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DIY Christmas tree decoration by Helen Friel

Dec 17, 2015

by Natalie Wall handmade and vintage goods

If you’ve been Christmas shopping (or selling) on Etsy this season, you may have spotted the fabulous festive feel of the site by way of some carefully crafted interior dioramas by talented paper artist (and Etsy UK seller!), Helen Friel.

Check out the video here:

These teeny dioramas were all crafted by hand, because at Etsy we value craftmanship in errr’ythang we do.

Feeling inspired, we asked Helen to create a simple paper project we can all get involved in, themed around the diorama concept of rooms and home.

So here you have it, your very own DIY paper downloadable Christmas decoration by Helen Friel!


Download the ornament template here and follow these simple steps:


DIY howto
  1. Decorate your house however you want, but we can recommend gluing some glitter. ‘Tis the season to sparkle, after all!
  2. Score dotted lines and cut solid lines.
  3. Glue it all together: Fold down all tabs and glue each tab to the corresponding edge on the house. Fold the chimney inwards on the roof and place downwards tab through slot. Glue remaining tab to close. Then glue the roof to the house.
  4. Tie coloured ribbon to the top of the roof and hang on your tree!


More from the artist

We paid a visit to Helen’s London studio to find out more about her Etsy collaboration, Christmas and New Year plans…

Photography: Jasper Fry


My studio is based in Stockwell in South London. It’s an old grocery warehouse and my space is in what was originally the stables. It’s very peaceful, the studio door opens into the garden. We have a (slightly over) friendly squirrel that wanders in looking for food if we leave the door open.


I’ll be back with my parents and my brother in Sussex over Christmas. It’ll be nice to have a bit of a break from London!


I’m pretty late with Christmas presents this year but I have just bought a new iPhone case on Etsy from khadesign. It’s hard finding well made minimalist cases but this one ticks all the boxes.


I’ve asked for a new tape dispenser for Christmas! I’ve been using a plastic one for years so a wooden one will be a real treat!


Despite being a paper artist, I’m afraid to say that my wrapping is pretty standard. I usually go with brown paper and a bright ribbon or if I’m wrapping at the studio my gifts end up in a patchwork of paper scraps.


I’ve got a few advertising projects carrying on into the new year and I’ll be taking off for the north of England in February for a short artist residency. I’m also hoping that the theatre company I run with a friend, Dame for a Laugh, will be going up to the Edinburgh festival this year with our kids’ show Nana & Nunu.


We’d love to see your own DIY decorations when they’re complete! Show us your creations on Instagram and don’t forget to tag us @EtsyUK!



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