Yes, really. One sheet of paper. But, before we begin, some introductions. You might remember my sister, Kendall, from our series on the Tiny House she built with her husband, Steve (part one and part two).
Tiny’s adventures are ongoing and so are my sister’s. In the time since we last flashed her smiley face here on Fork & Fiction she has produced another gorgeous babe, my nephew – Pax. This year Pax and Elvie (big sister) join my tribe for a family Christmas frenzy at our house. Think tents on the lawn, a “present bandit” who makes the kids complete a treasure hunt to find their hidden gifts, a glazed ham as big as a toddler and a lot of lolling about, fruit mince pies and glasses of bubbly firmly in hand. If all of that sounds lovely but also frenetic and complicated, here is the antithesis: some Christmas fun with one simple ingredient: a plain white sheet of paper. Kendall, oh crafty sister, please take it from here…
Last Saturday Mum had all the grandkids over to put up the Christmas tree at her house. It was outrageously delightful and sparked all the Christmas feels. Kids ate too much, carols got sung and arguments raged over which ornaments were the best. With good reason too – Mum has a ton of ornaments and they are all packed with memories; there are rainbow doves passed down from her mother, grandkids’ and grown kids’ first christmas decorations, a very nineties angel that has spent 20 years perched lopsidedly in prime position, and multiple nods to passing trends – e.g. a Troll santa (from the first time they were cool). With all these treasured ornaments from over the decades, the resulting tree was both wonky and very crowded.
Returning home I realised my wee family’s tree was, well, pretty naked. While Christmassy – in a “everything bought in a five minute mad dash at Kmart” – kinda way; it did look a wee bit sad. But this is because it is our first tree as a family. In fact, it’s my first tree with my husband! I can easily make excuses for a lack of tree – “we move a lot”, “we lived in a tiny house”, “we just couldn’t really be bothered” – but this year we finally decided it was time to adorn a lonely corner in the lounge with a bright shiny tree and Elvie (our four year old) could not have been more thrilled. But how to cover the bare thing?! The four year old and I hunted the house for materials for decorations and found…white printer paper. Hmm. Thank goodness for google. Here’s what we discovered:
We started with the timeless paper garland. Elvie took charge on this one. If you haven’t made a paper garland before here’s a basic tutorial
to get you underway. You could also make a string of “snowballs” if you fancied, using these instructions
Snowflakes were our second activity. I highly recommend making snowflakes to fill the big gaps between your Kmart trees branches! Here is a simple how-to guide
Paper hearts are so pretty and easy. I took inspiration from some online instructions
but really just free-styled once I had the basic idea.
These 3D trees are my favourite decorations. They can be hung from the tree or stand tall all by themselves. This video
shows that they actually can be made in under two minutes, if you are very nimbly with the fingers.
Of course there are many more things you can make with paper but these four were easy (especially with Elvie getting in on the action) and they so look lovely on the tree. Until, like Mum, we too have decades worth of handmade, handed down, memory-saturated decos to fill up the tree, these simple paper ornaments totally do the trick. They’ve made our brand new first-ever family tree that much more Christmas-er.
Wishing you a beautiful and memorable Christmas,
Kendall (aka The Sister)