Tutorial: Super-Simple Double-Sided Paper Ornaments

Paper OrnamentsSometimes the simplest thing is the best.

Okay, the simplest thing is the best thing nearly always in my house, but even if you generally go the elaborate route, taking a break to do a few simple tasks–say, make some easy-peasy Christmas ornaments–can actually be really refreshing.

These Christmas ornaments, made from repurposed or recycled papers (like my Christmas cards), are extremely simple to make. You can freehand them or use cookie cutters, laminate them or simply sandwich cardboard in between, embellish them or leave them plain–whatever you want with whatever you have.

The key to giving these ornaments big impact is to choose papers that are extremely meaningful to you. Were there a couple of extra photos leftover when you had your Christmas pictures printed? Is your daughter’s report card cute but at the end of a reeeeeally long to-be-scrapbooked queue? Here’s what to do:

You will need:

  • meaningful repurposed or recycled papers
  • cookie cutters or other template (or just freehand it!)
  • pencil and scissors
  • EITHER cardstock-weight paper (cereal box, magazine cover, postcard) and glue OR laminate and glue stick
  • hole punch
  • ornament hanger

1. Trace the shape of your ornament either on the front of your paper (if you want to use a certain exact part of the paper) or on the back of your paper (if you don’t want to have to worry about cutting inside the pencil lines when you cut).

2. Cut out your ornament (cut inside the pencil lines if you traced on the front side of your paper).

3. Flip your ornament over and use it as the template to trace its shape on a second piece of paper–you want to get a mirror image of your shape, even if it’s meant to be symmetrical.

If you’ll be sandwiching cardboard in between the paper, not laminating it, put one of the ornament sides face-up on top of the cardboard and cut the shape out.

4. If you’re laminating your ornament, put the two ornament shapes back-to-back, lightly adhere them together with a glue stick, and use your scissors to trim any edges that aren’t exactly identical.

If you’re sandwiching cardboard between the paper halves, put the paper halves together back-to-back with the cardboard in between, glue, and let dry under a heavy weight.

5. If you”re laminating your ornament, do so now, then cut out the ornament from the laminate sheet, leaving a margin of laminate all around the perimeter of the ornament.

If you’re using cardboard, once the ornament is dry, use your scissors to trim away any edges that aren’t exactly identical or that stick out.

6. Use your hole punch to punch a hole at the top of your ornament, and hang it on the tree for all to admire.

Sometimes I’ll write the year on my ornament, or have a daughter write her name. And in future tree-trimming years, at least this is one ornament that won’t break!

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