Paper has always been an important part of Christmas, albeit the part that ends up crumpled, torn, and discarded in favor of what was inside. This year, let paper be the star: Fold it, slice it, twist it, and curl it into colorful lantern-inspired ornaments. Look for unusual and beautiful papers, and experiment with colors and textures -- an unexpected combination can be the most striking.
At the end of the season, pack the paper spheres up in sturdy plastic boxes between layers of tissue paper, preferably acid-free. When you open the box next year, they will have become familiar old favorites. Just what ornaments should be.
Tools and Materials
19-gauge brass wire
Clear-drying craft glue
Quilling paper in chosen colors
Quilling needle or round toothpick
Tack or awl
Lantern Strip Spheres How-To
1. Cut a piece of wire just longer than the length you want the sphere to be. Then cut strips of quilling paper the appropriate length; each strip goes all around the ornament. For 4-inch-tall spheres, we used 12-inch strips of paper; use eight or 10 strips for each sphere.
2. Use a tack or an awl to make three holes in each of the strips: one in the center and one 1/4 inch from each end.
3. Insert one end of the wire into the center hole of one strip; bring ends of strip around and hook over other end of wire. Repeat, alternating colors.
4. Use round-nose pliers to turn wire ends into small loops. Adjust strips for an even sphere.
Quilling paper can be bought in precut widths and a vast assortment of colors at most crafts stores.