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How to Make 3D Paper Holiday Decorations

Updated on October 30, 2013

Homemade Party Decorations

Craft projects go hand in hand with holiday parties. In elementary school, these homemade projects include Christmas ornaments, spooky Halloween decorations, and paper chains for garlands. For Sukkot we would design paper fruit and vegetables to decorate the outside sukkah. Making holiday decorations is not just for children, and I take pride in decorating my home for each holiday that comes around.

In this lens, I will show you how to create 3D paper decorations for any holiday in your imagination. This circular paper globe can be the base for many different objects and figures. You will have many of the objects required to make these projects In your home, you just need to provide a little imagination.

The first 3D project: a pumpkin!

The first 3D project: a pumpkin!
The first 3D project: a pumpkin!

Do you make your own holiday decorations?

Where do you get your party decorations?

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A Circle in the Center of the Paper
A Circle in the Center of the Paper

#1 - Set up your paper

Select What You Want to Create

To start this project, you need to first decide what you are going to make. What holiday are you making decorations for? If you need some inspiration, check out the end of this lens for ideas of different creatures you can make with this method.

Once you've decided on WHAT you want to create, you need to choose a piece of paper that corresponds to your item. The example used in this article will be a snowman, so I selected a white piece of paper.

With a cup or bottle as a guide, lightly draw a circle in the center of the piece of paper. It is not important that the circle is perfectly round, you just will use it as a guide for when you are cutting. You don't want to make this circle dark colored, or it could show through in your final product.

The first cuts
The first cuts

#2 - Make the first cuts

I start off cutting 8 strips around the edge of the paper so I can create the form of the object. I make these cuts on the horizontal, vertical and diagonal planes, radiating out from the center circle.

Forming the Paper Base
Forming the Paper Base

#3 - Form the Base

Starting with the shortest strips, gently fold them up (without creasing the paper) and tape them together. This will define the size of your 3D Paper Buddy. As we continue, you will tape other strips on top of these first two, forming a round 3D shape. If this will make a smaller shape than you desire, you can start with some of the longer strips,ad then tape some of the shorter strips underneath them.

Carefully tape the other 6 strips to the top of your round shape, maintaining a consistent size. It is okay if some of the strips are too long, you can trim off the extra edges.

After You trimmed the start of your base

After You trimmed the start of your base
After You trimmed the start of your base

#4 - Cut more strips

You now have a base that you will use to create the rest of your 3D decoration. You will cut more strips coming out of the center. For this next series of strips, I start with making a strip in the center of each remaining large section.

Now you can go around and cut as many strips as you can fit. You will end up removing some triangular pieces. Make your strip placements based on where you think the shape will need filling in the most.

A Side View of all of the cut strips

A Side View of all of the cut strips
A Side View of all of the cut strips
3D Paper Decorations
3D Paper Decorations

#5 - Finish taping the strips

Tape the remaining strips to the top of your creating, trimming the strips when they are too long. You may end up not using some of the strips, but you can cut these off at the end.

In the picture to the right, there are 10 strips that I didn't use in the base of my snowman.

TIP: If you are having trouble taping the top of your creation, you can press the center down without forming creases.

TIP: If you are having trouble taping the top of your creation, you can press the center down without forming creases.
TIP: If you are having trouble taping the top of your creation, you can press the center down without forming creases.

#6 - Decoration your Creation

Congratulations! You have now created a 3D paper globe/head/base for your homemade decoration! Now you just need to decorate the base. For the snowman, I cut out two pieces of "coal" and one triangular "carrot."

Use this technique for other holiday decorations!

Use this technique for other holiday decorations!
Use this technique for other holiday decorations!

Which of the creations do you like the best?

Which one would you most like to recreate?

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What else can you make?

Besides the Snowman, Spider and Pumpkin shown, you can make:

*Black Cat

*Santa

*Elf

*Soccer Ball

*Basketball

What do you think you'll create? - Any comments, suggestions or questions?

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    • deyanis profile image

      deyanis 6 years ago from Oz

      Very creative. I love the snowman...

    • deyanis profile image

      deyanis 6 years ago from Oz

      Very creative. I love the snowman...

    • Craftyville profile image

      Craftyville 6 years ago

      So cute, I adore the pumpkin!

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 7 years ago

      Fun craft idea! :)