Decorations are great and all, but our goal is in learning the steps involved, and rules governing, the bending of laminated materials. A key model-making skill, bending laminates is a serious asset when you need to create a curved form.
Please only make use of the tools you feel comfortable with. Though I depict a table saw and router in cutting wood products, I will not provide instruction for either. If unfamiliar with these tools, I will provide alternatives for use with a variety of other materials.
Step 1: Choose Material, Determine Size and Shape
I have begun the process with 'bending plywood,' a particularly thin, easily bent material. Paper, chipboard, cardboard, plastics or any bendable sheet material should work well. In determining the curvature, I test the material for its limits, in which I bend until I begin to hear the plywood crack. Every material is different, papers will crease, cardboard will crinkle, I recommend stopping before your sheet loses its integrity.
Once you have determined a satisfactory bend, transfer a line of the curvature to another sheet, this will become our template for the next step, the mold.