DIY Paper Ornaments
As a kickoff to the season, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite recipes for holiday ornaments. These balls-really more like “twisted orbs”-are fun and easy to make. With a little prep work (or some supervision), they are even appropriate for 8- to 14-year-olds as well as adults.
Paper, cutting tools, small pliers, some wire, and an awl or needle for making small holes.
Begin with two sheets of color-coordinated paper, 1-3/4 inches x 9 inches.
On the reverse of each sheet, draw guidelines to mark the centers and 1/4 inch in from each short edge (as indicated).
Stack the sheets atop one another and use your craft knife to cut them into 1/4-inch-wide strips. You’ll need 14 strips total (7 of each color).
Using an awl or needle, make a small hole in the center of each of the guidelines across the back of the strips (in the center and at each end of the strip).
Cut a 6-inch length of floral wire and make a small loop in one end.
Thread wire through the center of each strip (the loop at the end of the wire prevents the strips from falling off).
A detail showing the strips threaded onto the wire. Note that I have alternated colors: a light strip followed by a dark strip followed by a light strip, etc.
Begin with the bottom-most strip (nearest the loop end of the wire).
Fold this bottom-most strip up and insert the end of the wire through the hole at the end of the strip of paper.
Continue folding strips up and threading them onto the wire. Be sure to always draw the bottom-most strip so that your colors alternate light and dark.
At the halfway point, you will have threaded 14 strips onto the wire and your ornament should look like this illustration. Continue in the same direction around the model until all ends are threaded onto the wire and the model is complete.
Once your model is completely folded, trim excess wire and fashion a small, tight loop in each end of the wire and attach a small cord or ribbon from which to hang the ornament.
You can use wider or narrower strips (blue and purple ornaments, respectively) to achieve different looks. The resulting ornaments offer a lovely twist on the standard holiday globe.