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Acrobat and Circus Animal Ornaments

Ladies and gentlemen: Presenting some of your favorite big-top characters in paper-craft form. Vintage paper figures with movable parts are the inspiration for these clip-art circus performers and animals turned into ornaments. They swing from trapezes, climb ladders (both made from striped paper straws), and frolic among honeycomb paper balls.

Photography: Katya De Grunwald

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December/January 2015


Don't pass by the party store when decorating your tree—that's where you can find honeycomb balls that look like oversize ornaments, as well as striped straws. Combine those colorful items with our clip-art cut-outs for a tree that's quite affordable to decorate from top to bottom. 


For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of Christmas tree ideas and Christmas ornaments


  • Card stock (Pictured: Cover stock, by Dutch Felt, 8½" by 11", in Creamery, $9 for 25 sheets,

  • Honeycomb balls (Pictured: Paper honeycomb balls, from $9 for 12,

  • Glue stick

  • Tissue paper (Pictured: Mini tissue-paper fans, $2 for 5,

  • Micro hole punch

  • Small black paper fasteners (Pictured: Round brads, by EyeLet Outlet, 4 mm, $6.50,

  • Crepe paper or colored paper (Pictured: Italian crepe paper, in Metallic Gold, $12,

  • Double-sided tape (optional)


  1. Download and print clip art onto card stock; print pattern on back, if desired. Cut out all pieces. For ringmaster, use glue stick to apply tissue paper to jacket; trim.

  2. Use hole punch to make holes as indicated; assemble pieces with fasteners. Make another hole at top of each for hanging, if desired.

  3. Embellish figures with crepe-paper and tissue-paper details: skirts, cuffs, epaulets, shirts, etc. (Cut pieces for embellishments, and cinch and shape as necessary with your fingers to get the effect you want.) Or cut colored paper to fill in shapes on figures. Use double-sided tape or glue stick to adhere.

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