My Christmas tree needed more orange (of course), so I made this little thing. It appears to be a spaceship which has crashed into a circus tent. To make your own circus spaceship, you'll need two colors of regular paper, scissors, needle, thread, pencil, ruler, and two beads.
1. Cut the paper into strips that are 3.5" long and 0.5" wide. (This makes a small ornament about 3" in diameter.) Cut 9 strips of each color. Cut two 0.75" circles. Tracing around a penny works nicely.
2. Fold the paper strips in half. A crisp fold isn't needed; just a light crease will do.
3. String a bead onto a length of thread. Then push both ends of thread through the needle so the thread is doubled.
4. Poke the needle through one of the circles to string it next to the bead. Then string on all the paper strips near one end, alternating colors.
5. After all the paper strips are added, begin threading the opposite ends onto the string. To do this, start with the strip you put on first (the one next to the paper circle). Take its loose end and push the needle through it. Continue threading on the paper strips in order. They'll naturally begin to fan out as you go.
6. Add the second paper circle.
7. Pull the needle off the thread. Feed the bead onto one of the loose ends of thread, then tie both ends of thread in a knot to hold the bead on next to the circle. If your ornament hangs a little crooked, thread the needle again and push both ends of thread up through the underside of the bead and out through the top so both ends of thread emerge. Tie off a loop and hang that spaceship.
My ornament has a bit of a gap on one side where the papers meet at different levels. I'll put that toward the inside of the tree, and no one will be the wiser. You could also try stringing a piece of a drinking straw inside of the ornament to act as a spacer and help it keep its shape, as suggested by a smart commenter!
December 15, 2010