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Showing posts with label christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christmas. Show all posts

December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas and see you next year!


Hello, everyone! I'm signing off until the new year. Thank you, thank you for making the internet a friendly place and being such kind and lovely readers. I've appreciated every comment and email from you. May your holidays be merry and bright!

December 20, 2013

DIY paper Christmas ornaments


It's fun and easy to make these traditional paper ornaments, and there are lots of tutorials out there. I posted a how-to in 2006 and decided to make more for my tree this year. This time I didn't glue these modules into a star (which looks great; see the old post). I like them as simple individual ornaments, too.


To make cutting more uniform, here's the template I drew.
Large ornaments
Small ornaments

Print out a page and cut along the inner lines with an X-acto knife. (I freehand it.) Then cut out the squares.


Bend the center flaps inward.


Moving outward from the center, bend the next pair of flaps around to meet on the opposite side. Secure them with glue or tape.


Keep alternating the direction of the flaps until each pair is joined.

If you like, glue the points of six ornaments together to make a lacy star.

December 19, 2013

Make a tiny origami Santa


I made wee origami Santas. Each guy is folded from two 1 1/2" squares of red paper. Have the kids tuck one inside your Christmas cards or stick them onto gift tags. Make them green and they could be elves.

Learn how to make these easy origami Santas right here at HoikuAkira. The instructions are in Japanese, but I just followed the photos. Google translate didn't add much value; the pictures were enough to get the job done.



December 17, 2013

Christmas music generator


If you need a holiday time-waster to finish out the work day, make some music with the Festive Funk Machine, created by the online printing company Moo. Turn the robots on and off to construct your own song.

December 10, 2013

Holiday wallpaper downloads


Need to add a little Christmas cheer to your desktop or phone? Check out these freebies posted by kind designers around the internets. Above, one of a collection of sweater desktops at The Sweet Escape.


Find several calligraphy backgrounds at Fabulous K (lettering by Heather of Design Roots.


Help yourself to holiday iPhone backgrounds by Heidi Sonnenschein.

November 22, 2013

A book of paper snowflake and star instructions


Recently a review copy of Snowflakes, Sunbursts, and Stars: 75 Exquisite Paper Designs to Fold, Cut, and Curl showed up at my door. I love paper folding and cutting, and any medallion-type design with radiating modules, so this is right up my alley.

Christmas is coming so it's the perfect time to start folding paper decorations. Hang them on your tree, string them as garlands, or decorate packages with pretty paper toppers. Your friends and family will either be incredibly impressed or conclude you have way too much time on your hands.


The paper models are all origami, kirigami, and quilling projects with step-by-step directions and templates. A sampling of what you can make:








I tried out a star. Fun! You can get Snowflakes, Sunbursts, and Stars right here at Amazon.

December 21, 2012

Cheap, homemade Christmas ornaments

Our Christmas tree has a few purchased ornaments on it, but most are paper things I've made. For a recap of the tutorials:

Modular balls
Flowers
Teardrops
Snowflakes
Ice cream cones
Striped bulbs
Retro foam ornaments
Origami garland (not on the tree at the moment, since it's in the process of getting longer.)

Merry Christmas, everyone!

December 20, 2012

DIY paper teardrop ornaments

I made a few more ornaments for my mostly paper-decorated tree. It's been super gloomy outside, so the corner of the living room with the tree is too dark for picture taking. Imagine these on a silver Christmas tree, instead of hanging from the wooden skewer I taped temporarily to the window sill to obtain maximum natural light. Ha!

To make these paper teardrops, download the template and print it on colored paper.

Cut out the drops, then fold them in half lengthwise with the printed side facing out. Cut out the hole in the middle.

Align the sides of two pieces and glue them together. Keep gluing in more pieces until the ornament is as full as you like. I used 16 pieces for these, but you could add even more. Then string the ornaments on thread.

December 18, 2012

Make an origami penguin

I folded this little origami penguin by following the step-by-step video tutorial from Jo Nakashima. All the pre-creasing went well, but the wings and tail had me scratching my head a little while. Fortunately it turned into a penguin and not a crumpled paper ball in my garbage can. I will not be making a penguin army, but I think somebody should.

December 17, 2012

A roundup of holiday wallpaper freebies

If your desktop, phone, or tablet could use a dash of festivity, download these free Christmas wallpapers in assorted sizes.

Above, wallpaper from Ampersand Design Studio with a matching gift tag download

From Wordpress, in blue and red versions

From Ciera Designs

From West Elm, an assortment of choices

From The Henry Ford (scroll down a bit when you get there)

From Eleanor Grosch, a variety of options

From ModCloth, various designs

December 14, 2012

Make your own Lego ornaments

Designer and photographer Chris McVeigh creates objects out of Legos and shares instructions for how to build your own Lego Christmas ornaments.

See all of his build-it-yourself projects here, including holiday bulbs, a turkey, and Santa's sleigh. Or check out the Star Wars ornaments, along with a piece of cake and a hamburger. Find the parts lists and instructions for the Christmas items right here. Awesome!

(Via ManMade DIY.)

December 11, 2012

DIY geometric Christmas tree card

I tried out a simple, geometric Christmas tree card made from solid-color papers. To make your own, get my template file right here.

