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How-Tuesday: Paper Ornaments

Nov 29, 2011

by Julie Schneider handmade and vintage goods

The holidays are in the air! For this week’s How-Tuesday post, Etsy Admin Nicole Licht demonstrates how to make folded gem-shaped ornaments, a project that has its roots as a traditional German paper craft. We’ve provided a PDF template that you can print out to guide you through folding your first ornament. Once you get the hang of it, you won’t really need to follow the template guidelines any more. Try folding larger ornaments on colorful and printed papers. Try making some with cardstock too. You can really make this project your own by adding your personal creative touch — playing with scale, color, and embellishments.

Mark your calendars for Thursday, December 1! Local Etsy team members will be on hand at the Etsy + West Elm Handmade Holiday Workshop to guide you through this very project, complete with handmade stamps and beautiful embossed papers in a festive atmosphere. Find gifts from local Etsy sellers, make a holiday craft with an Etsy team and support a local charity, all happening at your nearest West Elm store! Join us in 37 locations on Thursday, December 1 from 6-9 p.m. to participate in the festivities, and contribute gifts and decorations to the tree we’re donating to a local charity. More details.


Bone folder
Glue Dots, double-stick tape, or glue stick
String, twine, or ribbon
Supplies for decorating (such as markers, stamps and stamp pad, etc.)


1. Cut along the dotted line to remove ornament template. Decorate the unprinted side of the paper before or after you start folding, in any way you want. Follow instructions below while folding along the lines.

2. Begin with the printed side facing up. Fold square in half. Open, turn 90 degrees, fold in half again. Return to open square.

3. Fold diagonally, matching corners. Open, turn 90 degrees, fold in half again. Return to open square.

4. Fold corners inward to meet the diagonal fold line, forming a kite shape. Open and repeat with each
corner (four times).

5. Pinch at the middle point of all four sides inward while cupping the square in your palm. As sides fold inward, push down on the center with your finger to form a point.

6. Place Glue Dots (or double-stick tape or glue stick) on the inward folds. Add string to one strip of tape. Adhere and form ornament shape.

7. Try adding fringe, collage, or anything that strikes your creative fancy. Hang up your creation for a festive atmosphere, and try folding more and more with your own custom embellishments.

Credits: Photography by Gabriella Cetrulo. Ornament by Nicole Licht. PDF by Jeremy Perez-Cruz.

Happy holidays from Etsy to you!

More Things to Make | Holidays on Etsy


  • TheBloomingThread

    TheBloomingThread said 8 years ago

    cute! I was just looking for paper ornaments too!..I think I'll be making my own now :) gracias~

  • littlepancakes

    littlepancakes said 8 years ago

    I'll be selling at the Boston west elm event, I'm excited!

  • RossLab

    RossLab said 8 years ago

    These look great and easy to make! I'll use newspapers and they'll be 100% green :)

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections said 8 years ago

    So happy to see that West Elm is having another Etsy shopping event!

  • helenagray

    helenagray said 8 years ago

    very nice!! ;)

  • LoveandKnit

    LoveandKnit said 8 years ago


  • jamiespinello

    jamiespinello said 8 years ago

    Nice. I would love to also see how to make the large paper star lanterns if anyone has a template

  • kayratastaki

    kayratastaki said 8 years ago


  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 8 years ago

    Love =)

  • gufobardo

    gufobardo said 8 years ago

    so cute!

  • HandmadeHandsome

    HandmadeHandsome said 8 years ago

    They're very pretty and it looks interesting to make. I'll download the template right away.

  • FoxandHoundstooth

    FoxandHoundstooth said 8 years ago

    Fun little stocking stuffer to give to friends!

  • UnionStudioMetals

    UnionStudioMetals said 8 years ago

    So cool, thanks!!

  • BeadSoupJewelry

    BeadSoupJewelry said 8 years ago

    These are great, These will be great to make with my kids!

