Friday, March 27, 2009

A New Paper Project from Team Member Alycia Morales

We have a great "how to" project from EtsyPaper Team member and admin, Alycia Morales of Peek-a-boo Productions. She makes these gorgeous paper pine cones and is sharing her "trade secret" with us!

  • A styrofoam ball (example is 3"around)

  • 12 x 12 scrapbook paper/card stock - 2 sheets

  • Straight pins (I buy them in packs of 250)

  • Ribbon

  • Scissors, Paper Cutter

  • Thimble (You will want this for your forefinger from pushing the pins)


  • Step One - cut your paper. You will want to line your paper up with the 2" mark on your paper cutter first. Cut a strip that is 12" x 2". Then, line up the 12" strip with the 1" mark, and cut. You will have rectangles that are 2" x 1" when you are finished. You will need approximately 60 of them for a 3" styrofoam ball, give or take a few.

  • Step Two - fold the paper rectangles into paper triangles. To do this, start with the first rectangle face down on your work surface. Next, fold one side of the rectangle in to make a small triangle (see photographs below). Then, fold in the second half of the rectangle, making them meet in the middle, forming a triangle with your paper. You may wish to use a bone folder to crease your triangle, especially if you are using thicker paper. This will make it "tight" and not sloppy.

  • Step Three - start your pine cone...First, pick up your styrofoam ball, and find a starting point. (It's round, so you really can start anywhere.) Place your first triangle on the ball, and place a pin into the tip of the triangle. Take your second triangle, line it up next to the first one, with its tip touching the middle of the ball, like the first one (you are basically making a square on the bottom of your styrofoam ball...). Do the same with the third and the fourth triangles. You are pinning them only at the point right now. (See photographs for more detail.)
Once you have that completed, start pinning down the other corners of all of the triangles. Some may overlap just a tad. That is okay. You will be covering those corners up with the next row of triangles, anyway.

  • Step Four - Now we start the second row of triangles going around the ball. Line the first one up with its point directly at the meeting point of one set of your already pinned triangles. It should sit so that the point is at the midsection of the bottom layer of triangles. (See photo.) Pin only the
    TOP 2 points, leaving the bottom point free.

    Place three more triangles around the ball, with their top corners almost touching, if they don't touch. (It will depend on your skill how close together they get.) They should be in a straight line around the ball, and your rows will start to alternate as you go further up the ball. Every row will have four triangles, until you reach the top.
    (In the following photograph, you will see that I added ribbon to my ball. It is due to the design of my ball that I did this so early. Normally, you will not add ribbon until your triangle rows reach the mid-section of the ball. I will tell you about that step once we get there.)
    Next, you'll add the third row of triangles. Choose a spot between two of the second row of triangles, line up your point with that second row, and pin the top two corners down. Do this all the way around the ball, placing each triangle between the two triangles from the second row. It should look something like this (minus the ribbon):

The fourth row of triangles will be place above the third, overlapping the second, like this:

Continue on around your ball, alternating and centering rows until you reach the midsection of the styrofoam ball. In the following picture, I am holding the ball by the ribbon. This is the point in time that you would add your ribbon, cutting it approximately 12" long, so that you can make a loop for the ornament to hang from. Use as many loops as you'd like. Use as many colors as you'd like. Place one end of the ribbon flush with the row of triangles. Pin it down. One pin will be enough, as you will pin paper triangles over it for the remaining half of the ball. Next, pin down the other side of your ribbon, directly across the ball from the first half, keeping it flush with the row of triangles that you last completed.

You're half way there!

Continue with your rows of triangles, making your way up the rest of the styrofoam ball. You may want to start using your thimble by now. I know that my finger is tired of being "pricked" by the pin points at this place in the process!

Once you get to about the spot where you have formed a small square on the top of your styrofoam ball, you will want to decide how you will finish it. I usually continue adding triangles until I have a triangle-made square at the top of the ball, with two triangles forming it and my ribbon pinched between them, forming the hanger. In this design, I chose a different approach:
  • Step Five - cut two squares, the bottom one being 2" x 2", the top one being 1.5" x 1.5". Pin the larger one down first, placing your pins toward the middle of the square, inside your row of triangles. Then pin the top one down, layering it directly over the first, so that it makes a framed effect.

This is the point at which I chose to add my hanging ribbon on this particular ornament. I simply pinned it down in the middle of the top of the ball. The bottom ribbon that I displayed previously, I chose to turn into "lapels", hanging out of the bottom layers of the triangles. I cut them off at the midpoint of the ball, removing the "loop" I had been holding it by.

Here, you may choose to be finished with your ornament, or you may want to add some detail to it with the help of any type of pins, beads, etc. On my example, I added a loop of the black ribbon that I had used in the lapels, making it take the shape of a tie around my loop. I then pinned it with a straight pin and some beads, as finishing touches. Here is my final product:

Simply beautiful Alycia - thanks for sharing! If you would like to see more of Alycia's gorgeous Paper Pine cones, visit her shop "Peek-A-Boo Productions. If you decide to try your hand at these, we would love to see the results! This is a great rainy day project for the weekend - enjoy & happy crafting!

1 comment:

Blue Green Arts said...

That is gorgeous, and I love the easy to follow instructions! THANK YOU!