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Holiday Papercrafts

Thanks to our downloadable clip art, these charming, ingenious holiday decorations are just some snips, folds, and glue dabs away.

See even more holiday papercrafts, including our Christmas Crackers!

At some point, it's bound to happen: You graduate from making garlands with rings of construction paper. The next logical step in crafting? These clip-art paper crafts, which call on the same skills -- cut, bend, glue -- but yield more sophisticated results.

For these projects, our crafts department called in the talents of Tokyo paper artist Keisuke Saka, whose charming Make City postcard kits let you build tiny 3-D versions of urban icons (Paris's Eiffel Tower, Tokyo's sushi).

Saka got hooked on paper crafting while living in Denmark in the late 1990s. "It's not really a Danish art, but my wife was teaching Japanese there, and I had a lot of free time to practice," he explains. "I'd always been interested in paper work, such as pop-up books, packaging, and sculpture -- all except origami, which I'm still very bad at."

Saka thought it might be fun to make a kit for his friends that would let them assemble a mini replica of a classic Borge Mogensen chair. Once he'd perfected the basic instructions (especially the "hill" and "valley" folds), he started designing the city kits, as well as projects for Kirin Beverage Co.

For our how-tos, Saka tips his hat to "typical holiday images like Santa, reindeer, and snowmen that are popular in Japan. But the elf -- that's new to me," he says.


For best results, cut out the clip art with small scissors or a craft knife, and score folds with a bone folder. Wrap anything you want to have a curve or a curl (such as the nutcracker's arms and legs) around a pen. Assemble without glue to check the shape, then dab on glue with a small paintbrush.

Open our PDF in Adobe Reader or Acrobat Pro to print clip art. Clip art opened in any other program will print text over the art.

Download the Clip Art

Small craft scissors, $15, and bone folder, $6; by Martha Stewart Crafts; Booklet envelopes, 7" by 10", in White, $4 for 25, Epson Premium Presentation paper, in Matte, $16, Aleene's Tacky Glue Quick Dry, $5 for 8 oz., Make City kits, $5 each,

Comments (16)

  • Crystal Natvig 7 Nov, 2013

    I loved this idea. I added the papercrafts to my christmas cards and sent them to families that had kids. This way the kids could assemble them and have a little something special for the holidays. It was such a fun idea. Hope you come up with another great idea for this holiday season. Thanks!

  • iquilt2 21 Dec, 2012

    The cutouts are really cute, but I hate wasting all the ink required to fill in the background. Why couldn't these have been put on a white background instead?

  • jlpurdy08 11 Dec, 2012

    I printed the clip art ornaments from the Dec.'12 magazine and was very disappointed that even though the instructions said they would not show when printed, they DO. What a waste of paper and colored ink!

  • Janechef 8 Dec, 2012

    This printed out just fine by downloading and installing current version of Acrobat, download file, then opening file from within Acrobat. What a cute idea! Thank you Martha for another unique Christmas craft!

  • aiuar123 24 Nov, 2012

    In order to print this out you need to download and install Adobe Reader: then open the PDF with said program and print.

  • linny 23 Nov, 2012

    When I print the paper ornaments, they do not print as a full size on a 81/2 x 11. What do I need to do? Please send response to my email address.

  • fleurdeb 20 Nov, 2012

    I could not print this without the text. I followed the instructions and downloaded the clip art to my hard drive and then opened it in Adobe Reader. I can't get it to print without the text showing. Any help would be appreciated!

  • siegmek 17 Nov, 2012

    I just finished making the Santa and his little bag and I am thrilled with the way he turned out. I had no trouble printing the correct size, each one fit on it's own page and the wording did not show on the printed page. This is an outstanding craft and I can't wait to get started on the rocking horse. Thank you for such a fun project!!!!!

  • Deliber8 14 Nov, 2012

    Very Nice.

    HINT#1 Save File to your hard drive first and then open PDF directly in Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Professional.
    Printing from browsers causes unsatisfactory results (images are cropped off).

    HINT #2 To Save Ink. Open page in Photoshop. Use the Magic Wand tool to select background color & hit Delete.

  • aworld 13 Nov, 2012

    These are adorable characters, HOWEVER, the printing does show, waste of ink with colored backgrounds, not all the patterns printed because they were too large for the page. I am truly disappointed that I cannot use these. I do not have the time to redraw and fix the patterns myself. Next time, your staff should try to put them together the way they printed off!

  • lbevans1 12 Nov, 2012

    I love the clip art for the holidays, but wonder why they are on colored backgrounds?? Don't we all use enough ink - color - just printing the pages?
    Save the color ink for the the cutouts themselves and print on white backgrounds.

  • e271828 11 Nov, 2012

    The text is still present on the pdf images after I download and the images are incorrectly sized for printing also (tested one). :(

    Mac OS, Safari with EVERYTHING turned on including Java. I am not sure why there should be such text on the images anyway.

  • e271828 11 Nov, 2012

    The text is still present on the pdf images after I download and the images are incorrectly sized for printing also (tested one). :(

    Mac OS, Safari with EVERYTHING turned on including Java. I am not sure why there should be such text on the images anyway.

  • eggsandherbs 11 Nov, 2012

    The text that you say won't print DOES print rendering the printout useless. Please correct this. the printouts are really cute.

  • nancy1 11 Nov, 2012

    I agree mine print with the message about printing it doesn't disappear. !!!

  • kitchenboss1 10 Nov, 2012

    Re: Clip Art: "A Jolly Fold Time." When printing out the cards I find that not all of the card is printed so I cannot make the card. Also the text you say will not be printed IS Printed!
    Is there some way I can correct this on my computer or is there something you need to do in order for me to print ALL of the card? Do you have a card
    appropriate for a girl? They sure are cute cards.
    Thank you,
    Carol Nelsen