Introduction: 10 Original 3D Christmas Cards

Flat packed in the envelopes, but a real 3D ornament once unpacked. Each year I design one hand made and if possible 3 D card for personal use. Here are a few of the receivers favorites in one instructable.

Step 1: Pop Up Star

Flat pentagon pop-up as a star.
you will need thick paper 160 gr/m
(holographic) wrapping paper
elastic band, some silver thread
glue, scissors, pencil

Print the drawing (pdf if you are pro) and cut two pentagons from thick paper, one with square flaps, the other without.
Score the curved lines with a blunt knife or scissor-side. Fold them gently, allowing the pentagon to bulge.
Lay the two flat pentagons on top of each other and glue the 5 little square flaps to the other pentagon.
Cut the starshape out of wrapping paper. I cut a small star in the center to add interest. Glue the star(s) to the front side. Write you message on the back side.
Put a elastic band between the pentagons. The star should pop up. Press it flat ans put it in the envelope.

Step 2: Inside Out Reindeer

A flat white card turn inside out to a reindeer, about twice the height of the envelope.

You will need
Strong white paper 140 gr/m
small piece of wrapping paper (saddle)
punch for the eye
scissors, glue, pencil, pen

Print the drawing twice ( PDF if you are pro). cut the cardshape from the first print. Cut the head, antler,ear and saddle shape from the second print
Make the card out of strong paper ( ivory cardboard). Draw the curve for the legs. I wrote the message within, kept the letters white and hatched the space around. Cut the saddle from wrapping paper and glue it on.
Cut the double head from the same white paper. Make slits to tuck in the ears and antlers. Glue on the inside, but make sure you don't glue the sides together.
Fold the adhesive edge at the neck inside and place it on the body. See the marking in the drawing. Turn the card inside out and make sure the head disappears fully in the card. If necessary adjust the placing of the head.
Send in envelope.

Step 3: Tree and Card

An ingenious folded piece of A4 paper turn into a christmas tree with incorporated card

you will need:
A4 colored paper
I decorated the paper with two brown inks and some goldpaint splattered on by rubbing a knife over a toothbrush. I concentrated this technique to the "tree-side" of the paper.

Follow the folding instructions. Until step 8 it won't pose any problems, I think. In step 9 the folds of the tree should be rearranged zig-zag. So one fold up , the next down and so on. You will discover approximately half of them need turning inside out. The cutting of the branches is something to take extra care with. The two triangles closest to the card are cut simultaneously. After everything is cut place the branches left-right-left from top to bottom. When the card is placed on the table ( freestanding!) the tree should be more or less round.
Write your wishes on the card part.

Step 4: Extended Folding Instructions Tree Card

1 fold A paper lengthwise double

2 fold lower corner, note that fold 1 is on the right side

3 fold the triangle at the bottom double

4 fold the new narrow triangle to the back

5 fold the triangle at the underside upwards along its rim

6 fold one layer back

Step 5: More Folding Instructions

1 fold long triangle 9 two layers of paper)on the left side, the rim touches the rim of the triangle on the down side

2 fold it back

3 fold a rim at the top so the card will fit in your envelope

4 open up everything

Step 6: Cutting Branches

1 fold the lower rim to the underside

2 fold the top corners to the back, cut off the lower corners

3 change the up or down direction of the fold if neccasary

4 top view when all the folds are the right way. the branches of the tree resemble a star shape

5 press tighter together. note two branches on either side, one forward

6 cutting lines. the lines of the forward branch do not align with the other branches. cut forward branch first, then on either side two layers of side branches.

7 don't flatten your work again! this photo only shows the right cutting lines. It can be printed to help you understand.

Step 7: Santa Tetrahederon

A cardboard square with hidden elastic band pops up as a tetrahederon, decorated as santa claus.

You will need really strong red cardboard 180 gr/m
elastic band, little piece of string

Print the drawing twice. Use the first one as template for the cardboard. From the second one cut out the white pieces ( head with hair and beard, rim of the coat, hand). Glue the white parts on the correct locations.
Fold the gluing rims inward. Make the diagonal folds, and the center fold. Be sure these folds are flexible.
punch four holes on the edge of the gluing rims. Glue the rims together, but not to the body of santa. Cut the elastic band open thread it through the holes over the glued rims. Make a knot in the ends of the elastic band. Move the knot inside the body. Press the body flat and put it in a envelope.

