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Christmas-tree Decorations


















Fig. 183—The Christmas tree with home-made decorations. Fig. 183—The Christmas tree with home-made decorations.
Fig. 184—The Christmas star. Fig. 184—The Christmas star.


is the photograph of a Christmas tree whose trimming is entirely home-made. The brilliant colors and shining gilt of the papers used, give a sparkle and life that are most captivating, and the ornaments are so easily made that the children themselves can do much toward decorating a tree in this manner.


At the top of the tree, shining above all other ornaments, is


The Christmas Star


, and this is the way to make it:

From a piece of cardboard cut an oblong with the top and bottom edges five and a quarter inches long and the side edges just five inches long . Now, exactly in the middle at the top edge, make a dot, A ; then on each side edge make a dot, BB . On the bottom edge, one inch from each bottom corner, make the dots CC. With the aid of a ruler draw the lines connecting these points, as shown in . This gives a perfect five-pointed star, five inches high. Cut the star out, cover its entire surface with a coat of paste, and lay over it a smooth piece of gilt paper, pressing out the fulness and creases. When the paste is dry, cut away the paper from the edges, and there will remain a gilt star, firm and stiff enough to stand up bravely.


Fig. 185—Draw the star like this. Fig. 185—Draw the star like this.

But this is not all. There are to be a number of gold-tipped rays flaming out from the star to represent its spreading light. For these rays select ten broom straws with two prongs. Trim the prongs evenly, shorten the stems at the bottom, and spread the prongs apart . Now, cut twenty strips of gold paper half an inch wide and a little over four inches long. Lay one strip down, cover the wrong side with paste, place three broom straws with their prongs resting on the paste side of the paper, and press another strip of gold paper over the first, inclosing the tips of the straws. This will give a gold paper on both sides of the straws. Then, when the paste is dry, cut away the paper, leaving a gold triangle on the tip of each prong of each broom straw. shows one triangle cut out. Treat all of your broom-straw rays in this way, then cover with paste the centre of the wrong side of the star up to the points, lay two straws in place, the stems crossing, as in , and over the stems press a short strip of white paper, like D , pasting it down securely. Adjust the other rays between the points of the star, and fasten in place in the same manner.










Fig. 186—Place three broom straws on the paper. Fig. 186—Place three broom straws on the paper.
Fig. 187—One triangle cut out. Fig. 187—One triangle cut out.


Fig. 188—Paste the straws on the star. Fig. 188—Paste the straws on the star.

To hold the star upright, make a lighter from a strip of white writing-paper for a stem. Flatten the top of the lighter, cut it off evenly, and paste it on the back of the star between the two lower points, as in . Over the stems of the broom straws and the end of the lighter paste a white paper lining that will reach part way up each point of the star. This lining should be made before the rays are pasted to the star, by laying the star on white paper, tracing around its edges with a pencil, cutting out the white paper star, and then clipping off about one inch of the points. The gold star will look like .


Not the least effective trimmings on the tree are the little


Christmas Bells


that hang by strings from the tips of the branches and dangle alluringly. They are of different sizes, and some are made of gilt, others of colored paper .

Fig. 189—The Christmas bells that dangle alluringly. Fig. 189—The Christmas bells that dangle alluringly.

For a bell three and a half inches high (a very good size), cut a strip of paper three and a half inches wide and seven inches long, curve it into the cone shape shown in , and pin together. Cut off the point that laps over, according to the dotted line, also the point that laps under, leaving a little over half an inch for the final lap. Trim off the bottom points even with the shortest part of the bottom edge, as shown by the curved, dotted line, and you will have . opened out will give you , which will be the pattern for other bells.











Fig. 190—Curve the paper into a cone. Fig. 190—Curve the paper into a cone.
Fig. 191—Trim off the bottom points. Fig. 191—Trim off the bottom points.
Fig. 192—The pattern of the bells. Fig. 192—The pattern of the bells.


Fig. 193—Cut out two disks at one time. Fig. 193—Cut out two disks at one time.

As lies flat on the table, run the paste brush along one side edge, making the coat of paste as wide as the lap is to be, then curve the bell into shape. Make the bottom edges meet evenly and press the paste-covered edge over the other side edge. Hold the finger inside the bell while you do this, to keep it from flattening.


The clapper is made of two round disks of gold paper with the string pasted between them. For the bell we are now making, the clapper should be almost one inch in diameter. Fold a piece of gilt paper and cut out the two disks at one time . Cover the wrong side of one disk with paste, lay the end of a string across the middle , and press the other disk on top. Both sides of the clapper will then be gilt. Hold the clapper up to the bell by the string, so that half of the clapper is below the bottom edge of the bell; then, bringing the string close to the point at the top of the bell, run a pin through the string to mark the distance. Where the pin is, tie a knot, F ; this is to hold the clapper in its proper position. Thread the end of the string through the eye of a darning-needle and push the needle up through the point of the bell—the knot will keep the string from running up too far . Allow eight or ten inches of string above the bell, so that it may be hung high or low, as desired. A bell should never be tied close to a branch, but should hang down far enough to sway with every passing current of air. The long string also adds to the decorative effect.










