I seem to always have scraps of wrapping paper after I wrap all my gifts. I hate not being able to use them, so I thought I could make some interesting wire ornaments for decorating gifts using the scraps. Not only does the gift look nice, but the recipient gets two gifts!
Step 1: Materials
For the wrapping paper beads:
1. Wrapping paper
3. Glue stick
4. Exacto knife
6. Cutting surface
7. Pen or pencil
8. Clear nail polish
For the ornaments:
1. Wrapping paper beads
2. Assorted metal and glass beads
5. Wire cutters
6. Fishing line
Step 2: Bead Making
To make these little beads, you want to start by trimming your wrapping paper to the needed size. You'll be cutting one-half (1/2) inch wide by eight (8) inches long strips out of the paper, so make sure your piece is big enough.
Once you have the paper trimmed, use a ruler to mark out half inches on the back side of the paper. I make a set on each side, which creates a guide to help cut straight edges.
Using the ruler as a straight edge, cut the strips. Next cut the strips diagonally.
Use a Q-tip with one tip cut off to roll the beads. Start at the wide end of a strip of wrapping paper. When you have the end of the strip wrapped around the Q-tip, run the glue stick over the rest of the strip of paper. Finish rolling the strip around the Q-tip. The newly finished bead should slide easily off the Q-tip.
After the beads dry, I place them back on the Q-tip and coat them with clear nail polish to give them a shiny protective finish.
Step 3: Putting the Ornaments Together
I start with a full length of wire. Using the pliers, I make a small 180-degree bend on one end. This will hold the first bead in place. Use a glass or metal bead for the first one (this will be the bead that hangs from the bottom of the ornament).
After the bead, get creative! Twist, fold, and/or crinkle whatever catches your fancy with the wire. After about an inch or two, add more beads. I usually use three paper beads and a couple of glass beads with a metal one thrown in. Then it's back to getting funky with the wire.
Depending on what you did with the wire at the top of the ornament, make another 180-degree bend in the wire to give yourself a place to which to tie the fishing line. You can see some examples in the pictures where you don't need to do this step.
Cut a length of fishing line -- it doesn't have to be too long. Tie it to the top of the ornament and then tie a loop in it. Now you can hang it on a tree, in a window, or on a gift.
Step 4: Using the Ornaments to Decorate Gifts
These make great additions to any gift. If you're giving a bottle of wine (or something stronger to a friend), place the bottle in a bag or wrap it in tissue paper. Tie one of the ornaments around the neck of the bottle to give the gift a bit of bling.
On wrapped boxes, tie an ornament into the bow. On gift bags tie an ornament to one of the bag's handles and let it dangle.
Everyone will love them and be very impressed with how crafty you are.