These ornaments are loosely based on an ornament my sister made when she was a kid, though these ended up quite different from hers. Inspired by the menorah craft, I wanted to use the corrugations (channels) in the cardboard to create a kind of miniature loom. Note that these are both best for older, more advanced kids; I have a younger-child friendly cardboard ornament that will be ready to share with you soon.
First, I drew some shapes on cardboard; one is shown below. I added an arrow to show you which way the corrugations run, as this will be important later. You're essentially making a frame, so you'll need an inner and an outer shape. Use a craft knife (adults, or fearless and skilled older kids, only) to cut out the shape.
Paint the shape all over. Here are two of mine:
Now you're ready to weave! I'll show you how to make the red beaded square, first.
Get a long, blunt yarn needle, and thread it with a few feet of cord. Insert one end of the cord through a corner channel, and out the neighboring one. Tie the end to itself to anchor the cord, then slip the excess cord into the channel.
Slide the needle into a channel that travels through the closest corner of the open square. Thread on a pony bead, then pass the needle through the rest of the channel. Turn around and pass the needle through the next channel over, going through the bead again.
Continue on in this way, adding two or three more beads as the space gets wider, then decreasing as it narrows.
To finish, make a loop around a channel near the corner, knot it, and cut the excess cord. Tuck the end of the knot into the channel, and smoosh a bit of tacky glue inside. Tie on a loop for hanging, and you're done!
Now for the woven white oval. Thread a yard needle with about 3 feet of yarn, and knot the end. Pass the needle through a channel near an end of the shape, pulling through the yarn until the knot is a couple of inches from the cardboard. Dab some glue on the knot, and pull it into the channel. Let the glue dry (or keep going, but try to not dislodge the knot).
Pass the needle back and forth through the channels until the center is covered.
Tie a knot in the yarn an inch or so from the cardboard. Again, dab glue on the knot, and pull the yarn through a channel so the knot is hidden inside. Trim the excess yarn.
Now, you could stop right here, or embellish what you have in all sorts of ways: paint the cardboard, glue or tie fabric scraps to the yarn, glue on some beads or sequins. I decided to try a simple knotted design for a rustic and natural look. Slip yarn under two of the strands on the ornament, then double knot it, essentially tying the two strands together. Trim the yarn ends very close to the knot.
Add more knots to pairs of strands. I alternated which strands I tied together, which ended up giving me a fishnet pattern. Note, you can slide the knots up and down on the yarn strands, which makes slipping the tying-yarn into the ornament easier.
When I had tied to my satisfaction, I used the yarn needle to poke a hole at the top of the cardboard and thread a piece of yarn through it, so I could tie it into a loop for hanging.
Here's how it looks, knotty-side up, all nobbly and wooly:
And here's the other side, which looks smoother and neater.
I hope I've inspired you to play with cardboard in a new way!
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.