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Ornamentally Artsy

Ornamentally Artsy

Easy-to-Make Paper Ornaments

These sweet ornaments are packed with personality! Get creative with patterned papers and bright beads on wire to make a simple addition to your holiday decor. Hang individual ornaments on a tree, string them along a length of ribbon to make a garland, or tie a set of ornaments together to create a unique gift for a special teacher or anyone on your list.

What you need:

• Scrapbook paper (12×12)
• Floral or jewelry wire (we used 18-gauge aluminum bead wire)
• Various beads (choose beads with large enough holes for the wire)
• Scissors
• Ruler
• Small hole punch
• Wire cutters

What you do:

  1. Cut nine 10-inch x ¾-inch strips from the patterned paper. Big kids can use a ruler on the back of the paper to measure ¾-inch width and mark with a pencil where to cut each strip.

2. Cut all nine strips in half for a total of eighteen 5-inch x ¾-inch strips.

3. Punch one small hole on each end of the paper strips. Leave enough room around the hole on all sides to avoid the paper ripping as you work with it.

4. Cut two 1½-inch circles out of same or coordinating paper. Hint: a plastic bottle cap is a good template.

5. Punch a small hole in the middle of each circle.

6. Cut a 10-inch piece of wire using your wire cutters.

7. About 2 inches from the bottom of the wire, bend a “U” shape. Holding the bottom of the “U,” pull the shorter wire around and across the longer end of wire. Twist around itself several times to secure.

8. Thread 2 to 3 beads and one circle (pattern facing down) onto the wire.

9. Add the small strips of paper threading through one of the holes on each strip (again with pattern facing down).

10. Pass the wire through the second hole on each strip of paper and add the final circle to the top (pattern facing up).

11. Add 2 or 3 of your favorite beads.

12. Push the beads and paper downward on the wire until the paper bulges out. Bend the wire into an “L” shape to keep the beads and paper in place.

13. Holding the “L” near the top of your beads, bring the wire around your finger to create a larger circle for hanging the ornament. Secure the bottom of the circle around the wire just above your last bead, where you bent the wire to create the “L” shape.

14. Use wire cutters to remove any excess wire.

15. Gently separate the paper strips, creating a round shape.

16. Add ribbon through the top circle and your ornament is ready to hang.

For younger kids:

Use pipe cleaners instead of wire. A larger hole punch will allow the paper to slide over the thickness of the stem, and larger beads will be easier for little fingers, too.

Lauren Hall is the visual arts manager at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. Her own creative efforts include jewelry design and sewing. Lauren lives in Glen Allen with her family.

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