How To Make Paper Christmas Ornaments – Victorian Dresden Ornaments

Make traditional Victorian Christmas ornaments with paper this Christmas! Homemade paper ornaments are a budget-friendly and easy Christmas craft project that you can make with your kids! Read on to find out how to make paper Christmas tree decorations.

How To Make Paper Christmas Ornaments - Victorian Dresden Ornaments

Paper Christmas ornaments and paper mache ornaments were popular Victorian Christmas tree ornaments. Paper Christmas tree ornaments were inexpensive and could be easily made at home.

To make these handmade paper Christmas ornaments you need either thick metallic paper or cardboard, or ordinary cardboard and metallic acrylic paint. You also need a stylus embossing tool or something similar such as a knitting needle or a blunt-point sewing needle.

For the silver paper ornament I embossed silver metallic cardboard, whereas for the gold paper ornament I embossed ordinary cardboard and then painted it with gold acrylic paint.

By the way, DIY paper Christmas ornaments don’t shatter like glass ornaments so they’re perfect for a toddler-friendly or pet-friendly Christmas tree. So learn how to make paper Christmas decorations to decorate a Victorian-style tree this year!

Victorian Paper Christmas Ornaments

Store-bought as well as homemade paper Christmas ornaments were used to decorate the Victorian Christmas tree.

Related: The Victorian Christmas Tree

These ornaments were either made of colorful paper or metallic gold and silver paper. Today, these gold paper Christmas ornaments are also know as Dresden ornaments and are still popular.

Victorian Dresden ornaments look like pressed tin ornaments but they were made of thick paper and cardboard. And they came in different shapes: Stars and animals – such as horses, cows, sheep, dogs and fish – were the most popular. Some of these metallic paper ornaments were only pretty on one side but there were also 3D Dresden ornaments.

Related: DIY Tin Star Ornaments From Tin Cans

By the way, instead of embossed paper ornaments, you can also make handmade paper Christmas ornaments with DIY paper mache and cookie molds like here. Paper mache Christmas ornaments were already used in medieval times as Christmas tree decorations.

How To Make Paper Christmas Ornaments – Victorian Dresden Ornaments

You’ll Need:

  • (metallic) cardboard or thick paper
  • scissors
  • stylus embossing tool
  • a piece of felt
  • thread as hanger
  • optional: metallic acrylic paint

How To Make Paper Christmas Ornaments Step By Step Tutorial

1. Cut Out The Ornament

Cut a star or other shape out of cardboard (or thick paper). You can use a cookie cutter as pattern.

2. Emboss The Ornament

Place the cardboard on top of a piece of felt. Then press the design into the cardboard with the stylus.

Instead of embossing the paper (or cardboard) freehand, you can also make an embossing die by cutting a design into cardboard or linoleum.

3. Refine The Relief

Turn the cardboard over and trace around the shapes using the stylus to make the paper relief deeper.

4. Dotted Lines

Optional: Add dots along the edges with the stylus. Victorian Dresden star ornaments often had embossed dotted lines along the edges.

Related: How To Make Victorian Gilded Walnuts

5. Optional: Paint The Paper Christmas Ornament

If you used ordinary cardboard, paint the paper ornament on both sides with metallic acrylic paint. And add a piece of thread as hanger.

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How To Make Paper Christmas Ornaments - Victorian DIY Paper Christmas Ornaments Tutorial

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