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How to Make Easy Paper Mache Ornaments
using your Silhouette

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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

Supplies for paper mache ornaments made with Silhouette

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.

Tracing a paper mache ornament to make a template

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).

Hand traced image imported to Silhouette Studio

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.)

Silhouette Studio Trace Outer Edge

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.)

Traced image in Silhouette Studio
Silhouette Studio Point Editing Simplify Tool
Silhouette Studio Point Editing

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.

Silhouette Studio Drawing Tools

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.

  1. Select the ornament shapes and create an internal offset of 0.125 inches.
Silhouette Studio Internal Offset
  1. Delete the original traced images or move them into the grey holding area.
  2. 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!

Full page screenshot of Silhouette Print & Cut designs for paper mache ornaments

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

  1. In the Page Setup Panel, check to be sure your page size and orientation match the paper and printer you’ll be using.
  2. Check the boxes for both Show Print Border and Show Cut Border.
  3. Turn on Registration Marks.
  4. Arrange the designs within the cut and print borders and be sure that nothing is in the cross-hatched areas.
  5. Print the designs on either plain paper or sticker paper and send to your Silhouette machine to cut.
Screenshot of Silhouette Print & Cut designs for paper mache ornaments

Finish the Paper Mache Ornaments

  1. Adhere the design to the ornament with glue or Mod Podge (unless you’re using sticker paper, of course!)
  2. Add glitter or other embellishments, if desired.
  3. Optional: seal with additional layers of Mod Podge or a spray sealer.
Print & Cut paper mache ornaments made in Silhouette Studio
Print & Cut paper mache ornaments made in Silhouette Studio
Print & Cut paper mache ornaments made in Silhouette Studio
Print & Cut paper mache ornament with bird design made in Silhouette Studio
Who says an ornament has to be red and green?

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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,


Design Details

Click on the individual links for more info.

Patterns

British Vintage by Digital Pink Ink, Silhouette Design Store ID #49412

Christmas Paper Collection by Nilmara Quintela, Silhouette Design Store ID #165262

Christmas Pine Berries Background Paper by Miss Kate Cuttables, Silhouette Design Store ID #279421

Clean Vintage by Digital Pink Ink, Silhouette Design Store ID #46302

Fair Isle Christmas Background Paper by Miss Kate Cuttables, Silhouette Design Store ID #239026

Designs

Christmas Sentiments by Miss Kate Cuttables, Silhouette Design Store ID #52270

Christmas Wreath by Echo Park, Silhouette Design Store ID #162745

House of 3 Spring Birdie by House of Three, Silhouette Design Store ID #9604
(no longer available)

Merry Christmas Red Truck Family Sign by Sweet Afton, Silhouette Design Store ID #307588

Joy & Peace of Christmas Wreath by Echo Park, Silhouette Design Store ID #280688

Joy of Christmas is Family – Phrase by Kolette Hall, Silhouette Design Store ID #71394

Joy Peace Happy Holidays by Silhouette, Silhouette Design Store ID #237733

Seasons Tweetings Robin Christmas Holiday Ornament by SAS Creative, Silhouette Design Store ID #310570

Vintage Type Christmas Stickers by Graphic House Design, Silhouette Design Store ID #307201

Fonts

Bookman Old Style (Microsoft font)
(last name on red truck)

Annamellia by goodjavastudio, Silhouette Design Store ID #323424
(date on photo ornament)

Amastery by Black Cats Media, Silhouette Design Store ID #243652
(Monogram E)


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