Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I have long wondered if I could use greeting cards to make the type of ornaments I think of as "ornaments with fins." For my first attempts I thought that I would enhance the standard ball shaped ornament with a more Victorian shaped base. (Click here for my pdf pattern for these ornaments.) I was a bit sceptical about whether the fins could be done with something as stiff as greeting cards so for the first ornament I compromised a little bit. For the base I used two rectangular pieces cut from the back of a greeting card. I glued them together and when they were dry I cut out my ornament shape. For the "fins" I used 1 and 3/4 inch circles cut from some wallpaper scraps. I used 5 on each side.
Surprisingly I discovered that the fins were inclined to flatten against the base so I improvised and used a needle and thread to add some beads to act as spacers.
After that the ball had a nice round shape and I was delighted to discover that the blue ball appears to be centred in a circle cut from the white base.
After that successful experiment I was ready to try again using only a greeting card. I was drawn to a contemporary card with a strong colour palette. The printed area on this card was only about 4 x 6 inches so I had to plan ahead to fit the two base shapes and two circle shapes on the front of the card. I cut four circles from the back of the card and scored the centreline of each circle. (I had already glued the two base shapes together before I took this photo.)
I glued two white circles to the back of each of the two printed circles. I was pleased that, unlike the wallpaper circles, these card stock circles didn't want to flatten out.
I had planned to place the axis of the ball on the vertical centre of the ornament but something, perhaps the boldness of the colour scheme, "compelled" me to place it on a rakish 45 degree angle instead.
In order to get the "ball spinning in the centre effect" I had to make sure that the two sets of circles shared the same axis. This meant that when I placed the circles on the second side I had to place their axis at the opposite angle as the ones on the first side.
So this is what the ornament looked like when I had garnished it with ribbon.
I was very pleased with how the card stock "fins" held their position so next I made a completely Victorian shaped ornament from recycled greeting cards.
I didn't have a single card large enough to allow me to cut 6 ornament shapes from the front. I did have a nine inch long card which would allow me to cut 3 shapes from the front and 2 from the back. Because of the printing on the back I decided that I wouldn't cut the third shape from the back of this card, I cut the third shape from the back of another card. I cut the cards into rectangle that were each three inches wide.
On my first card ornament I had cut my ornament shape through two layers at once. On the second one I had to glue the two shapes together and then finely trim them to match. The former method was easier and neater. I decided to see if I could make this whole ornament by cutting the shapes through two layers at once. I scored each rectangle down the centre and then creased them.
I glued (with liberal use of a glue stick) two white rectangles to the back of a green one and two green rectangles to the back of a white one. Then I flattened the centre rectangles and placed the two sections under a book until the glue was dry.
After the glue was dry I traced my ornament shape onto the centre rectangles.
Then, cutting just inside the line and through only two layers, I cut out one of the ornament shapes. (At the top and the bottom I did cut away a tiny bit of the third layers, just to make it easier to cut away the centre sections.) Then I cut out the other other ornament shape.
I flipped one of the sections over and taped the hanging ribbon to the back. (I made sure that I taped each end separately.)
Then I glued the two sections together, making sure that the top and bottom of one ornament section aligned exactly with the top and bottom of the other. (I ignored the top and bottom of the rectangles.) I placed them under a book until they were dry.
After the glue was dry I used one of ornament shapes that I had already cut out to trace the pattern onto the remaining rectangles.
Then I cut just inside my lines, taking care to keep the ribbon out of the way. When I was done I needed to trim the base of the ornament so it was a bit tidier. And, probably because I had been moving the ribbon around, the top of the ornament was not firmly glued. I used a toothpick to add some glue to the inside and pressed it back together. And then the ornament was complete.
Hmmm. When I look at it from this angle it looks something like a pear ...