I demo’d how to make these ornaments on In the Season today. Here’s the playback link if you missed it: http://www.linqto.com/PlaybackRoom.aspx?roomname=creativeedventures&name=SingleExplicit_2010_10_08_10_00_15_176
I made a Jack O’Lantern and the black cat (he still needs whiskers!) from construction paper. You can use any kind of paper that will hold its shape (so tissue paper is too thin) and will give that nice curve without creasing (so you can’t use a thick cardboard). Begin by cutting strips of paper. I was using strips that were about 6-7 inches long and about 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide. I would say you’d want a width that is 1 inch maximum for ornaments that are about the size you would put on a Christmas tree.
For the one made out of pop cans, I used Orange Crush cans to give me that orange colour of a pumpkin. I would have liked to have used one more can to make this fuller but only had two cans on hand. I cut the top and bottom off the cans using a craft knife. I tried just making a slit with the knife and then continuing to cut around the can with a pair of scissors but that made for a very jagged edge. Once the top and bottom were cut off, I used scissors to cut the can open so it would lay flat and then to cut the strips. What’s nice about the can is that they already have a good curve in them. Also, I used green construction paper here because it was what I had on hand but for the next one I’ll be using leaves cut from a green pop can and adding little tendrils of wire that I’ve spiralled from the top. Done all in metal, this would make for a great outdoor decoration! Also, you should be able to slip a tealight or battery operated tealight into these to turn them into lanterns. When working with the pop cans please remember that they are metal and can get sharp. It’s a wise idea to wear gloves while cutting them and use some sandpaper or nail files to smooth down the burrs and sharp edges.
You can certainly make these for other occasions besides just the Autumn season and Hallowe’en. Use red and green construction paper to make traditionally coloured Christmas ornaments. Or how about blue and white for Hanukkah? You could also buy some pretty scrapbooking paper with holiday designs on it and use that with this technique.
These make a great gift to include in a holiday card as well. Cut out the strips and put them together with the brads but leave them flat and they’ll fit nicely into an envelope. You can include some paper pieces or other items for embellishment and the recipient can have the fun of completing the ornaments! How adorable would that be?