Fig. 194—Paste the strings between the two disks. Fig. 194—Paste the strings between the two disks.
Fig. 195—The clapper in the bell. Fig. 195—The clapper in the bell.


The Snow Pocket


is another pretty ornament and is made with a few snips of the scissors.

Fig. 196—The frosty snow pocket. Fig. 196—The frosty snow pocket.









Fig. 197—Fold the paper crosswise. Fig. 197—Fold the paper crosswise.
Fig. 198—Cut slits in the folded paper. Fig. 198—Cut slits in the folded paper.


Cut a strip of white tissue-paper five and a half inches wide and twenty-two inches long. Fold the paper crosswise through the middle; then fold it again and again until your folded piece is one inch wide. The folds must always be across the paper from start to finish . Now, cut slits in the folded paper, first a slit on one side, and then a slit on the other, as in . Let the spaces between the slits be one-eighth of an inch wide, and cut each slit to within one-eighth of an inch of the edge. When this is done, carefully unfold the paper and spread it out flat, then lift the top edge with one hand, the bottom edge with the other, and gently pull the meshes apart. Gather the top edge into little plaits, and twist them together in a point; gather the bottom edge in the same way and twist that; then carefully pull the snow pocket out, and you will have a long, narrow bag of soft, white meshes. If it flares out too much, crush it together softly with your hand. Make a small gilt paper star and fasten a narrow strip of white tissue-paper to its top point. Open the bag, slip the star inside, and suspend it half-way from the top by pasting the end of the paper strip to the top of the bag. Make a loop of tissue-paper, fasten it to the top point of the bag, and then hang the snow pocket on the tree. The gold star gleaming through the frosty meshes is very pretty, but if you have several snow pockets, there need not be stars in all.


Jocko, the Monkey


is not made of paper, but of delectable, sugary raisins. He is a funny fellow, and will delight the children.

Fig. 199—Jocko. Fig. 199—Jocko.

Thread a clean, cotton string in a large darning-needle, then select three of your largest raisins for the body and a suitably shaped one for the head. There must be three raisins for each leg, one for each foot, and three for each arm. Tie a knot in the end of your string and, beginning with one foot, string on three raisins for one leg, then the three for the body, and, lastly, the one for the head. Tie a knot close to the top at the head and leave a long end to the string. Thread your needle again and string on the raisins for the other foot and leg, then run the needle up through the lower raisin of the body, and fasten the second string to the first between the two body raisins.


Fig. 200—Jocko ready to be dressed. Fig. 200—Jocko ready to be dressed.










Fig. 201—Jocko's hat. Fig. 201—Jocko's hat.
Fig. 202—Jocko's coat. Fig. 202—Jocko's coat.
Fig. 203—Jocko's skirt. Fig. 203—Jocko's skirt.


String three raisins for one arm, run the needle through the middle of the top body raisin, where the shoulders should be, then string on the three raisins for the other arm and tie a knot at the end. Jocko is all right now, except that he is very limp. Put stiffening into his joints by running broom straws through his legs, body, and arms. Use a raisin stem for the tail, and fasten it on by pushing the largest end into the lowest body raisin. Make the eyes by running a short piece of broom straw through the head, allowing the ends to stand out a short distance in the place for the eyes. Remember a monkey's eyes are always close together, and they must be made so in order to look natural.


At this stage Jocko will resemble ; but he must have clothes and a hat to give the finishing touches and make him look like the monkeys the children are familiar with. is Jocko's hat, his coat, and his little skirt.


Cut all of these from bright-colored cambric of a size to fit the monkey. Fold a piece of cambric for the coat, and cut it out as you would for a paper doll, with the fold at the top. The skirt and hat are circular. Cut a round hole in the middle of the skirt for the waist, and slit it down the back. This furnishes the costume.











Fig. 204—Bring the corners of the square together. Fig. 204—Bring the corners of the square together.
Fig. 205—Slit the triangle. Fig. 205—Slit the triangle.
Fig. 206—Opened out. Fig. 206—Opened out.


Now, thread the end of the string from the top of Jocko's head into the darning-needle and run the needle through the middle of the hat ; then push the hat down on his head. Fit the skirt around Jocko's waist, and fasten it at the back with needle and thread; then put on his jacket and fasten that in front. It is unnecessary to say that Jocko is good to eat.


The Chrysanthemum


ornament is showy and pretty; it is also very quickly made. Fold through the middle a piece of bright orange tissue-paper six inches square. This will give you an oblong. Fold again through the middle crosswise, and you will have a smaller square. Bring the two opposite corners of the square together and fold like ; then cut off the point curving the edge, as shown by the dotted line. The folded part of the triangle is at the diagonal in , the edges at the bottom. Now cut slits in your triangle like . Open it, and you will have . Make two fringed circles like , lay one on top of the other, pinch the centre in a point, twist it, and draw the fringed ends together . Make a writing-paper lighter for the stem, cover the point of the ornament with paste, insert it in the large end of the lighter, and press together with your fingers until it holds tight. The result will be like . In fastening the chrysanthemum ornament on the tree, stand it upright and run a pin through the stem into one of the small branches.









