paper christmas tree ornament tutorial

November 30th, 2010

paper christmas ornaments

a paper christmas tree ornament

This as simple as it gets. A few scraps of paper, one seam and in minutes you’ve make a pretty, handmade ornament. I used paint chips (in lovely martha stewart colors) from the hardware store because I had them on hand, but cardstock or thin cardboard or old christmas cards would all work well.

an ornament from paint chips

Cut out one star and three to five strips of paper.  If you’d like to use the same measurements I used, you can download the pattern pictured below. If you would rather do it freehand, cut progressively longer strips for the tree, as wide as you like, and cut a good size trunk.

paper tree pattern

You are going to sew a seam down the middle of everything on your sewing machine. Sewing on paper is really not that much different than sewing on fabric, except that you use a slightly longer stitch and it’s ok to use a dull needle. If you are anything like me, there is one in your machine right now! Make a bunch of paper tree ornaments with that perfectly dull specimen and then do yourself a favor: take it out! And get a nice, new sharp one in there for the rest of your christmas sewing.

First make sure you have about three inches of slack from the bobbin and past the needle before you begin sewing. Then place the star under the presser foot of your machine take one stitch forward and then one stitch back (a little sewing dance!) to secure the thread and then sew down the middle of the star. Before you get to the bottom nudge the shortest strip of paper under the presser foot and sew down the middle of it.  And so on, with the rest of the strips and the trunk.

sewing paper trees

When you get to the bottom of the trunk, sew back and forth a few times to secure the thread again. Tie the ends on top of the ornament together, so it makes a loop for hanging. Snip the thread ends on the bottom of the trunk and you’re done!

christmas tree ornament made out of paint chips


I included a pattern for a snowman in the PDF pattern as well, but a million other things are possible: candy canes, bells, santas, pretty much anything you can think of to cut out and sew together!

snowman ornament made from paint chips

a christmas present for my lovely readers: a week of handmade ornament tutorials!

I will be accepting advertisers  on Elsie Marley starting January 2011. If you would like to reserve a spot please email me and we can discuss the specifics! Thanks!
Posted in christmas, tutorials.

32 Responses to paper christmas tree ornament tutorial

  1. beth lehman says:

    those are precious and fun to do with my kids! great idea!

  2. Pascale says:

    This is an absolutely cool idea!! I definitely need to try this with my girls!

  3. Heather says:

    Aewsome! We are definitely going to do this.

  4. Ali says:

    I love love love sewing paper – I think it’s the ‘shuch shuck’ noise the needle makes going through the paper. Your ornaments are pretty!

  5. varenia says:

    sooo pretty! my kids will love to make these!

  6. Lucinda says:

    paper + sewing: what could be better?! love it!

  7. Kirsty says:

    Gorgeous! Your tree must look divine.

  8. Kimberly says:

    Yeah! Now I know the rules (or lack there of) to sew paper. These little ornaments are just darling.

  9. June says:

    Brilliant! And I LOVE that you used paint cards – this is a great project to do with my daughter, she’ll LOVE it!

    By the way, I have only once before sewed with cards: Lili’s great grandfather was turning 92 so we stitched together two store bought cards: one for Happy 90th, and one for Happy 2nd. It was cute :)

  10. Wendy says:

    These are just swell! I’m definitely adding these to my project list this year.

  11. Louisa says:

    What a great idea! I love the Christmas tree! I bet it is fun to watch it move whenever there is a breeze.

  12. Wendy says:

    These are great! My daughter is all ready to get going on the machine now. I think she came up with about 10 different paper designs to sew up before going to bed. You are always a great inspiration to us, thanks!

  13. Hey—these are great. I just did a tutorial on my blog for another very simple kind of paper ornament/ decoration—-3-D trees made with recycled thin cardboard—no glue or fasteners. Check it out.

  14. […] tuesday: paper christmas tree ornaments […]

  15. Julie says:

    This is adorable!
    I’d love for you to link up on my blog. I will be featuring 25 ornaments in the next 25 days!
    Here is the link:

  16. kim says:

    awesome idea – i’ve been wanting to use paint sample cards for something. look out hardware store, here I come!

  17. I love them! What a great idea! And the instant gratification thing is lovely too.

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  20. OH I love these p aper trees!

  21. molly says:

    oh, now how cute is that? the paint chips – so clever. i’ve been too chicken to try sewing paper on my machine, but if you say it can be done…

  22. […] Paper Christmas Tree Ornament by Elsie Marley […]

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