For this DIY garland I decided to make 3D shapes out of acetate and iridescent film. The idea here was to allow the insides of the shapes to be seen (which I think just makes them look more effective and more obviously '3D' - plus fairy lights inserted into them can be viewed), AND to add as much 'shimmer' and reflection as I could using the iridescent film.
To add to the reflective properties, I chose a shape with lots of facets; the dodecahedron.
These shapes could be used for many different decorations, and pairing them with LED lights would make full use of the reflections. How about a big bowl of these shapes and some fairy lights? Or make individual lights with each shape fitted over an individual battery-powered tealight?
I hope this tutorial gives you lots of ideas :)
Step 1: What You Will Need
- OHP Printable Acetate Sheets (A4); You will need to print the dodecahedron template onto the acetate, so make sure you choose acetate that is designed to go in a regular printer. You will need one sheet per shape you want to make.
- Inkjet printer
- Iridescent film; I bought this in a roll and it was in the gift wrap section
- Double sided tape; make sure it's strong and around 5mm wide
- Metal ruler
- X-acto knife
- Cutting mat
- Invisible thread
- An awl
- Bone folder
- Long upholstery needle (optional); This is useful for making a garland because you can feed the thread straight through the shapes very easily.
- Fairy lights/bowl/battery-powered tealight (optional); depending on how you want to display the shapes
Step 2: Print Your Template
Then print it out as large as you can on an A4 printable sheet - as many times as you like.
If you want to make a larger shape, you will need to split the template between multiple sheets and then tape them together.
Step 3: Cut Out the Template & Score
Use your scissors to cut around the outside of the shape.
Place the acetate shape on a cutting mat and use a metal ruler and X-acto knife to carefully score along the remaining lines inside the shape itself.
Make sure you score along these fold lines lightly enough as you don't want to cut them, you just want to make them easier to fold.
Step 4: Add the Film
Cut out a piece of iridescent film that is a little larger than the acetate shape.
Turn the acetate shape over so that the scored lines are on the underside.
Cut short sections of double-sided tape and add these pieces to the 'flaps' around the outside of the acetate shape; I put a piece of tape on alternating flaps rather than on every one.
Remove the protective film off the pieces of tape, lay the iridescent film over the top of the acetate so that it lays flat on top, and then press it down onto the acetate shape.
The tape will stick to this film and will keep it attached to the acetate.
Cut all excess iridescent film off, so that it's the same shape as the acetate shape. Then cut the film off of all of the 'flaps' which you don't have double-sided tape on.
Step 5: Fold Along the Fold Lines
Turn the acetate sheet over so that the iridescent film is on the bottom, and then fold the flaps of the acetate upwards along the fold lines that you have previously scored along.
Press a bone folder (or similarly smooth plastic edge) along the folds to make sure they're nice and sharp.
Step 6: Add Holes
If you need to add holes to the shape, now is the time to do it.
I used an awl to add a hole in the centre of 2 opposing pentagon shapes, as this is where I want thread to go through the shapes.
If you want to put thread through the shape too, and you don't have a long upholstery needle, you will also need to insert the thread through these holes now. After the shape is assembled it is near impossible to thread!
Step 7: Assemble the Shape
Now you will need to add more double-sided tape to the acetate shape - this time to ALL of the flaps.
Then remove the protective film from the tape pieces - no more than a few at a time so that you don't get into a mess - and start to attach each flap to the edge of acetate adjacent to it. Keep going until you have made the dodecahedron shape. It can get a bit fiddly at the end!
Step 8: Finished!
You have now finished making the shimmering shapes and you can use them however you like...
Step 9: Garlands
To make a garland; simply add as many shapes as you want onto a thread. To keep the shapes in place on the thread, you can simply add a little glue around the holes where the thread goes through the shapes.
An effective way to make these shapes into evening party decorations is to simply push LED fairy lights into the shapes and display them that way.
And that's it! I hope you enjoyed this project.
Second Prize in the