside from the fact that there was glitter everywhere! (as a good friend of mine always says, “glitter is NOT our friend!”) I don’t usually use glitter, but every now and then you just need a little sparkle.

I cut strips of paper 1″ wide, then cut the centre strip to the height I wanted the ornament to be. Cut the next two strips in a different colour, approximately 2″ longer than the first, and the last two (outside) strips about 2″ longer than those. I didn’t measure, though. Line up the ends and staple together, then line up the other ends – letting the outer strips curve into shape – and staple.

A cluster of them hung above our dining table was a festive addition for our Christmas party last weekend. You really can’t get much simpler or cheaper, but they are actually rather effective. Some of our guests remembered making these when they were kids and found them quite nostalgic!

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Magazine Trees

Christmas is coming! Are you creating any homemade decorations this year? I am, mostly from paper or things I already had around the house. First up: some cute Christmas trees made from magazines. The instructions are on Martha Stewart’s web site.

Instead of recycling those old magazines, upcycle a few into Christmas trees! These are so easy, kids could make them… but I like their simplicity. I made one from a magazine and two from an old paperback book.

The instructions in Martha’s video say to do the first fold on every page, then the second fold on every page, etc. Instead, I did all three folds on each page, as I went. This way, when you get to the third fold where you’re tucking the corner under, you can make a crease by pressing it against the pages below, which makes it easier to get a clean fold and it’s much less fussy.

Also, the instructions say to use spray adhesive for attaching glitter to the trees. If you don’t have spray adhesive, a glue stick will work too. Just hold the folded edges together, and lightly run a gluestick along them. Then open out the tree again, place it on a plate or sheet of newspaper and sprinkle with glitter.

I found a package of silver stars from IKEA in a kitchen drawer (meant for decorating the stem of a wineglass) so I attached one to the top of each tree. Such a simple craft, but you know…. they look quite pretty lined up on our bookcase, with soft Christmas lights catching the silver sparkle.