December Projects: origami and paper arts

December Projects:

    1st week: Christmas Tree Pop-Up Card
    2nd week: Origami Candy Cane
    3d week: Origami Christmas Tree
    4th week: Star of David & Dreidel

Christmas Tree Pop-Up Card

Pop-up cards are a wonder to experience so I use December as an excuse to make a Christmas tree pop-up card. Most children do a good job and it is always a very personal card since no two cards look alike.

The only tricky part with this craft is that the child should not cut the Christmas tree completely off the white sheet of paper: there should be a small notch that remains uncut so that the tree remains connected. However, if they do cut the tree completely off, simply stick the white sheet right onto the colored backing so, instead of a Christmas tree pop-up (top), they will get a Christmas tree cut-out (bottom).

Origami Candy Cane

This origami candy cane is the easiest of the December projects. Children find it astonishing that you can get the striped patterning by rolling the paper over and over again. The trick is to fold the paper so that it is offset by about ¼ inch: this will allows the white and the red to be visible.

For variation, use origami paper of different colors. Foil paper gives a nice shiny glow. Depending on the type of paper used, tape may or may not be needed to maintain the paper in the candy cane shape.

  • instructions to make origami candy cane here

Origami Christmas Tree

Origami Christmas trees are fun to make and can be used for many things. Thread a string on the top and it can be a tree ornament. Attach it on top of a gift and it can serve as a gift bow. Or, stick it onto the front of a card to make a homemade Christmas card.

Leave out the hole-punch ornaments and keep the tree neutral. This can be used as a pine tree in dioramas and other winter scenes.
  • December projects: origami tree here and here
  • more advanced models here

Kirigami Star of David and Origami Dreidel

Depending on the class demographics and how many school weeks there are in December, I may do a Jewish themed paper craft.

The kirigami Star of David is easy to make but requires constant supervision. Practice this craft well before you introduce it to the classroom because one wrong cut will cause the entire star will fall apart.

I help the children by using a pencil to draw lines and shade-in the sections of the paper that need to be cut out just so. Often there are one or 2 disasters but you can always try again.

  • get instructions for kirigami Star of David

An interesting model is an origami Dreidel created by Florence Temko. This model is not hard to make, but the last step is a little tricky and children may need some guidance here. Otherwise, it is a great model. Those who know how to write in Hebrew can practice writing the words "nun, gimel, hay, pay" for "A great miracle happened here".

  • get instructions for Origami Dreidel
  • more advanced Jewish themed Origami