  • overthemeadow

    overthemeadow said 8 years ago


  • callmemimi

    callmemimi said 8 years ago

    Oh ! So lovely ! Thanks !

  • thelittlemarket

    thelittlemarket said 8 years ago

    Fabulous tutorial!! All the best to those who are selling at the West Elm events across the country!!

  • Verdurebydesign

    Verdurebydesign said 8 years ago

    These would make a great wrapping for something small. Thanks for sharing.

  • angelagrass

    angelagrass said 8 years ago

    Ok I don't get it how does step 5 work? You jump from kite folds and then what what seams fold in what seams fold out to make the ornament?

  • vinskord

    vinskord said 8 years ago

    Great idea! These would be very pretty with glitter!

  • Harem6

    Harem6 said 8 years ago

    Beautiful !

  • elleestpetite

    elleestpetite said 8 years ago

    I love the idea of paper ornaments on the tree. Time for some origami!

  • volkerwandering

    volkerwandering said 8 years ago


  • PearlAmourJewels

    PearlAmourJewels said 8 years ago

    I will be helping out at the West Elm in Toronto, Canada this Thursday from 6pm to 9pm!

  • AZAngelFeathers

    AZAngelFeathers said 8 years ago

    What a delightful coincidence! I grew up in a house on West Elm Street, and I have made these paper ornaments for years and years and years. Even used them as a demonstration in a graduate class on art & science. They're fun to make, especially when using patterned papers that line up to make geometric designs. Have fun, everyone!

  • traceydumont

    traceydumont said 8 years ago

    So cute!

  • emwi

    emwi said 8 years ago

    These are beauitful! Can't wait to start decorating. The weekend can't get here soon enough.

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 8 years ago

    You know anything with paper in the title will get my attention! :) These ornaments are fun to make! It's been several years since I made some after seeing them shown on Then Carol Duvall Show. Thanks for the refresher course! :)

  • ACupOfSparkle

    ACupOfSparkle said 8 years ago

    Cute ornaments. Thanks for sharing!

  • RivalryTime

    RivalryTime said 8 years ago


  • HeartsGrowFonder

    HeartsGrowFonder said 8 years ago

    So fun! I am thrilled to be part of this event at the West Elm in Oakbrook, IL! I can't wait!!!

  • HomeStudio

    HomeStudio said 8 years ago

    simple but complex looking. Love it!

  • Ringocrafts

    Ringocrafts said 8 years ago

    This looks like a great Score-Pal project!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 8 years ago

    How cute! Love how simple the design is : )

  • NecessiTees

    NecessiTees said 8 years ago

    Thanks for the tutorial!!!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 8 years ago

    A great project!

  • mamwell24

    mamwell24 said 8 years ago

    I'm going to make some for christmas, don't have any decorations yet :D

  • SoStinkingSweet

    SoStinkingSweet said 8 years ago

    I love all these paper ornaments I have been seeing!

  • biophiliadesigns

    biophiliadesigns said 8 years ago

    Eeek! I have to admit that I am preeeetttyy excited about this one guys! Thanks!

  • Apseed

    Apseed said 8 years ago

    I love this idea very much!

  • thebeadgirl

    thebeadgirl said 8 years ago

    love love love! i so want to make these!

  • BeadoRama123

    BeadoRama123 said 8 years ago

    Love them! There is nothing better than handmade deocrations and gifts at Christmas! It really is the thought and the effort that counts.

  • BanglewoodSupplies

    BanglewoodSupplies said 8 years ago

    These are so cute!

  • silversamba

    silversamba said 8 years ago

    love it! Alana

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 8 years ago

    Great idea, love it!

  • TinyArtbyJMullin

    TinyArtbyJMullin said 8 years ago

    I might just make some of these to decorate my booth for this weekend's holiday sale! Thanks for sharing.

  • alittlebittipsy

    alittlebittipsy said 8 years ago

    These are great! I think I will try them with wrapping paper and old Christmas cards.

