Make Your Own Paper Christmas Decorations
Decorating the house for Christmas is always lots of fun, but it can be extra special when you have made the decorations yourself. Making decorations from paper, especially if you use old wrapping paper saved from the year before, is environmentally friendly, too.
Here are 10 DIY Christmas decorations that kids of all ages will enjoy making. All you need is paper, glue (sticky tape or staples can also be used), paints, scissors, wool, pipe cleaners and the odd shape to draw around or trace.
1. Paper Chains
The Victorians were the first to use paper chains to decorate Christmas trees. While the humble paper chain might have fallen out of favour over the last few decades it is making a comeback in 2021 thanks to its beautiful simplicity and environmental credentials – paper chains can be made out of pretty much any scraps of paper and are recyclable.
The template for the paper chains can be downloaded from our Love Paper Creations Christmas page.
2. Paper Baubles
These paper baubles look lovely hanging from the tree or try threading several onto a length of wool or ribbon to create a garland. Keep them simple by using plain white paper or add pops of colour using coloured papers or old wrapping paper.
Get a few sheets of A4 coloured paper and scissors and cut the sheets of paper into strips. When all of the paper strips are cut, place them overlapping in the centre of one another with the edges in different directions to create a circle…. You can follow the rest of the instructions to make your own baubles here.
3. Cut-Out Paper Hearts
The great thing about these cut-out hearts is that you can save them to use again on Valentine’s Day! Use half a piece of red A4 paper to make a large heart and a quarter of a piece to make a small heart.
To make: Fold the paper in half and draw half a heart shape – the fold will form the centre of the heart once it’s opened. Carefully cut out the heart shape. Cut out a smaller heart shape from the middle. Punch a hole in the top to loop wool or ribbon through, or make a loop out of a strip of paper and glue to the top of the heart. Hang on the tree or thread several onto a length of wool or ribbon to create a garland.
Tip: if you have Christmas-shaped cookie cutters you don’t have to limit yourself to hearts – simply trace around and cut out any shape to create a simple hanging paper decoration.
4. Paper Snowflakes
These make lovely decorations to hang in the window. No template is required so, just like real snowflakes, each one you make will be unique. Add extra interest by using different sized sheets of paper to make different sized snowflakes.
To make: Start with a square of paper. Fold in half to create a triangle and then fold in half again to create another, smaller triangle. Fold the triangle into thirds, lining up the left and right edges. You should be left with two points at the bottom that you can cut off to create a straight edge. Now, either draw shapes onto the triangle before cutting or just dive straight in and start cutting freestyle! Take care to keep some of the folded edge intact otherwise the snowflake will fall apart. Once you have finished cutting, open up your snowflake. Thread several onto lengths of wool and hang in the window.
5. Origami Christmas Trees
Using green and brown paper – or you can paint white paper – you can create beautiful origami trees to hang or to create a mini forest scene. Scrunch up small pieces of coloured tissue paper to make baubles and use glue to stick them to the tree.
The template for the origami tree can be downloaded from our Love Paper Creations Christmas page.
6. Paper Lanterns
Perfect for hanging on the tree or for making a garland to hang in a window or from the ceiling, these paper lanterns make a stunning decoration and are incredibly simple to make.
To make: Take a piece of A4 paper and cut a 2cm strip from one of the short ends and set aside – this will become the handle of your lantern. Fold the remaining large piece of paper in half lengthwise, long edge to long edge. Draw a horizontal line 2cm from the top. Make cuts every 2cm from the folded edge up to the line. Unfold the paper and decorate as you please. Join the short edges to make a cylinder and glue. Attach the paper strip set aside earlier to form the handle.
7. Paper Angel Tree Topper
This cute and simple angel will make a delightful addition to the top of any Christmas tree. All you need is a paper doily, pipe cleaner, glue and card.
To make: Cut the doily in half and roll into a cone shape. Glue the edges together. Make the head by twisting a pipe cleaner hoop into shape leaving a 5cm length to insert into the top of the paper doily cone. Cut wing shapes from the card and glue to the back. Place in pride of place on top of your tree.
8. Christmas Character Toilet Roll Tubes
Most of us will have made a toilet roll tube Father Christmas or snowman when we were at nursery or primary school. Not only do they make great use of old toilet or kitchen roll tubes, but they are great fun to make, too.
To make: Paint the tube red or wrap in red paper to make a Father Christmas, or white to make a snowman. Make a hat by cutting out a small circle (approx. 9cm in diameter) from paper (red for Father Christmas or your colour of choice for the snowman) and cut in half. Curl to form a cone and glue. Glue the hat to the top of the paper roll. Paint or use paper to form Father Christmas’s belt and buttons. Cotton wool makes for a perfect fluffy beard. Cut a carrot shape from orange paper for the snowman’s nose and either paint, or make from paper, a scarf to wrap around his neck. Use paint or scrunched up black tissue paper to make the snowman’s eyes and buttons. Position pride of place!
9. Paper Window Star
Made from tissue paper or slightly stronger kite paper (available from craft shops), these paper stars look beautiful hung in a window with the warm light of a lamp shining through from behind.
To make: Cut eight equal sized squares from the paper. Fold each square in half to make a triangle. Open it out again and then fold in the sides to the centre line to form a diamond shape. To assemble the star: on the front of the first diamond, put a small spot of glue dab at the points of the diamond and lay the next diamond at an angle so the short edge sits along the long edge of the first – there are lots of websites and YouTube videos that illustrate this – continue until you have formed a complete star.
10. Christmas Mobile
Next time you’re out for a walk, look out for a nice twig or slim branch that could be used to create an eye-catching Christmas mobile. Using wool or ribbon, hang your choice of paper snowflakes, baubles or hearts (making instructions above). Tie a length of wool or ribbon to each end of the twig to make a hanging loop. Hang!
The great thing about all these crafts is that you can keep them for next year or put them into your recycling bin. Discover more paper crafts here.
The Paper Fact File
Paper is one of the most sustainable and recycled materials in the world!
Visit the Paper Fact File to discover the facts about paper’s sustainable attributes. Some might surprise you!