Paper Ornament Tutorial

ChristyInk & Paper, TutorialsLeave a Comment

A couple people asked me how I made the ornament I posted yesterday, so I thought I’d do a little how-to. It’s harder to explain than it is to do, so hopefully I won’t leave you too confused. If you have any questions, leave them in comments.

Cut out 20 circles of equal size from various papers. For this example, I used 5 coordinating patterns. Yours can be all the same, all different, or any combination. The size of your circles will determine the size of your ornament. I used the largest circle on the Circles #2 die from Sizzix for circles exactly 2.5 inches in diameter, and my ornament is slightly larger than a softball.


Decorate your circles. For today’s ornament, I liked the paper so much I wanted it to speak for itself. You can do whatever you want, though. Yesterday I sanded some, embossed some, used distress inks, stamps, glitter, and all kinds of embellishments. It’s a fun way to do a little bit of everything.

Fold the circles into triangles. This is the hardest part, because you want very straight folds and very even triangles. I made a triangle template to help me along. This required a lot of trial and error and a little math. Had I been better at trigonometry, it would have taken a little more math and a lot less trial and error. (Note to teenagers: this is one of those times you’ll need to know how to solve for x in real life. Stay in school.)

Using my template, I found that for a circle with a 2.5 inch diameter, I could place the circle in the upper left corner of my scoring board and score at the 1 7/8 inch line 3 times to get my perfect triangle.

Here you can almost see my first two score lines, and how this is lined up for the last score.

Lay out your circle-triangles in the order you want to put them together. The sphere is basically made up of 4 rows of 5 triangles. Since I used 5 paper patterns, I set them up so I had one of each pattern in every row. This way you can easily see which edges will get glued together.

The triangles in row one all point up. These points will meet in the middle when glued together, and you’ll have the top of the sphere.

Row two points down. The tops of these will meet the bottoms of the first row.

Row three points up. They will be placed in between the triangles in row two.

Row four points down. Like row one, the points of these triangles will meet in the middle to form the bottom of the sphere.

Start Gluing. I glued the circles from the first row to the circles in the second row to make 5 diamonds.

Next I glued the first row together, so that half of the sphere was completed. You can see how it looks like a pentagon with a triangle hanging off each side.

Then I glued row three in between the protruding triangles, and finished by adding the top/bottom/whatever.

Note: For the ornament I posted yesterday I used my Glue Glider. However, today I found that a good old-fashioned glue stick works much better. The glue stays wet long enough to slide the edges around until they match perfectly, and is still tacky enough to hold while you’re jostling the last couple pieces in.

Finally, before you put in that last piece, tape a loop of thread to the back of it. You want to be able to hang it, right?

Ta Da!

And that’s it! If you have any corner points that won’t stay together just add a dot of liquid glue and pinch them together for a few seconds until they hold. Enjoy!

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