  • cunningcatcrafts

    cunningcatcrafts said 8 years ago

    Lovely thanks. I think they'd work well with my new origami paper.

  • OnlyOriginalsByAJ

    OnlyOriginalsByAJ said 8 years ago

    How fun! I'm going to have to try this with my little nephew! He'll love it :)

  • thezine

    thezine said 8 years ago

    i just made a few of these, and using the pattern came up with this odd but cute looking one with for legs, perfect for a table centre piece,

  • niragal68

    niragal68 said 8 years ago


  • BellaDiaStationery

    BellaDiaStationery said 8 years ago

    Love these! How ironic that I just made them yesterday with my art class..very easy to make.

  • beadsboxesandbeyond

    beadsboxesandbeyond said 8 years ago

    I remember making these in girl scouts! We used old Christmas cards so when they were folded, there was no need to decorate.

  • summerdressgirl

    summerdressgirl said 8 years ago

    I was at the West Elm in Burlington, MA and had a great time decorating with other crafty ladies. Thanks so much for creating this template!

  • melsumn1

    melsumn1 said 8 years ago

    Use to make these as a child and then forgot how as I got older and well we all know the story. So glad you showed how to make this paper ornament again. Use to put candy in them and when people stopped by during the holidays...they were able to take one off the tree as they left our home. Use to make a round one by folding was a bit harder but so wonderful. Not the round that you cut out circles and glued them together.. Thank you think I will make some for office gifts with the candy inside.

  • lavenderrabbit

    lavenderrabbit said 8 years ago

    So cute! Definitely going to make a few!

  • crochetgal

    crochetgal said 8 years ago

    I took part in the Arizona West Elm event and we had an absolute blast! So much fun for both the Etsians and the crafters.

  • thedoggiehouse

    thedoggiehouse said 8 years ago

    West Elm Puerto Rico + Etsy Holiday Workshop! Here are the photos from the Puerto Rico West Eml + Etsy Holiday Workshop, Plus you can go to the Puerto Rico Etsy Team soon they will upload this activity too. Thanks for having us West Elm and Etsy its was very fun night! Here is the blog: XOXO

  • AThreadofGrace

    AThreadofGrace said 8 years ago

    I remember making these ornaments some 40 years ago! I called them German Bells. Thanks for the memory jogger!

  • michellesthisandthat

    michellesthisandthat said 8 years ago

    We have this project available at the Niagara holiday market too

  • EarthWrappedJewelry

    EarthWrappedJewelry said 8 years ago

    Great! thanks for sharing... My Grand-kids with love this

  • thedoggiehouse

    thedoggiehouse said 8 years ago

    West Elm + Etsy Holiday Workshop LOVE IT! Puerto Rico Etsy Team was present on the West Elm Puerto Ricosay and it was a super cool experience. Have to say our Captian did a great job. Thank Etsy for this oportunity.

  • Borettoart

    Borettoart said 8 years ago


  • Koucamanda

    Koucamanda said 8 years ago

    I learned to make these ornaments in the second or third grade (1980ish). Last year I taught my daughter's second grade class to make these. I was a lot of fun and most of them got all the fold correctly

  • capitalcitycrafts

    capitalcitycrafts said 8 years ago

    I was at the West Elm event in Princeton, and everyone had a great time! The ornaments were easy to make and fun to decorate. Thanks Etsy!

  • delightfullydedicate

    delightfullydedicate said 8 years ago

    What a great idea! It is always fun to make your own ornaments and it can be a great outlet for kids. With origami ornaments children can not only explore art, but also work on coordination skills as well!

  • PurpleToedGypsy

    PurpleToedGypsy said 8 years ago

    you make it look so easy. I will try it! thanks

  • soulflowervintage

    soulflowervintage said 8 years ago

    Lovely.. i will do this with my daughter for our tree trimming party tomorrow. thanks

  • YourCreativeTakeaway

    YourCreativeTakeaway said 8 years ago

    Thanks a lot for sharing!

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