You could use just a white sheet of cardstock to make this. Or, if you want contrasting colors, do what I did:

Print the template at 100% on white cardstock. (This makes a 4.25" x 5.5" folded card to fit a standard A-2 announcement envelope.)

Then glue a colored sheet of light-weight paper to the back of the cardstock. I used my fancy Xyron machine and some cheap Astrobright paper from Office Max. You could also use spray adhesive to glue the colored paper to the white cardstock. Or better yet, find cardstock that's already two colors.

Next, cut along the printed lines with a sharp craft knife, slicing all the way through both sheets of paper. Try to keep to the outside of the triangles so any printed lines will be hidden when the flaps are folded down.

Then cut out the card.

Fold the pointed flaps down to form the tree and fold the card in half.

If you write inside the card, your message will show through the holes in the front. So if you like, add a second sheet of colored paper to write your message inside.

Cut matching paper to 8.5" x 5.5", fold it in half, and use a strip of double stick tape to secure it to the inside back panel of the card.

If the triangles won't stay flat enough for your liking, lay a heavy book on the card for a little while to press the flaps open.

I like how the cutouts create shadows and a 3D look.

December 06, 2012

Calligraphy gift tags and more

The annual 24 days of Free Christmas Downloads has kicked off at Suite Muffin Suite. Ms. Muffin has designed some lovely hand-drawn calligraphy gift tags you can download and print. Or get desktop wallpapers, printable cards, and decorations from various designers. Check the blog throughout December as new freebies are added!

December 05, 2012

Make a geometric origami garland

If you like folding paper, here's a pretty origami garland to try. Each "bead" takes half a sheet of origami paper. (Preferably a different color on each side.) It's time consuming, but I love how it looks. It's a good, repetitive activity to do while watching Christmas movies you've seen a hundred times.

Learn how to make it from Daily Origami's YouTube video tutorial. The design is by Toshie Takahama.

I didn't have a long enough needle to string them, so I used a piece of thin wire bent double at the end to form a hook. I poked holes in the ends of the beads first with a real needle, then used my make-shift needle to pull the thread through.


December 04, 2012

Printable monogram gift tags

'Tis the season for gift wrapping! To help us, Sarah Khandjian has made sets of free, monogram gift tags to download and print. They're sprinkled with confetti and come in four colors. Tie them to packages, wine bottles, or your children if you have trouble remembering which one is which.

Sarah is a graphic designer and blogger who loves making things. She spends her days designing custom stationery, crafting DIY projects and covering her entire house with glitter. You can find daily design inspiration and DIY projects at her blog, Sarah Hearts, and view her portfolio here.

Download your choice of monogram gift tag PDFs right here:
Blue alphabet
Gold and silver alphabet
Pink and teal alphabet
Red and green alphabet

December 03, 2012

Printable advent city

Have you seen this cool, make-it-yourself advent calendar at Mr. Printables? Build a set of geometric-patterned boxes that look like buildings, numbered 1 - 24, to form a Christmas city.

November 29, 2012

Origami paper stars for garlands or gifts

Making paper Christmas decorations is one of my favorite things this time of year. I found instructions here for making an 8-pointed origami star and tried it out. Lovely!

You can make garlands with them. (The back sides aren't as pretty, so hang the garland against a wall or put two stars back to back.) Or hang individual ones on a Christmas tree.

Or make paper stars to use instead of traditional bows on gifts. If you skip the last step in the tutorial, the back side is flat and easy to tape to a package. These will lay flat for packing presents in a box, and then you can fluff them up again when you put the gifts under the tree.

November 26, 2012

Customize and print a free holiday card

Hope you had a lovely break! I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that Christmas lights have popped up all over the neighborhood. My brain still thinks it's October.

But I'm seeing lots of designerly Christmas printables appear around the internet, including this fun, free holiday card from Love vs. Design. Download the PDF, type in your own text, and print. You can select a flat or folded card, and get some "ugly sweater" gift tags, too!

December 21, 2011

DIY paper snowflake decorations

Somehow my gift wrapping session turned into a snowflake cutting session. I wanted to try making some snowflakes that look a little more 3D than the usual version. These are made with computer paper, a stapler, double-sided tape, and a scissors.

If you've got standard staples that are 1/2" wide, accordian-fold a sheet of computer paper so that the pleats are 8 1/2" wide by about 3/4". If you get to the end of the sheet and have a little extra paper left over, trim it off.

Staple the folded paper as close to the center of the stack as your stapler will reach. Fold the stack in half at the staple and cut off any excess paper from the long side. The staple should now be in the center.

Unless you're using extra thin paper or you have super-human strength, you won't be able to cut through all the layers of paper when the stack is folded in half. So unfold the stack and cut a snowflake pattern out of one half, then repeat for the other half, duplicating your design.

Pull open the accordian folds and join two adjacent ends with double-sided tape, forming a semicircle.

Repeat the process to make the other half of the snowflake decoration, cutting the same design from a second piece of folded paper. Join the two halves together with more tape.

Try making smaller snowflakes from a single piece of paper—put the staple closer to one end of the folded stack and cut more off the other end.

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