Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ornament centerpiece how-to

I've been making these ornaments for a few years now and I always get asked how to do it. The process is really simple once you get the hang of it, but it's easier to show someone than tell them.

So this time when I was putting them together for Julie's shower I photographed the steps.

Here it is:

First, cut out 20 circles. They all need to be the same size. You can use just paper or incorporate photographs into the ornaments like I did with these.

In the picture you can see the beginning of two different ornaments and the cutting system I used. I used two different sized circles for the ornaments I made this time, but I've made them much smaller than this. Keep in mind that the larger the circle the larger the ornament.

*Click the photos to see a larger image*

Next you need to fold the circles. I have cut out a guide to help myself fold them more quickly. I place the triangle (equilateral) in the center of each circle and simply fold around it. I use a paper creaser to help make the folds more defined.

After you've folded all your circles you're ready to start assembling your ornament. I like to lay it out to see how it might look when I'm done and to make sure I don't have any matching circles next to each other.

This step is simply to satisfy my obsessive need for order. If you want you can just start gluing. Whatever floats your boat.

You want to make the center of the ornament first. Line up ten circles in a line and glue the folded tabs together. I use craft glue that dries clear. Elmer's works fine too. Once they're all secure circle the line and glue the two ends together to form the center of your ornament. Like so:

You will have ten circles left. Choose five and glue the tabs in a circle to create the top of the ornament. Repeat this step with the remaining five circles to form the bottom. This is what the top and bottom should look like:

Now place the top piece on and position it the way you want it. Glue the tabs together all the way around. Repeat with the bottom piece.

Viola! You're ornament is finished. Set it aside to let the glue set up.

When all of your ornaments are assembled and the glue is dry it's time to string them.

This is how I do it, but if you want something simpler you can just punch a hole in one of the tabs and string a ribbon through that.

I do it this way because I'm obsessive and anal and I can't bring myself to punch a hole in any of the ornaments I just made.

Take a piece of wire and give it a loop on one end. I use a piece of floral wire folded in half and twisted so the ends don't get in the way.

Cut a length of ribbon that is long enough to thread through the ornament when it's folded in two. Thread the ribbon through the looped end of your wire.

Now, the ornament will have small holes where the points of the triangles meet. Stick the wire in one and then out the other side. Pull the ribbon through.

Tie the two ends of ribbon in a knot so it won't slide through the ornament.

Now the ornament is ready to be displayed and enjoyed!


For the whole centerpiece I just filled the bottom of the bucket with foam (floral foam is cheapest) and stuck the branches into the foam. You want to use branches that have been cut recently. At first I tried to save a branch and use ones that had already fallen off. That was a mistake. The dead branches were brittle and broke easily so I was left with a big stick in my centerpiece.

Once the branches were in place I covered the foam with fake moss and pilled on the apples. Use real apples; they give the weight that you need to counter balance the branches and they stay put better. Plus when you're done with the centerpiece you can eat them!

These ornaments are great for gifts! At then end of the shower I gave them to Frank and Julie.

They also are a good way to use up old greeting cards that you can't bring yourself to throw out. I used our wedding cards to make them the first time and they make a great sentimental addition to our Christmas tree.

Give them a try. They really aren't that hard!

1 comment:

  1. These are so cute! I am going to have to give this a try!