Fig. 207—Pinch the centre into a point. Fig. 207—Pinch the centre into a point.
Fig. 208—The chrysanthemum ornament Fig. 208—The chrysanthemum ornament


Strings of


Colored Paper Disks


Fig. 209—The colored paper disks. Fig. 209—The colored paper disks.

looped from branch to branch, take the place of colored glass balls, and add materially to the beauty of the tree.

shows how these strings are made. Red, gold, yellow, orange, green, blue, and white make pretty disks, and show off well on the tree.


Cut your disks perfectly round, and in pairs; for they must be the same on both sides, G, H . You can make the disks on some strings all of one size; on others they may graduate down to quite small ones at the ends. When the disks are cut out, lay one down, bottom side up, H . Cover this with paste, then lay a white cotton string across the disk, directly through the middle. Allow about six inches of the string to extend beyond the disk, and let each string be one yard long. Before the paste has time to dry, press the mate of the disk, G , on top of H, over the string, taking care to have the edges even. Go through this process with each disk. Paste them on the string one inch apart, and leave six inches of string at the last end.


is a dainty


Fringed Ornament


made of colored and gilt paper. The foundation is a round disk of white writing-paper, two inches in diameter. To this is pasted the ends of a narrow light-blue ribbon, long enough to form a loop by which to hang the ornament. For the rest, cut two circles of light-pink tissue-paper, six inches in diameter, fringe them on the edges to the depth of one inch, making the fringe quite fine; then paste one circle on one side of the foundation, the other circle on the other side. Now, from your gold paper cut six long, narrow triangles, and cut the wide end into fringe two inches deep . Paste these tufts of gold fringe at equal distances on the pink circle, making the points meet at the centre. Make a smaller, light-blue, fringed circle, and a still smaller pink circle. Paste the centre of the blue circle over the centre of the gold fringe, and the centre of the small pink circle over the centre of the blue. Cut out a small, eight-pointed gold star and paste directly in the middle of the pink circle. You can vary this kind of ornament in a number of ways. shows another made on the same principle.









Fig. 210—A fringed ornament. Fig. 210—A fringed ornament.
Fig. 211—Six triangles like this. Fig. 211—Six triangles like this.


Fig. 212—Another ornament. Fig. 212—Another ornament.


The crowning glory of every Christmas tree is its


Candles


Fig. 213—Little paper candles. Fig. 213—Little paper candles.

and, whether lighted or not, they are always prominently in evidence. Of late years the people have grown wise in the matter of fires, and many parents refuse to light the Christmas candles on their children's tree because of the great danger of conflagration.

shows some paper candles on an evergreen branch, standing upright and burning briskly. The candles may be made of white as well as colored paper. Make an oblong, K , four inches long and two and a half inches wide, the wick one-quarter of an inch high, and the back of the flame, L, three-quarters of an inch long. From orange-colored tissue-paper cut the flame . This should be a little over a half an inch wide at the base and two inches long. Lay an oblong on the table in front of you; take a large-sized pencil; place it on the long edge farthest away from the flame, and roll it on the pencil until the opposite edge overlaps the roll. Then run the paste brush along the edge and paste it down. Your candle is now a hollow roll. Slip the roll off the pencil and cut two slim notches opposite to each other, in the bottom edge . Make the notches on some of the candles at the front and back, on others at each side. This is so that the flames may always face outward, though the branches that hold the candles may turn in various directions. Lastly, paste the flame on the back of the flame, allowing the tip to flare out at one side as though stirred by a current of air .












Fig. 214—Begin the candle in this way. Fig. 214—Begin the candle in this way.
Fig. 215—The flame is cut like this. Fig. 215—The flame is cut like this.
Fig. 216—Roll it on a pencil. Fig. 216—Roll it on a pencil.
Fig. 217—The finished candle. Fig. 217—The finished candle.


In placing the candles, stand them up astride the branches by means of the notches at the bottom, turning the right side of the flame always toward the room. The tiniest twigs will hold these paper candles easily, and when the needles of the fir interfere with their adjustment, pull off some of the needles and set the candles astride the bare places on the branches.


Finish the tree by throwing over it a web of long, very narrow strips of white and orange-colored tissue-paper.


The narrower the strips the better they will look.


It hardly seems necessary to offer a word of caution, but it will do no harm to say that the flame of gas, candle, or fire, should not come near this paper-decked tree, though it is scarcely more inflammable than a tree trimmed with tinsel.










Next: A Home-made Santa Claus

Previous: Playing Indians With Costumes Made Of Newspapers



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