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Holiday Card Ornaments

These ornamental balls are made from holiday cards from Christmases past.




  • Holiday cards
  • Cardboard
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread


  1. Step 1

    Cut out 20 circles: For a small ball, trace around the base of a jar that's about 1 1/4 inches in diameter; for a large one, trace around the bottom of a glass.

  2. Step 2

    Cut another circle the same size from cardboard; on it, draw an equilateral triangle, points touching the edge of the circle. Cut out triangle; trace it onto the inside of each of the 20 circles. Score, and fold along all the lines.

  3. Step 3

    Next, use clear-drying craft glue to join one flap each from two circles -- triangles should point in the same direction. Using the same technique, attach the flaps of three more circles to these two, forming what will be the top. Make the bottom in the same way.

  4. Step 4

    Glue remaining 10 circles together, this time with triangle points alternating up and down, forming a straight line. Glue the two end flaps to form a ring; this will be the middle section. Then glue top and bottom pieces to the flaps of the middle section.

  5. Step 5

    Use a needle to create a small hole, and hang from silver thread.

Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1998/1999



Reviews (20)

  • EvelineJ 16 Jan, 2013

    This is great idea. The pattern above is for a geometric shape called an icosahedron, but if you are crafty and mathy you can make other shapes too, like a dodecahedron or cuboctahedron.

  • sheryls 12 Dec, 2012

    Made this with my girlfriends last night - they turned out really well! Thanks for a great adaptable craft.

  • Cheryllion 18 Jan, 2012

    I took some metallic gold paint and went all around the edges. On some of the cards, I watered down the gold paint and painted over the whole ball so that it looked a little more antiqued. And I used ribbon instead of the gold string. These are such a great craft -- easy, and they make a nice gift to hang around the neck of a bottle of wine! Love it!

  • sunshine1921 12 Dec, 2011

    i can't wait to try this ,i have lots of cards.

  • michellephant 19 Dec, 2010

    I made the circle and triangle in Word (using basic shapes). Hold down the SHIFT key while drawing the oval to make it a circle. Hold down SHIFT while drawing the triangle to make it equilateral.

  • robcinhome 14 Dec, 2010

    shows step by step photos:

  • beaglesrule 14 Dec, 2010

    Is there a formula to make an equilateral triangle to fit any sized circle? THANKS.

  • ellen97 13 Dec, 2010

    I figured it out by paper-clipping, piece by piece, the middle sections to the top. When it looked right, I glued them. I have also discovered spray glitter which acts like a shellac, with a little added shine. The glitter is not too overpowering. I made 2"

  • ellen97 12 Dec, 2010

    Please help me! I can make the top and bottom just fine, but do not understand the direction: "Glue remaining 10 circles together, this time with triangle points alternating up and down, forming a straight line." No matter what I do, I end up makinig another top or bottom shape! Please help me, and thank you!

  • RosalieCeurvels 10 Dec, 2010

    Saw these and made them several years ago . . Used spray shellac to make them shine it makes them a little firmer as well . They looked beautiful and still do. I try to put the same theme of cards together to make a ball. Time consuming but well wort the effort .wonderful. Thank you

  • 123ragamuffin 10 Dec, 2010

    Three years ago I made these from Christmas cards collected over many years. My cousins and I have all lost our parents by this time; and, I selected cards signed by their parents over the years. I gave them to my cousins that Christmas. Tears were shed. They now hold a place of honor in each home.

  • Cheryllion 10 Dec, 2010

    I made these when I saw them on the website last year -- so pretty! And very sturdy. I got some gold paint and gilded all of the edges, then I used a thin mixture of gold paint and water and painted the rest of the ornament so that there was a slight metallic sheen. It made them look more vintage, too. I used pretty sheer ribbons instead of strings.

  • carrieyw28 4 Oct, 2009

    I made a large version of this in the mid-1990's with my family's old Christmas cards. I still have it and hang it every year in a doorway, it's so pretty and festive!!

  • pattymint 11 Jan, 2009

    these were made on the Rosey O'donnell Variety Show. She used photos of family and friends. Really neat.

  • Belgica 2 Jun, 2008

    We used it to create original gifts for our doughter's birth. We designed 20 different patterns (all things to do with babies). Each side had a different design/colour. Leave 1 piece open, fill with small candy and glue in last piece. Kids loved discovering all the different designs and candy inside. Try with other shapes than circles. We made ours with a flower shaped punch. For this christmas I'm making star shaped balls based on triangles. Designs based on snow flakes and lace...

  • chattychrissie 22 Apr, 2008

    Has anyone seen this done with photographs so each circle has a cute little family member's face in it?

  • tenamartha 15 Feb, 2008

    My grandfather made these ornaments when I was as child. That was 40 years ago. He made various sizes, just use different size circle and triangle templates. My husband made templates for me out of aluminum scrap that he had. When I made these ornaments for my family, it brought back fond memories of grandpa.

  • Haveajimdandytime 11 Dec, 2007

    My Great-grandmother used to make these, then brush the edges with glue and dip in glitter for a bit of sparkle. Put the glitter in a shallow bowl and roll the ornament around a bit to get all the edges. (Or use the glitter-glue in a tube)

  • chadgarner_deleted 29 Nov, 2007

    This is a great way to recycle old christmas cards. An old idea but a good one. To make perfect circles buy 2 inch circle punch at Michaels. You can also get a Martha ornament kit there to make these with pre-cut/scored circles if you want to save time. However, the ones made from your own cristmas cards will make a more personal statement.

  • noga 27 Nov, 2007

    I need to know how to make it by giving illusterating photos. Thank you