Feb 1, 2013
Decorations from recycled holiday cards.
They are pretty simple to make. You need twenty identically sized circles cut from your cards to make each one. The circles have their sides folded to make triangles. The shape that results from sticking together these twenty triangular sides is an Icosahedron. If you want to, then it is possible to make smaller ones in the shape of an octahedron very easily with just eight circles, which would work better if you had smaller kids that wanted to join in too.
We used a roll of sticky tape to make our circles because that way we could see well to center the design that we wanted. It would work just as well to use a glass to draw around, but my kids are less likely to smash a roll of sticky tape!
I've made a little printable so that you can easily mark on your circles where they divide in thirds, because this part needs to be reasonably accurate if they are going to glue together nicely with no gaps. If you click on the little thumbnail image of the print out below then it should bring it up full sized for you to print out.
To use it, you line up your card circle within the nearest sized circle outline and then use the three lines to mark three dots on the edge of your card circle.
You can then use a ruler and something like the back of a butter knife to score between these dots. This will get your little triangle shapes folded neatly and evenly.
I suppose you could stack up all your pre-made circles and pop them in with the holiday decorations like that, as a ready to glue together holiday project come December.
We put ours together though, so that I could photograph it to show you. The easiest way to construct the icosahedron is to start off by making a panel out of five pieces like in the photograph below. We used regular white glue to do this, but it probably would have been a little easier with a glue stick, only we didn't have one handy.
So, with ten of your pieces you make two of those panels, then with the remaining ten pieces you glue them together in a long line like in the photo below..
Then you take your long line of ten pieces and glue it closed into a ring. This is the central part of the icosahedron, and the two other panels now can be glued to the top and the bottom to complete it.
Here it is with just the top panel glued on.
If you're having trouble with the glue not drying fast enough, just put a bobby pin/hair grip on to hold the pieces until the glue sets.
Here are the two that we made, one big one and another that was slightly smaller.
I would love it if we managed to make at least a couple of these each year and eventually we'd have enough to decorate a whole room with multicoloured, recycled, holiday globes! I hope you like them. I think I might be extra fond of them because mum showed me how to do this as a kid. She used to cut her circles out with pinking shears, so they were all zig zaggy edged and that made them look a bit snowball like.
...and with that, I promise that I will never again write a Christmas themed blog post in February ;)