It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 10 of the 12 Days of Christmas

Today we have another "old" project....the Christmas card ball. I have been making these for over 50 years! I've taught them to at least 3 generations of children, and to a lot of adults, too! I make these mostly out of old Christmas cards, but sometimes, like this year, I don't have any old ones so I go to the dollar store and buy a box of 20 assorted cards for $1. You can't beat that cost for a project your whole family will love! Each person making a card ball will need twenty cards, some glue and a pair of scissors.

Start with a pattern. Your main pattern is a circle about 3 or 4" across. I usually trace a drinking glass for mine. Trace it onto the back of one of your cards and cut it out to use for your pattern. Trace the pattern on the front of each of your 20 Christmas cards and cut them out, being careful to keep your circles round and as close on the line as possible. You will see later why this is important, but they can be made to work from circles cut my little hands, too. So don't stress.

Now comes the hardest part of all, and that's making the triangle pattern. You need to create a triangle that is equilateral, (or the same length on all three sides) that will fit inside your circle with all three points touching the edge of the circle. I usually trace my circle onto several other backs of cards to experiment with. I draw what looks like a good, even triangle, then get out my ruler and measure the sides. Just keep adjusting 'til it fits. When you get the triangle right, trace it on the back of every card circle, and fold the flaps toward the front side of the circle. When you have them all folded, you are ready for the magic!

Take five of your triangles and glue the flaps together, forming a circle. It will seem like there needs to be a sixth triangle, but what you do is glue the first and fifth triangles together to form a little cap. Do this twice, so you have two caps.

Take the other ten triangles and glue them in a straight line. To do this, you put one with the point up, the next with the point down. Keep gluing them this way until all ten are glued together, then again take the first and last and glue them together. This will give you a big circle for your middle.

Now, take one of your caps and put glue on all five of the remaining flaps and glue it to the middle part. Make the edges as even as you can. Do the same with the other cap, and you will have a ball!!! Use a paper punch to punch a hole in one of the flaps and hang with a piece of ribbon. Curling ribbon looks cute, with some curly tendrils hanging from the knot at the top.
These also look cute made from family photos. Just copy your pictures onto cardstock and use them to make the circles. You will have happy family faces looking at you wherever you sit. Or mix photos and Christmas-design cardstock. Talk about fun! Let your imagination go and create your own way to make these old-fashioned decorations. I'm sure your children will have great fun making them. My children did, and now my grandchildren are, too. My son knew exactly what we were going to make as soon as I said we needed some old Christmas cards. Its fun times like this that they remember forever. In the words of TV newsman, Hugh Downs, "Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget."
As the day for celebrating the birth of our Lord gets closer, we need to turn our hearts to our families, neighbors and friends with love and compassion. Give everyone your best and everything your best efforts. 'Night, Gramma G.

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