Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Christmas Bauble Ornaments from Recycled Cards

Sometimes it is hard to know what to do with the cards people give you for Christmas, birthdays etc... do you keep them or put them away?  Just how many years do you keep them?

Here is a way to not only keep your cards, but turn them into something special that people will admire again and again.

Recycled Card Ornaments

I made these two ornaments out of three birthday cards I found from years ago, that were sitting tucked away in a storage box never seeing the light of day.  As this Christmas is our first family Christmas together and we will shortly be buying our first tree, I decided they would make lovely Christmas tree ornaments! 

  • Small piece of scrap cardboard to make template
  • Old cards or other coloured or patterned cardboard
  • Round object of up to approx. 2 1/2 inches diameter for tracing template (for a 4 1/2 inch diameter ball).  A thin water glass or similar is good.
  • String or ribbon to hang the ball
  • Scissors, pencil, ruler, ballpoint pen, paper glue, pin.

Using your round object, trace a circle onto a piece of scrap stiff cardboard.  Draw an equilateral triangle inside the circle such that the corners of the triangle lie on the circumference of the circle (to work out the length of the sides of the triangle, multiply the diameter of your circle by 0.866).  Cut out the circle.  This will be your template to trace the other circles from.

On the wrong side of your cards, trace out 20 circles using your template, and mark on each circle the corners of the triangle.  Using a ruler and ballpoint pen, score the sides of each triangle by pressing down hard with your pen.  This will create the fold lines.  Cut out the circles, and fold along the lines as shown below. 

Template (yellow) and folded circles of cardboard.

Glue your circles together by the side flaps to form the ball.  The easiest way to glue your circles together into a ball without losing track of where you are is to create top and bottom 'caps', and a ring for the middle section (see the image below for what I mean).  The caps will use 5 circles each, and the middle ring will use 10 circles.  Create the middle ring by glueing the pieces in a straight line (see photo), then joining the two ends together. 

Middle ring section (left) and end caps (right).

Glue the end caps onto the sides of the ring as shown below. 

About to glue the second end cap on.

Using a pin or other sharp object,  prick a hole in one of the sticky-outy flaps and thread your string or ribbon through the hole to hang your bauble. 


Depending on how big you want your final ball to be, you need to use different sized templates for your circles.  Here are two different sized ones I made, with their respective templates.

Different sized balls with their templates

I have not tried these, but I am sure they would look amazing!!  The geometric shape we have just made is actually called an icosahedron, which is a twenty-sided regular geometric solid composed of equilateral triangles.  It is possible to create different shaped balls as well, using circumscribed shapes other than an equilateral triangle - pentagons etc, although not everything will work.  See this website for more information on shapes that will! 

It is also possible to use templates that are shapes other than a circle, as long as you base it on an equilateral triangle and have regular shaped flaps to glue together once your shape is folded.  For example, for a pointier look you could use a regular hexagon as your template shape and form your triangle by joining every second vertex of the hexagon.  The options are endless!!

Based on the Holiday Card Ornaments tutorial from the Martha Stewart website. 

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