Google+ House Revivals: Make Special Ornaments From Greeting Cards

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Make Special Ornaments From Greeting Cards

My son and his new wife had a sad assortment of Christmas ornaments -- a couple of hand print ornaments from a little niece, and a half dozen plastic spheres. It hurt my heart.

Both my son and his bride are busy software engineers, with a forty-five minute commute to and from work, so they don't have a lot of time to shop for Christmas decorations. After their wedding last September, they brought me all their leftover invitations, thinking I could "do something" with them. I could. I did. I combined them with some of the greeting cards our family had received over the years, and some scraps of card stock to create these pretty paper ornaments for their tree. They were delighted.

These are made using the same "triangle-within-a-square" technique that our grandmothers used to made paper spheres from old greeting cards to decorate their Christmas trees, except these are two sided, instead of spherical. My beautiful daughter-in-law is from India, so I wanted to create something colorful and elegant that had an Asian feel.

To make these ornaments, you need a circle template and a triangle template. Normally, I would have drafted the templates in CAD, and printed them out, but my printer was out of ink, and I am impatient. I decided to use a two inch hole punch that I had in my stash (here's an affiliate link to a two inch punch), and then hand draft an equilateral triangle to fit perfectly inside it. Except, I didn't have access to my drafting tools.

I tried holding a piece of paper to my computer screen and tracing a 60 degree angle, but that was less than perfect. Then, I looked around the house for a triangle. I also began looking around for a flat piece of plastic to cut a sturdy template from. When I found the plastic lid to my dishwasher pod container, I also found my equilateral triangle! As is turns out, that little recycling symbol is an equilateral triangle, so I was able to get my sixty degree angle. I drew two legs of the triangle the exact same length, then connected them.

I made my triangle slightly small -- the points don't quite reach the edge of the two inch circle. This was because I wanted to account for the thickness of the plastic.

Side note: this technique will also work with your scalloped punch. Just make sure the number of scallops is divisible by three. My scallop punch, from Fiskars, has fifteen scallops, so it works perfectly. (Fiskars scallop punch affiliate link)

For each ornament, you will need to punch ten circles. Place your sturdy triangle template on top of the pretty side of your card stock (or upcycled greeting card), centering it. Carefully fold the card stock up, using the edge of the triangle as a guide. Some folks use the triangle as a guide to carefully score a fold line, but I like my method better, because it's so fast.

 Do this on all three sides, being careful to keep the triangle centered.

Fold the sides completely over, to get a nice crease. You will now have a triangle with three rounded tabs. Each tab will be glued to a tab on an adjacent triangle to create your ornament.

Glue five of the triangles together, radiating out from a central point, for the first side. Repeat, for the second side. Glue the front and back together. You can glue a ribbon hanger into the top of the ornament at this time. If desired, punch a hole in the bottom of the ornament and hang some fibers to create a pretty tassel.

I must warn you, these ornaments are addictive. You will find yourself scouring your house for old greeting cards and card stock to make more and more and more!

My son and his beautiful bride love the fact that pieces of my son's past Christmases were used, as well as mementos from their wedding.

While I was digging, I found a lovely old Christmas card from some dear family friends. The card had pictures of their kids when they were little, as well as a letter talking about the family's interests at the time -- all printed on lovely card stock! I was able to make an ornament for them using their old card. They were thrilled to receive the memento. There was nothing this couple needed, as a gift -- they have had successful careers and can buy anything they want, so giving them something sentimental and handmade was perfect.

I hope this post encourages you to dig out those old greeting cards and create your own special mementos.

For another easy ornament DIY, you may want to check out this tutorial.

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