Papercut Circle

Papercut Circle Ornament
When I started this project, I thought making a whole nativity themed tree would be plenty. And then I kept on going and made a whole bunch of full nativity sets. Each time it was because I enjoyed the ornament I made so much I just couldn’t stop the inspiration. This papercut tree came after I had cut out 12 of these ornaments, which were originally inspired by this great ornament by Patricia at A Little Hut. I thought her use of a cardboard ring from a roll of masking tape was just brilliant recycling, and it inspired me to use a cardboard ring as a frame for my own papercrafting idea.

Papercut Circle Ornament Tutorial Step 1
I didn’t happen to have any empty masking tape rolls lying around, so I had to make my own cardboard tube. I got a 3″ mailing tube to do the job.

Papercut Circle Ornament Tutorial Step 2
To measure a straight cutting line all the way around, I used a piece of ribbon and matched up the ends. This ribbon was an inch wide, so it worked perfectly to trace both ends and get the size I wanted.

Papercut Circle Ornament Tutorial Step 3
After much trial and error, my favorite way of cutting off the rings was to slice through them with an exacto knife.

Papercut Circle Ornament Tutorial Step 4
But no matter how neat I tried to be, the edges were still pretty ragged. Luckily cardboard sands clean really easily with just a few swipes of sandpaper.

Papercut Circle Ornament Tutorial Step 5
Paint the inside and outside of each cardboard ring. I painted the inside a metallic brown color because I loved the slight sparkle and contrast it provided. It’s just a little touch of something.

Papercut Circle Ornament Tutorial Step 6
Poke a hole through the ring with a needle and thread two ends of ribbon through. Tie them into a knot to make your hanger.

Papercut Ornament Pattern
Download this lovely pattern I made for you, totally for free because it’s Christmas and I love my readers. Just click on that image to go to flickr and you can save it to your computer. When you print it, print it at 8 1/2 x 11 to get it sized for the 3″ wide tube.

Papercut Circle Ornament Tutorial Step 7
Cut the image out with a sharp exacto knife. The only thing to know about this step is that you shouldn’t cut the ground part. That’s a little confusing in the pattern, but if you look at my ornament you’ll see that the sheep are cut out, and then the rest of the ground stays.

Papercut Circle Ornament Tutorial Step 8
This is a pretty delicate pattern, so chances are you might accidentally cut through something you didn’t intend to. Never fear. Just flip the paper over to the back side, cover your accident with a piece of tape, and then cut back along the lines of your papercutting so the extra tape gets sliced off.

Papercut Circle Ornament Tutorial Step 9
Fold those tabs over and use them to glue the papercutting inside the cardboard tube.

The papercutting is fragile, but the great thing about using the cardboard tube is a frame is that it not only shows it off, but it also protects it. If you install the papercutting towards the middle of the tube, it will even be protected when you pack it up, barring anything pointy coming near it.