Make paper decorations

The year 3 students at our school recently made some Christmas decorations – and I think they are lovely!

paper Christmas decorations hanging in a window overlooking greenery

I spotted them on a bench outside the classroom and couldn’t resist grabbing some photos before ours arrived home a few days later.

collection of children's hanging Christmas decorations

How to make hanging Christmas decorations

You will need:

  • one A4 sheet of thin cardboard per decoration (obviously you can use a bigger sheet of cardboard to make lots of these!)
  • scissors
  • staples (and stapler!)
  • decorations – glitter glue, stickers, textas, glitter
  • shiny string (or plain string or thin ribbon) for hanging

cardboard, ruler, pencil, stapler and scissor to make a Christmas decoration

You then need to cut the cardboard into strips. For each hanging decoration, you will need to cut 7 strips about 5 cm wide based on:

  • 2 x full length
  • 2 x 2/3 length
  • 3 x 1/3 length

{This makes it a good maths activity, too, and will stretch the kids brains as well as building their fine motor skills while having fun and being creative!}

red and green cardboard strips

Strips cut for the alternative, wider decoration (see below)

Arrange the strips from biggest to smallest to biggest. That is, make a pile of

  • 1 full length
  • 1 2/3 length
  • 3 1/3 length
  • 1 2/3 length
  • 1 full length

Make the pile neat, with all strips meeting at one end of the pile. Staple the ends together.

stapled strips of reed and green cardboard

Bend the strips towards each other so all the loose ends line up together, and staple again.

Put a hole in one end and thread string/ribbon through (or just staple on the string or ribbon if you prefer) so the decoration can hang.

Now make it beautiful with textas, stickers and glitter glue.

Alternatively, staple a few decorations together to make a longer decoration, and just add string/ribbon at one end. Or attach some string to two decorations so there is a little room for them to sway independently. connected hanging decorations hanging in a window

They can hang on a tree, in a window or from a ceiling. Somewhere that catches an occasional breeze gives a pretty effect.

child-made hanging decorations hanging in a window

Many of the children at school chose to use black card so the glitter and stickers stood out more, but I also like the colourful cardboard ones. What will you make – colourful or black?

An alternative is to have 2 1/3 lengths and one 1/6 length to have a decoration that is much wider than it is tall – this is what happened when I followed my kids’ instructions initially!

red and green card decoration

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