Feb 1, 2013

Decorations from recycled holiday cards.

OK, so this is a bit late for a Christmas craft (or is it just very very early for a Christmas craft?), but I just wanted to post it in case you had cards left around from the holidays. I remember making these with mum when I was about eight years old. Mum would take down the Christmas cards after the holidays and stash them away with all the decorations so that the following year we could make these globe decorations from them in the run up to the holidays.

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 ;)


Fiona said...

I LOVE this idea - how fabulous.
And even though it is Feb, this could easily be a year round craft made using birthday cards.

I never know what to do with my kids birthday cards, so from now on each year we will make a special decoration from all the cards.

Then each year we can get it out again on their birthday.

Lindsey said...

That would be very sweet! Especially first birthday cards or welcome cards from when the baby arrives, hung in the baby's room. Awww, look what you've done, now I'm all broody!

Pip said...

oh that takes me back to my early teens and making them at a youth club I went to. Thanks for the blast from the past!

MAKingsley said...

This is a really nice tutorial, thanks! I might try some for Valentine's day with the grandkids.

Lindsey said...

Hey Pip, do you think I've just revived a lost art maybe? From the depths of the 1980s? ;) I love that you made these as a kid too!

Little Seamstress: I hope your grandkids have a lovely time making these with you, like I did with my mum.

EMMA said...

This looks like fun! I save all my christmas cards for making card/crochet gift tags but have way too many. Will definitely be trying this. Thanks for a great tutorial!

Cucicucicoo said...

how adorable! we don't do holiday cards, but this would be so cute with postcards or packaging or loads of other types of paper! thanks for sharing and, hey, if you have other christmas crafts to share, go for it! ;) lisa

Anonymous said...

I'm a librarian and i can't wait to test it out first then have the kiddos to it too. The kids have a fun project to do and they get to help decorate our school library....easy for them and easy for me. It's a win win. thanks for the creative and fun idea.

ari said...

LOVE THIS! So much. I want to do this with magazine covers and just hang them up

Tess said...

These look super!

Unknown said...

I ADORE this idea!

Nina Fenner said...

I remember making these as a kid. We used to staple ours together, not such a neat finish, but very quick!

Amanda @ Portable Kid said...

Or how about a 4-H project for recycling project at the fair?? This project is great any time of year. Love t!

artsandcraftsexpert.com said...

These are so creative! I think this is a craft that we can all use. I hate to throw out cards and this is just such a nice way to keep them and display them. You can decorate them for any holiday really. Very nice.

Mette Maj said...

No probs. It's now April and I'm cleaning out my holiday gear! Thank you so much for giving me something to do with the old cards!