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How to Make an Altered Book Victorian-style Christmas Ornament - Free Template

Updated on October 28, 2009

This is definitely a project for older kids or adults, because the Xacto knife blade will be very sharp. Younger kid’s might enjoy helping to decorate with glitter and paint after the ornament if fully constructed.

Materials needed:

  • 1 X-acto knife
  • 3 Mini-clamps
  • 1 bottle of liquid glue (elmer’s is fine)
  • 1 An old paperback book
  • 23″ thin red satin ribbon
  • 1 wired mini-bow

1. Download the template here (template labeled: half_victorian_ornament.pdf). Print on heavy cardstock and cut out.

2. Remove the outer cover from the book. The easiest way to do this is to bend both sides of the cover back and rip in a single motion. It should come off fairly easily. Carefully trim off any cover pieces that remain with the Xacto knife.

3. Bend the spine in several different places — be especially thorough on this step if the book that you are using hasn’t been read very much. You are preparing the spine to be bent completely backwards so this step is important!

4. Lay the paperback book down (on a surface that is safe to cut on), front facing up and lay the template on top with the flat side pushed directly against the spine-side of the page.

5. Using your Xacto knife, begin carefully cutting around the template. Be careful only to cut a few pages at a time. Pull the pages away from the book when you have completely cut through them.

6. Repeat the step above until you have cut through all of the pages of the book.

7. Fan the pages of the book out to bend the spine one last time, bending all the way back to the point that they meet one another behind the spine.

8. Fold the ribbon in half, creating a large loop.

9. Place a thin line of glue along the spine of the book. Lie the ribbon along the line of glue, leaving enough of the top of the loop out to hang the ornament by.

10. Knot the ribbon at the very bottom of the spine of the book.

11. Bend the pages of the book back until the two back pages meet each other.

12. Glue these pages together and place clamps along the edge of the pages to hold it together while it dries.

13. Once dry, wire the ribbon to the top of the ornament and hang.


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