recycling project - holiday ornament

recycling project - ornament

There were so many ways they could've gone. The majority of you that voted wanted me to work in paper (such anguish -- haha!), so I did. I'm not quite sure how I ended up with this version, but it certainly wasn't my first attempt.

Surprisingly, the biggest challenge was making something that would be a compliment to the outer frame and not be overwhelmed by it. A couple of my initial designs were too delicate or small and seemed to disappear inside the ring.

Another challenge (one which I face with all tutorials) is that I wanted to create something that would be very easy to replicate and still look interesting. Incidentally, although I call this a challenge, it is one of my favorite parts of the process.

Cardboard ring (this one in particular is from a roll of painter's tape)
White paint
White card stock
Red card stock
Push pin
Red embroidery thread
Craft knife
Cutting mat
Metal Ruler
Paper trimmer (optional - if it is used, it will eliminate the need for the last three items on the list)

recycling project - ornament

1. Paint the entire ring white. Set it aside to dry.

2. Cut white strips of card stock that are slightly narrower in width than the width of the cardboard ring.

3. Glue the strips to one another by overlapping 1/4" (5mm) of each end of the strips. You should end up with a strip that is at least 60" (152cm) long.

4. Fold the strips accordion style at 3/4" (2cm) intervals. Glue the opposite ends of the folded strip to form a full circle.

recycling project - ornament

5. Using the push pin or something similar, make one hole in the center of the width of the ring. Thread a length of embroidery thread through the hole that is long enough to hang the ornament.

6. Tuck the ring of folded white strips inside the card board ring. Add dots of glue to the edges of some of the outer folds of the white paper and glue to them to the inside of the ring.

7. Cut six strips of red paper that are the same width of the white strip and twice as long as the height of the folds. Fold each red strip in half.

recycling project - ornament

8. Tuck the red pieces inside the folds of the white paper to form a 6 point star. You may need to move the pieces around several times until you find the ones that make the star look symmetrical. Once they are in the right place glue the red paper to the inside of the accordion folds.

recycling project - ornament

- If you don't have a cardboard ring make your own ring by creating a circle with a strip of card stock that wraps around twice.
- To make a "greener" version of this ornament use old book pages or magazine pages instead of the white card stock. You wouldn't need to add the red paper simply because the magazine paper would already be colorful enough.

That's it! Simple and easy. Right?

Happy Monday!


  1. Just reposing from the earlier post:

    Hello Patricia,

    Firstly all the paper art on your site is awesome and motivated me to try paper art...

    That said...wondering how did you make perfect circles in this project

    I have a lever-circle punch and can get paper edge but how did you cut circles from the inside of the page...all over?

    what punch did u use?


  2. Thanks SJ!

    I didn't use a punch for that sheet. I used a cutting machine with a pattern of circles that I created in Adobe Illustrator.

    I wish they had circle punches that were more like this: -- but I've never seen one.

    Sorry I couldn't be of more help!

  3. Simply gorgeous! I love how it turned out. I'm definitely going to be saving our tape rolls from now on!

  4. genius ! so simple and so beautiful !

  5. You have such vision! I could not think of anything inspiring to do with the ring. Very nice.

  6. wonderful job :) i might try it out with book pages.

  7. Surprisingly simple and of breathtaking beauty!
    About the question from SJ: My friend did appropriate a little chest cotaining a set of hollow punches from her husbands workbench. She made holes with it from several millimeters up to 4cm i remember. A set like this costs in Europa less than 30 euros. You do need a hammer.

  8. Sorry, you need a hammer and a woodblock....

  9. Patricia, what an effective, yet simple design! I was toying with thoughts for the ring but mine were way too fiddly... you've come up with such a neat solution that's very festive.

  10. Hello Patricia, I have been watching your work for several months because it is unique, elegant and beautiful. As such I was waiting to see what you would come up with for the circle and it was breath-taking when I saw. Keep up the great work! It is very inspiring to me (and others). Thank you! Judith

  11. Lovely! It would be totally fun to try with magazines as well. I'm going to have to try out that variation. The white with the red is very clean and modern, but I think the color and randomness of the magazine would be result in an interesting ornament as well. Thanks for the tutorial!

  12. I've always hated throwing away those tape spools. what a pretty idea!

  13. Thank you for all the lovely comments everyone! :)

  14. I love that you consider whether or not it'd be easy for someone else to recreate! Your projects are wonderful! It's why I'm following! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Wow, this is so beautiful! Now I'm happy that I'm almost out of my current roll of painter's tape! Thank you for this amazing project.

  16. Your site and ideas area awesome! It’s amazing what you can do with something as simple as paper.

  17. very good idea! i think i will try it!

  18. wow that looks beautiful Patricia. so simple too!

  19. Wow, I never would have guessed that it was that easy!? It's so pretty! I've got to start using more tape so I can make one! ;o)
    ~ joey ~

  20. This is really pretty! I recently found some great pieces of white birch bark in my yard and have been trying to think of how to incorporate it into Christmas ornaments. I might try this, with a strip of bark wrapped around the outer ring.

  21. lovely! thank you for sharing! love nicoletta

  22. I love this! It so unique, but seems quite simple to make too

  23. love this, so 'simple' and effective!

  24. Your blog is really cute.
    Congratulations from Spain!

  25. da realizzare con i bimbi dell'infanzia


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