I needed a Christmas ornament that could be made in 5-10 minutes with items I already had on my desk. The answer: the paperclip star!
You could make almost any star or snowflake shape, flat or spherical, out of paperclips. Here are the instructions for this design.
What you need:
7 large paperclips
2 small paperclips, plus several more small paperclips to make the chain
1 piece of wire, or 1 extra large paperclip
Soldering iron & solder
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Bend the Diagonal Arms
Use 4 large paperclips to make the diagonal arms. Unbend and rebend them as shown below.
Step 2: Bend the Hanger Loop
Use one large paperclip to make a loop to hang the ornament. Unbend it into a triangle shape.
Step 3: Make the Star
Arrange the four bent paperclips as the diagonal arms, two normal large paperclips at the top and bottom of the star, and two normal small paperclips at the sides. Work your way around the star soldering them together where they touch.
Then, make a circle out of an extra large paperclip or a piece of wire. Lay it on top of the star and solder it in a few places. If you have a flexible piece of wire, it might look nice to weave it in and out of the other paperclips, but mine wasn't flexible enough to do that. If you want to spend more time and make more of an artistic effort, you could also solder on some small steel washers or other scrap items from your workbench as additional decoration.
Step 4: Make the Chain
Just take as many small paperclips as you like, hook them together in a chain, then hook them onto the hanger. You don't need to solder anything.
Step 5: And You're Done!
Hook the end of the chain to the end of one of the normal large paperclips on the star. Congratulations! You have a Christmas ornament.
This is an excellent Christmas ornament because if your Christmas party is interrupted by any of the thousands of emergencies that can be solved with paperclips, you can go over, pull your ornament off the tree, break it apart, and save the day like MacGyver.
Even better, the bottom end of the ornament still has one functional paperclip end sticking out. So you could even clip a document to it while it is hanging on your tree, if you feel it is necessary or attractive to do so.
Participated in the
Holiday Gifts Contest