Paper Crafts: Making Ornaments from Old Greeting Cards

One of my resolutions this year was to spend some time doing paper crafts. Yeah, I know that sounds odd but I have always been a creative spirit and just wanted to find something new to try. And I had collected several years’ worth of holiday greeting cards. Besides using them to make name tags for gifts two Christmases ago, I had not done anything else with them. That is about to change this year!

Over the holidays, I began research craft ideas for recycling greeting cards, and I came across this tutorial at a site called Scoutie Girl.  It teaches you step-by-step how to make an awesome ornaments from cards. I decided I was going to do it, but I would need the proper tools to do it!

After some quick browsing on Amazon, I purchased tracing paper, a metal ruler, a self-healing cutting mat, a giant Fiskar hole punch, and a set of Xacto knives. A few days later I was back purchasing glitter, glue, glitter glue, and another hole punch also needed for projects.  And two trips to Dollar General and CVS helped me stock up on more greeting cards along with some ribbon which were all on clearance.

I won’t walk you through the entire tutorial, but instead will share some tips and tricks I picked up on . I followed the instructions step-by-step and made two ornaments yesterday. I will tell you the hole punching part is easy, and picking out the pieces for your ornament is fun too.

Most of your time is consumed drawing the triangles on the back of the circles and scoring the folds. At first I thought it would be simple to just draw the triangles on and then manually make the folds. Nope! You still have to reverse the folds to point upward on the side that has the graphic. So, it’s best to score the folds with a knife, careful not to cut all the way through, and then fold them the proper way right from the start.

As you can imagine, the gluing is also a long timely process. Again, follow the instructions and make the top, bottom, and middle all separately.  I made the top and bottom first and set them aside to dry. Also, I’m using 3/8″ ribbon and found it difficult to thread it through the top once all five pieces were glued.

So, on the second ornament I put the ribbon in place BEFORE closing the gap. I also left enough ribbon to go through the bottom of the ornament and reinforced it with glue. At some point, I’m going to add a small bead to the top and bottom of the ribbon to give it a finished look.

Lining the final three pieces up is a bit tricky, but take your time and glue each fold separately. The geometric shape of the ornament actually gives it a lot of flex. It reminded me of those snake-like toys from grade school made up of colored triangles that you could bend and fold into other shapes. (I totally just bought one of those on Amazon after writing this!)

You also don’t have to worry if some of your folds are larger on some pieces than on others. I got close, but I knew that some of them were a bit off thanks to an unsteady hand.  The excess  ends up hidden inside the ornament. Just glue the folds perfectly edge to edge every time. The ornament still lines up and turns out looking great.  This was a problem I had definitely improved upon by the time I started the second ornament.

The only drawback is the investment in the hole punch. I bought a 2″ hole punch so I’m limited to that size unless I want to buy another one, which I will probably end up doing because I love the giant hole punch. It’s super easy to use and the circles come out perfect everytime.

But I’m not limited on the styles of ornaments I can make! Thanks to Pinterest (which I’m now addicted to), I found other different shaped ornaments that I’m going to try making. So, more posts of those to follow along with several posts on another project I’m attempting called Glitter Houses!

Do you do paper crafts?  If so, what do you make? What art projects are you working on in 2014?  More to follow from me. Check back soon!

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