I am so excited to share our latest Christmas craft with you! We made these vibrant tissue paper ornaments in my daycare the other day. They were SO easy to make, totally inexpensive, and they look just fabulous!
I came up with the idea for these gorgeous ornaments when I was thinking about one of my favourite art process from elementary school. Remember when we used to take squares of tissue paper, twist them around the end of a pencil, and then glue them in place to create a picture or a design?
Well, this is basically that process, but I modified it a bit for a couple of reasons:
Firstly, I thought that the younger children in my daycare would find the pencil method too challenging.
Secondly, I thought that the tissue twists made with a pencil would be quite puffy and delicate, and they’d get crushed too easily when the ornament was handled.
I decided it would be best to crumple the tissue paper into small, colourful balls, and decorate our styrofoam balls with those. This would make the craft do-able toddlers and preschoolers, but still very enjoyable for the older kids. And it was! The older ones loved selecting their colours, and placing them “just so” to decorate their ornaments. Everyone was thrilled with their results.
The hooligans LOVE crafting with tissue paper: the bright colours, how soft and delicate it feels, and of course, the crinkly sound it makes when we’re working with it.
I love it because it’s inexpensive (or free when you save it after birthdays, baby showers etc.), and so versatile. It can be scrunched or folded or molded into just about any shape.
Ok, let’s get your kids crafting!
To make our easy tissue paper ornaments, you’ll need:
- styrofoam ball
- several pieces of colourful tissue paper cut into squares
- small bowl of white glue
- craft stick (optional)
- paper clip and thread (for hanging)
To start, select the colours of tissue paper you want to work with.
We chose mostly bright, bold colours so our ornaments would look very festive. We went with a lot of teal, magenta, orange, royal blue, turquoise, lime green and bright yellow. We did use some lavender, pale blue and soft pink, but our darker colours dominated.
You might want to consider some different colour schemes: all pastels, white/red, white/icy blue etc. would all look lovely.
Next, you’ll want to cut your tissue paper up into squares. No need for perfection here. Aim for 3″ x 3″ squares, but anything close to that will do. Jagged edges and lopsided pieces will not matter. They’ll all be crumpled up shortly.
Now, it’s time to decorate the styrofoam ball.
Just crumple up a piece of tissue paper, lightly dip it into the bowl of glue, and stick it to the ball.
With the next piece, do the same, nestling it in close to the first piece.
Continue working until your styrofoam ball is completely covered with tissue paper.
To make it easy to hang onto the ball, we stuck a pointy craft stick into it, and then just held onto that. This isn’t necessary but I thought I should explain in case you’re wondering what the craft stick is doing in the photos.
As we worked, we noticed that some bits of tissue paper stuck out much further than others, so we ended up kind of crushing our pieces tight to the ball (like when you’re packing a snowball) to even things out.
When your ball is completely covered in tissue paper, you’ll need to fashion a little hanger for it.
Here’s a simple way to do that:
Cut a paper clip in half (sharp kitchen scissors did the job for me).
Take one of the cut halves, and a hold it like an upside-down “U”.
Run a length of thread or ribbon underneath it, and then press the pointy ends of the paper clip down into the styrofoam ball to secure the thread or ribbon in place.
Knot the ends of your thread, and you’re ready to hang your gorgeous tissue paper ornament on the Christmas tree.
Isn’t it amazing to think that such a simple process could yield such beautiful results?
Now, check out these easy, gorgeous ornaments:
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. In 1997, Jackie stepped out of the corporate world to start a family and to open her own home daycare. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.