How To: Make Modern Paper Ornaments

By: Chrisjob Dec 03, 2010

created at: 11/30/2010

Having completed yards of modern paper holiday garland, I wanted to create some more paper decorations to maintain the look and colors throughout my home. I tried making paper snowflakes from the colored cardstock, but they didn't really work. Then I recalled an old trick I learned in Sunday school as a kid which we called "onion bulbs" and put them all over the Chrismon trees. They used paper strips to create the shape of teardrops and hearts, and we made them from white paper and glued so many globs of gold glitter that it would stick the coats and fancy outfits of the old church ladies that would brush up against them.

So, I experimented a bit with different sizes, and came up with a more polished decoration with a mid-century vibe. They're inexpensive enough to remake each year, but sturdy enough that they can be stored for reuse for holiday seasons to come.


  • 12 x 12" cardstock (in the scrapbooking aisle at the craft store)
  • Paper cutter or scissors and ruler
  • Binder clips
  • 1/4" hole punch 
  • 1/4" metal eyelet kit (in the sewing notions section, might be called grommets) and hammer or white glue

created at: 11/30/2010

1. Cut the paper into 1 1/2" strips. Keep two at the 12" length, then cut two at 10" and one at 8 3/4".

created at: 11/30/2010

2. Sandwich the strips like this: 12" - 10" - 8 3/4" - 10" - 12", or long-medium-short-medium-long. Create one flush end, and hold in place with a binder clip. Use the hole punch to create a hole through all five strips, about 1/2" from the end.

created at: 11/30/2010

3. Place the two complimentary pieces of the eyelet on either side, and hammer into place using the included hardware.

created at: 11/30/2010

4. Repeat the process by lining up the opposite ends, bending everything into the balanced shape. Clamp with the binder clip, and set with another eyelet. 

The eyelets create the perfect space from which to hang the ornaments. You could, of course, use a heavy duty stapler, but I think the extra five cents is worth the finished look it creates. You could also use a bit of white glue, secured with the binder clips while it dries, as we did for this smaller version:

created at: 11/30/2010

It was created using 1" strips, cut to 10", 8", and 6 3/4". The eyelets would be a bit too heavy for this size, so the glue worked just fine. This size is also great if you're using standard 8 1/2 x 11" paper.

To hang, just slip some white thread or monofilament (fishing line) through the eyelet or under one edge. Use a few complimentary colors and hang at varying heights for some visual interest.

Do you remember some holiday crafts from your childhood that still work for adults in 2010? Please let us know in the comments below!

Season's Greetings!

Looking for more seasonal DIY projects and ideas?

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We just made these for our class party craft. We used staplers instead of grommets or glue. Much easier for our students, and faster for our time slot. Everyone really liked them! Thank you! :)

I'm making these out of stiff felt and using buttons to secure the ends. They will look wonderful hanging in our picture window. First did these in the 60's - a good thing never dies.

We've been using your DIY for a fun project for our Montessori school students. They hang them in our shared garden and watch the effect of wind direction on them. So fun! Thanks for sharing this.

These are so awesome. Perfect for the Christmas tree!


This is a wonderful idea and fairly easy too.  Thank you for sharing this with us.


So great! I cranked out 3 of them superfast. I used the scrapbook card stock that is 12 by 12 inches and both sides have a pattern or color. One side silver and one side a sweet subtle silver swirl pattern. Another ornament a deep red sparkle paper. Tied with fun thin ribbon. I got everything at Joann Fabrics for a few dollars. Thanks a million for this! 

one of the best elegant ideas ever! u could even make a long strip out of it! wow! :))

If you put the eyelet at the top (and use the hole to hang the ornament hook from), but use a brad for the bottom, then you could just take out the brad and fold them flat for storage later.  You could have tons of them and they would hardly take up any storage space at all!

such a simple thing but would add to the ambiance. SIMPLE BUT GREAT!

Great idea. Love the colors. I mentioned this on my blog today at:

such a great and simple thing to make with my twin 3 year olds on this rainy december's day. Thank for a modern, funky decorative DIY.


Wow, I absolutely love this idea! Such simple mechanics but the end product is privvy to a ton of pattern, color, and texture variations. Kudos on this one! 

Where did you get the colorful binder clips?  I have a project and am looking for something cute like those to complete it.  Thanks!

superb idea !!


love it!!

I know I'm too late for the holidays, but I finaly got the supplies and time to try this out and they are very cool and super easy.  I plan to make a ton of them for next year's decorating .... and a few gifts!

These are so lovely. I want to make some!

Great idea and doesn't look too hard to make even for a newb like me. Hope it's okay I used it on my blog with a link back to this post:

Thanks for this tutorial! I we tried it with eyelets but couldn't get it to work with our supplies. Luckily, we had some brads which worked just as well to fasten them!

Can't wait to try this tomorrow! We just bought a tree but don't want to invest in ornaments before the after-Christmas sale, so these are just perfect.

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