Monday, March 23, 2009

Make It On Monday

I love to start my week thinking about all of the things that I would love to create. Some are things that I have been making for awhile. Others are completely new ideas. So, in honor of that, I will be trying to post a "Make It On Monday" feature at least once a month here on my blog! Yeah!

The first project for "Make It On Monday" will be "How To Make A Paper Pinecone". When people stop by my Etsy shop to take a peek, they tend to leave hearts on these delightful ornaments. So, since it's a favorite, I will show you how to make one!

The pinecone that I am featuring here is one I like to call "Edward's Tuxedo". I haven't read a fiction novel in a long time, as I am typically drawn to educational books that tell what other people have learned. I love knowledge, so fiction isn't at the top of my reading list. When I saw that all of my friends were commenting on facebook about "Twilight", I decided it was time to read it for myself. I tell you now, I was immediately sucked into the storyline, and I read through all four of the books in a matter of 9 days! I haven't read anything that quickly in years! I could not put the books down, and I had to know what happened next! So, in tribute to a fantastic read, I designed the "Edward's Tuxedo" pinecone ornament.

The first thing that you will need to do is gather your supplies. You will need the following items:

A styrofoam ball (this one is 3" around)
12 x 12 scrapbook paper/card stock - 2 sheets
Straight pins (I buy them in packs of 250)
Scissors, Paper Cutter
Thimble (You will want this for your forefinger from pushing the pins)

The first step is to cut your paper. You will want to line your paper up with the 2" mark on your paper cutter first. Cut a strip that is 12" x 2". Then, line up the 12" strip with the 1" mark, and cut. You will have rectangles that are 2" x 1" when you are finished. You will need approximately 60 of them for a 3" styrofoam ball, give or take a few.

The second step is to fold the paper rectangles into paper triangles. To do this, start with the first rectangle face down on your work surface. Next, fold one side of the rectangle in to make a small triangle (see photographs below). Then, fold in the second half of the rectangle, making them meet in the middle, forming a triangle with your paper. You may wish to use a bone folder to crease your triangle, especially if you are using thicker paper. This will make it "tight" and not sloppy.

Now, to start your pinecone...First, pick up your styrofoam ball, and find a starting point. (It's round, so you really can start anywhere.) Place your first triangle on the ball, and place a pin into the tip of the triangle. Take your second triangle, line it up next to the first one, with its tip touching the middle of the ball, like the first one (you are basically making a square on the bottom of your styrofoam ball...). Do the same with the third and the fourth triangles. You are pinning them only at the point right now. (See photographs for more detail.)
Once you have that completed, start pinning down the other corners of all of the triangles. Some may overlap just a tad. That is okay. You will be covering those corners up with the next row of triangles, anyway.

Now we start the second row of triangles going around the ball. Line the first one up with its point directly at the meeting point of one set of your already pinned triangles. It should sit so that the point is at the midsection of the bottom layer of triangles. (See photo.) Pin only the
TOP 2 points, leaving the bottom point free.

Place three more triangles around the ball, with their top corners almost touching, if they don't touch. (It will depend on your skill how close together they get.) They should be in a straight line around the ball, and your rows will start to alternate as you go further up the ball. Every row will have four triangles, until you reach the top.

(In the following photograph, you will see that I added ribbon to my ball. It is due to the design of my ball that I did this so early. Normally, you will not add ribbon until your triangle rows reach the mid-section of the ball. I will tell you about that step once we get there.)

Next, we put the third row of triangles on. Choose a spot between two of the second row of triangles, line up your point with that second row, and pin the top two corners down. Do this all the way around the ball, placing each triangle between the two triangles from the second row. It should look something like this (minus the ribbon):

The fourth row of triangles will be place above the third, overlapping the second, like this:

Continue on around your ball, alternating and centering rows until you reach the midsection of the styrofoam ball. In the following picture, I am holding the ball by the ribbon. This is the point in time that you would add your ribbon, cutting it approximately 12" long, so that you can make a loop for the ornament to hang from. Use as many loops as you'd like. Use as many colors as you'd like. Place one end of the ribbon flush with the row of triangles. Pin it down. One pin will be enough, as you will pin paper triangles over it for the remaining half of the ball. Next, pin down the other side of your ribbon, directly across the ball from the first half, keeping it flush with the row of triangles that you last completed.
You're half way there!

Continue with your rows of triangles, making your way up the rest of the styrofoam ball. You may want to start using your thimble by now. I know that my finger is tired of being "pricked" by the pin points at this place in the process!

Once you get to about the spot where you have formed a small square on the top of your styrofoam ball, you will want to decide how you will finish it. I usually continue adding triangles until I have a triangle-made square at the top of the ball, with two triangles forming it and my ribbon pinched between them, forming the hanger. In this design, I chose a different approach:
I cut two squares, the bottom one being 2" x 2", the top one being 1.5" x 1.5". I pinned the larger one down first, placing my pins toward the middle of the square, inside my row of triangles. I then pinned the top one down, layering it directly over the first, so that it made a framed effect. I was imagining the collar of a tuxedo coat with the shirt collar. My ribbons would then become the "tie".

This is the point at which I chose to add my hanging ribbon on this particular ornament. I simply pinned it down in the middle of the top of the ball. The bottom ribbon that I displayed previously, I chose to turn into "lapels", hanging out of the bottom layers of the triangles. I cut them off at the midpoint of the ball, removing the "loop" I had been holding it by.
This is the point where you may choose to be finished with your ornament, or you may choose to add some detail to it with the help of any type of pins, beads, etc. On "Edward's Tuxedo", I added a loop of the black ribbon that I had used in the lapels, making it take the shape of a tie around my loop. I then pinned it with a straight pin and some beads, as finishing touches. Here is my final product:

If you are a fan of "Twilight", you will understand the colors that were chosen. You know that Edward wore a tuxedo to the prom, and you know that he is extremely gifted in music, as a composer and a pianist. I hope that you had fun designing your own paper pinecone, and if you feel that it didn't come out perfect the first time, keep practicing! As the old cliche goes: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again! Practice makes perfect!
Have a blessed week!

1 comment:

  1. Now I know what to do with all that paper I just unpacked! I had no idea I still had it!


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