Today we’re squeezing in one last Christmas in July project before the month is over! These paper mache ornaments are super quick and easy to make with the help of your Silhouette. There’s no mess like traditional paper mache projects and they’re really festive too! Once you get started, you’ll want to make a whole tree full of them!
What You’ll Need
- Paper Mache Flat Hang Tags or Paper Mache Flat Ornament Shapes
- White Copy Paper
- Pen, Pencil or Fine-Tip Marker
- Design(s) – see links at bottom of post for details
- Silhouette Studio
- Silhouette machine (Cameo, Portrait, or Curio with large base)
- Optional: Sticker Paper, Mod Podge, Spray Acrylic Sealer, Embellishments
Create a Template for the Paper Mache Ornaments
If you only want a rough estimate of the size of your ornament, measure with a ruler. For more accuracy, scan the shape and import it into the Silhouette Studio software.
Step 1: Hand Trace the Blank Paper Mache Ornament
Hand-trace outline of the paper mache ornament (hang tag) onto a blank sheet of white copy paper. Get as close to the edge of the ornament as possible. Hand-tracing works much better than taking a photo of the actual ornament on a PixScan mat because the thickness of the ornament will create a shadow on the image that makes it hard to trace accurately in Silhouette Studio.
Step 2: Scan the Traced Image
Scan the image using a computer scanner.
Step 3: Import to Silhouette Studio
Import the image into Silhouette Studio. Be sure to scale the imported image to match the dimensions of the paper (usually 8.5 in x 11 in).
Step 4: Use the Trace Tool
Use the Trace tool in Silhouette Studio to trace the outline of the ornament shape. (Select Trace Outer Edge from the available trace options.)
Step 5: Edit the points
Edit the points as needed to eliminate extra nodes without changing the basic shape of the ornament. (Hint: For the oval and circle shapes, it’s easier to use the drawing tools to create a shape that’s as close to the trace as possible, rather than editing the points.)
Tip: For the oval and circle shapes, it’s easier to use the drawing tools to create a shape that’s as close to the trace as possible, rather than editing the points.
Step 6: Release the Compound Path
If you traced several ornament shapes in one step, Release the Compound Path to separate the individual shapes.
Add Designs to the Paper Mache Ornament Template
The shapes you created above can be used as a guide when resizing designs to fit the ornaments.
I like to leave a bit of the brown paper mache ornament peeking out from around the design, so I first create a shape that’s slightly smaller than the ornament then fill with patterns, photos, and other design elements.
- Select the ornament shapes and create an internal offset of 0.125 inches.
- Delete the original traced images or move them into the grey holding area.
- Fill the shapes with photos, patterns, colors, text, and designs as desired. Make sure anything that is included within the outer cut line is set to No Cut.
Tip: Even designs not originally meant for Print & Cut can be used in projects like this. Fill them with color, change the line weight/color, set to No Cut, and you’re good to go!
For more info on using patterns in your Silhouette projects, check out this tutorial:
Pattern Fills in Silhouette Studio
Want to see how easy it is to fill a shape with a photo? Read this post:
Photo Projects in Silhouette Studio Made Easy
Print out the Designs and Cut using the Silhouette
- In the Page Setup Panel, check to be sure your page size and orientation match the paper and printer you’ll be using.
- Check the boxes for both Show Print Border and Show Cut Border.
- Turn on Registration Marks.
- Arrange the designs within the cut and print borders and be sure that nothing is in the cross-hatched areas.
- Print the designs on either plain paper or sticker paper and send to your Silhouette machine to cut.
Finish the Paper Mache Ornaments
- Adhere the design to the ornament with glue or Mod Podge (unless you’re using sticker paper, of course!)
- Add glitter or other embellishments, if desired.
- Optional: seal with additional layers of Mod Podge or a spray sealer.
Like what you see here? Share the image below to Pinterest!
Making these paper mache ornaments was so much fun and now I want to make even more! They’re quick and easy but leave plenty of room for creativity. I think they would also be great for kids or as a group activity. If you decide to make some for yourself, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below or joining me in the Silhouette Crafters by Design Facebook group. I always love to see what you create!
Until next time,
Click on the individual links for more info.
House of 3 Spring Birdie by House of Three, Silhouette Design Store ID #9604
(no longer available)
Bookman Old Style (Microsoft font)
(last name on red truck)
Annamellia by goodjavastudio, Silhouette Design Store ID #323424
(date on photo ornament)
Lycia is a lifelong crafter whose goal is to help others find value, confidence, and joy in whatever they create. She geeks out on using technology to supercharge craft projects with Silhouette Studio, Design Space, Glowforge, sublimation, etc.! Lycia teaches these skills and more through online tutorials and videos as well as in-person classes at both the local and national levels.