Step 8: Joseph and Mary

Flat card with window showing two faces, opens up in zig zag with figurines stepping out.

Strong paper 140 gr/m
Lino cuts for the figurines ( optional, you could draw, paint)

Print the drawing ( the PDF if you are PRO)and make the card likewise. When you want to make the figures in linocut trace the outline from the drawing. Open photo 5 and copy. I used acrylic paint to print in silver, grey and blue. You could use a print from photo 5 for a quick result.
Notice that the figures have extra gluing rims in the drawing Glue the rim at the back of Joseph to the card (see marking). Glue the hand side of Joseph to the back of Mary. Glue the donkey to the front of Mary

Step 9: Angel on the Moon

A moonshape santa turns inside out and reveals a little angel blowing the horn seated on a moon

strong white paper for the moon ( 160 gr/m)
flesh colored paper
holographic wrapping paper
brown tissue paper ( i splattered mine with water)
White transparent tissue paper (cobweb-paper)
glue, scissors, colored pencils.

Print the drawing ( PDF if you are PRO). Make the double moonshape on the strong paper. Cover one side with the wrapping paper, draw Santa heads on the other sides. Cut out the other shapes and trace them to the correct paper ( all are cut twice). Glue the heads of the angels together. Glue the dress on each side. Glue the horn between the hands. Glue the wings on and last glue the legs to the moon. Note the center of the body's is not glued. Turn inside out and check if all disappears between the moons. With the Santa head outside the card fits in a normal envelope.

Step 10: Harmonica Tree

A flat green packet unfolds itself when you pick up the string

you will need
green wrapping paper; two squares of each 6 cm, 7,3 cm, 8,7, 10 cm and two small strips
small piece of heavy cardboard (the base)
glue, scissors, string and two paper stars.

Glue the squares with backsides together, only putting the finest line of glue at the rims. Cut of corners to create octagon shapes Stack the octagons with little dots of glue between them in the middle. Cut out small triangles in the middle of each side of the octagon stack. Cut all the layers at once.
Attach a little strip of paper to the top with a string loop, and some stars to decorate. Attach a same strip of pare to the bottom and glue a plant base on each side. The weight of the plantbase should be enough to stretch the tree.
You could add a extra layer to the base to make it heavier.

Step 11: Crystal, Tree or Window Ornament

A strange hexagonal shape can be pressed into 3D, and when pushed further flattens in exactly the same shape.

Paper to your choice. I used black and decorated the inside with holographic wrapping paper, the outside with handmade silk thread paper.
scissors, glue

Print the drawing. cut the shape four times out of the desired paper. Look at picture 4 fot the folds: lenghtwise double, top corner and finally a fold in the center. apply glue to the small top triangles and paste them together. The result should look like the first shape in photo 5. The second shape is the same only pressed in the other direction.
With one piece showing the open side and the other showing the closed side push the two halves together. Apply glue to the overlapping pieces. The shape can be flattened in two directions.
If desired decorate the surfaces with other paper and thread a piece of string through trhe top of the shape.

Step 12: Shepherd

A flat figure can stand with support of the sheep
you will need:
1 mm matboard
brown tissue paper
small stick ( skewer)
small piece of raffia.

print the drawing and cut out the three shapes for human body, sheep body and sheep head.
Dress the human with two rectangles of tissue paper ( drawn on the scheme). Glue the rims to the body, but leave room at the hips so the coat can move a little.
Apply the raffia belt. Bend the skewer a bit at the top and place it under the belt. Glue the head to the sheep. Write your wish on the backside. Apply a small line of glue to the side of the shepherd and place the sheep. The attachment stays flexible because the coat is not glued everywhere. Check if the shepherd can stand on its own.

Step 13: Peace Dove

A flat semi circle turns inside out to reveal a dove of peace with a spreading tail.

You will need
strong paper 160 gr/m
a scrap of gold paper for the olive branch
glue, scissors, pencil

Print the drawing ( PDF if you are PRO). Draw the dove shape on the paper twice and cut out. Make folds horizontal near the neck and diagonal near the tail. Look for trhe dotted line in the drawing
Cut out a rectangle for the tail. The folding of the tail may need some origami experience. Follow the instructions on the two photographs. Glue the heads of the doves together. glue the tail between the two doves at the proper place.
Cut ou a small branche from a scrap of goldpaper and glue it in the slit under the beak. See if tre dove turns inside out without trouble, with the tail disappearing between the two parts. You can write a message on the outside or add a label.

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