Tutorial: Paper Ornaments

Another little tute for you to try with your children while pies and cookies are baking.  Our midwife, Sue, posted this craft on her Facebook page to make with last year’s cards (or leftover ones if you have them).  We had neither, so I pulled out our trusty scrapbook paper stack – the same stack we have used for three years running.

This one is a little more challenging than the Vintage Christmas Lights, and should provide some joy for the maths enthusiast in your family, too.  Alternately, have the kids do piles of different sized circles and have them figure up the inscribed triangles and call Maths done for the day. 🙂

You need:

Scrapbook paper or cards

A large paper punch or compass


Cardstock or scrap of cardboard (for triangle template)




Micropunch, awl, or sharp yarn needle

Stringing cord

This is my huge lever punch, which makes a super big 2.5" circle. I LOVE it. Find out why below.


Gather your materials. If you're anything like me, this will take half the day because we have too much {stuff} and not enough {space}.


Punch out circles from your cards or paper. If you haven't a punch, use a compass to scribe a 2.5" circle onto a piece of cardstock to use as a template. Then cut out a whole bunch of circles.


ABout 300 circles done in short order with my punch. Did I mention how much I LOVE this punch? {Save your scraps, this paper is spendy.!}


On the wrong side of your circles, make a nice, even triangle or...


create a template for an inscribed equilateral triangle. Lots of fun for the engineer in the family. The formula is:: a=3R/√3, where "R" is the radius of the circle. That literally made me lightheaded, but Brian had tons of fun.


That formula again::  a=3R/√3

Cut your triangle template out of cardstock. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. Remember to cut it out INSIDE the lines so that it trims out neatly inside the circles.


On the wrong side of your circles, score around the template using your scissor blade.


Fold all three flaps toward the right side of each circle.


You'll need FOUR folded circles for each ornament.


Using thinned glue and a paintbrush, glue only the flaps of the circles.


Stick flap of the second circle to the first...


More glue and the third and fourth circles.


Gather the children and have them finish up the rest of the circles. They'll love it!


Set your ornaments aside to dry.  You could add glue and glitter around the edges, too.  This hides any mismatched edges, if you’re concerned about that sort of thing.  I like the imperfection – but I also love anything that sparkles! 🙂  When everything is dried, punch a wee hole in one flap of each ornament and thread some cord through for hanging.

About that punch…

It’s a “Recollections” lever punch, available at Michael’s stores.  I bought a 2.5″ circle as well a gift tag cutter.  Why do I LOVE it so much?  I have pretty bad arthritis all over, but the inflammation in my hands can make crafting really difficult and not much fun.  Cutting with scissors takes me extra long and hurts after only a short time.  This lever punch allows me to use my whole palm for pressure, which relieves my fingers enormously.  I punched more than 300 circles really quickly.  I call that a brilliant invention.  Well worth the $16 I paid!

*I don’t get paid by Michael’s, this is my own opinion of a great product I wanted to share with you.

Tutorial:: Recycled Vintage Christmas Lights

We love making handmade ornaments for our tree.  Most years, we make things that are more ethereal – paper chains, salt dough shapes, popcorn strings.  This year, I wanted to add something up-cycled or recycled.  We haven’t had glass ornaments of any kind for about a dozen years because we have little ones.  I got tired of cleaning up shattered glass.

This summer, we cut down a HUGE evergreen tree in front of our farmhouse.  And twined into the branches was a string of Christmas lights – the great big sturdy glass kind.  I decided that I wanted to make some ornaments from them.  I’ve seen some lovely hand-painted ones on Etsy like these and these.  But I needed to make something a little bit simpler, something that everyone could do.

You need:

Vintage glass Christmas lightbulbs (or replacements that have been sanded)

Metallic enamel craft paint



Paint brushes

Disposable cups or bowls

Disposable spoons (optional)

Metallic elastic cord to match your metallic paint

E6000 or similar glue

We salvaged about 60 bulbs from the string that was on the tree. The glass was naturally etched from wear. We cleaned the bulbs off with a paper towel to remove dirt and grass.

Next, paint the metal threads with the metallic paint and set on newspaper to dry. Ours dried right quick. Do a second coat if you feel it needs it.

Make sure you get the entire metal area, including the very tip.


These bottles of glitter will go a LONG way.



Place about 1 tablespoon of tacky glue, thinned with water, into a cup. Paint an even coat over the glass part of each bulb.


Beginning at the metal thread end, sprinkle the glitter over the bulb. Be generous, you can knock off any excess.




LOVE the green! Keep your glitter cups separate so that you can salvage the unused portion. It’s spendy.


Silver! Looked nice on both the clear and the opaque white bulbs.


All done. Waiting to be strung and hung.  We’ll tie the stringing cord onto the threads and glue in place with E6000.  That will need to set overnight before hanging.  You could also use Superglue or similar.  Make sure your workspace is well ventilated. P-U !

What we used::

Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue

Martha Stewart glitter (we chose Carnelian, Aquamarine Crystal, and White Gold)

DecoArt Gloss Enamel paint in Shimmering Silver

Jewelry Essentials Stringing elastic cord in silver

E6000 glue

A Work in Progress {WIP}

Longies on the needles... again.


EZ is a wonderfully witty knitting companion.


After visiting Nicole’s blog and seeing these scrumptious finished longies that she made for her little one, I remembered the ones I had started for Jo before she was born.  Much too small now, they’d have to be frogged and started again.  And while out shopping for Advent candles for our wreath, I popped into the new home of our favourite yarn shop and found another hank of the same beautiful antique-y sock-weight yarn I had purchased nearly two years earlier.  A miracle?  Possibly.

So the old pair were unraveled, the new hank wound into a ball, and cast back onto the needles.  I can’t wait to try the finished longies on my little gal.  They’re sure to keep her adorably cozy.

And speaking of WIPs, I’m pretty pleased with the progress of this project.

I hope that your day is blessed.  Won’t you leave me a link to what you’re working on?

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