Friday, September 7, 2012

Paper Ornaments 4--Origami Cube

This is the second paper ornament of this week for our Advent Calendar Project. When Kathy asked me to design some paper ornaments, I knew that I wanted to do at least two different types--an origami ornament and a paper cutout ornament.  The paper cutout ornament will be my last contribution to the series.

This ornament has a special history for me. When I first moved to NYC, I was short on funds for my first Christmas in the city. I move to NYC in September and I was working three jobs to make ends meet--so, I didn't have a lot of money for decorations that year.  That year, I decided to buy a couple of strands of holiday lights and hang them throughout the apartment. Rather than have bare bulbs blinking through the night, I decided to make these "Christmas presents" paper ornaments and placed the open end over the bulb unit so I would have blinking, origami presents.

If you choose to put these on your tree as light covers, please be sure not to leave the tree unattended and be sure to use good quality thick paper and low voltage stringed lights.


  • A six inch square piece of paper. (this will produce a flattened ornament that is 3 inches in length). The final blown up ornament will be 1.5 inches on all sides.
  • A piece of thread or embroidery thread for the loop.
  • A long needle to thread the folded/flat ornament. You can improvise here and use anything over three inches in length that can punch a hole and carry thread.

There are several locations to find the instructions on folding this ornament.  Search for a water bomb origami or water balloon.  The base instructions can be found here (water bomb base) which includes the instructions for the balloon as well. If you prefer to watch your instructions, you can watch a YouTube video here (water balloon).

  • Fold your water balloon but do not blow air into it.
  • While flat, thread your needle and place the needle in the opening of the balloon where you will eventually blow air.
  • Send the needle to the opposite end of the unit (the other pointed end with no opening).
  • Pull the thread through.
  • Tie a loop with the knot on the outside of the unit.
  • Pull the thread so that the knot disappears into the body of the unit (pull the knot through the open end of the unit).
  • Place in Advent Calendar Project Bag.
  • When the recipient opens the bag, teach them how to blow into the ornament and shape it into a cube.
Note: Several of these should fit into one of the advent bags. Once you show the recipient how to open the first ornament, let them open and shape the remaining ornaments.

The photo above shows the threaded ornament before it gets placed into the bag.

There are several varieties of this ornament you can use. You can use the balloon as a light cover for twinkling lights (no need to thread them). You can also use some beads and knot the ornament in place, place beads on either end of the ornament and make a garland.

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