As we're unpacking the bin of Christmas decorations and, with the tree done, turning our attention to the walls and windows, I thought I'd share one of the things we've made that are getting use year after year.
There's two versions, but they require the same things. You'll need some Christmas patterned wrapping paper, scissors and adhesive backed, clear plastic. The plastic is sold in rolls as shelf liner in places like Walmart, or in the scrapbooking section of places like Michaels. It's the same stuff we use to protect our flat travelers, which don't take much at all. One roll will last us a couple years. I suppose you can also use a laminator if you've got one, but I've never tried it.
For wrapping paper that is solid coloured, or has an all over pattern, cut out squares in various sizes. Fold and cut them to make snowflake or star patterns. Because wrapping paper is pretty thin, you'll be able to make more folds in larger squares. Just make sure the largest ones are about an inch or so smaller than the width of your plastic. Open the finished cut outs and lay them flat. If the creases are particularly noticeable, you may want to press them between some heavy books for a while.
If your wrapping paper has individual objects on the design, such as ornaments, angels, toys, etc., pick out your favourite ones and cut out the shapes.
Once your shapes are cut out, cut pieces of the plastic to fit them on. You can usually fit a bunch of small shapes together on one large piece. Just make sure there's space in between them (about half an inch will do), as well as from the edge. For the larger shapes, make sure the plastic is about an inch larger than the cutout. The rolls will have measurements printed on the paper backing to make the job easy. You'll then need second sheets of plastic in each size.
Once you've got your plastic cut out, carefully remove the backing of one sheet and lay the plastic flat, adhesive side up. Watch out for stray pet hairs. ;-)
Arrange the cut outs on the plastic, ensuring there is open plastic in between and around them. For the larger pieces, it's easier to work from the middles, out. Gently press the paper down as much as you can without touching the adhesive. Just enough to make sure they're nice and flat.
Next, remove the backing from a matching piece of plastic and carefully lay it down so that the cut outs are sandwiched in between. It's really easy to go crooked or wrinkly with this part, so take your time with it.
Next, rub the surface of your plastic to remove any air bubbles and ensure the two pieces are well stuck together. Pay extra attention around the cut edges of your designs. The back of a metal spoon is good for that.
Finally, cut the shapes out of the plastic, making sure there's an edge around the outside of each shape. You just want a curvy outline of plastic around them.
That's it! You can now use your shapes to decorate your walls or windows, year after year.
Here's what we've got on the outside of our apartment door instead of a wreath, which would get stolen rather quickly. Click on the image for full size. There's a few more that aren't in the picture. Some of the others we have are a set of Victorian style decorations (balls, fans, an angel) that we tape to our living room window.