Easy Christmas Crafts: Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament
Some favorite things - paper, beads and string - turn into an interesting catstep braid and bead ornament with these fun and easy instructions.
Use plain paper for a simple yet interesting decoration, or use vellum for subtly elegant shine.
Take a look at some examples.
Two are vellum. Two use plain, colorful paper and one is silver wrapping paper.
Easy Christmas Crafts: Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament Materials and Tools:
Paper: 20 pound paper, gift wrap, vellum or other decorative paper
Beads - four small and three larger
Needle or other sharp point (pin, t-pin, thumbtack, etc.)
Note: A rotary cutter, clear ruler and self-healing mat are not necessary but they make cutting the paper easier.
The Steps for How to Make the Easy Christmas Crafts: Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament:
Measure and mark two strips 1/2-inch wide by 11-inch long.
This paper is regular 20-pound paper. I'm using one strip of each color.
Carefully cut the two strips.
Place the two strips at right angles matching the ends and sides.
Begin folding the two strips of paper back and forth over each other.
Finish folding the strips.
If you are really careful, the ends should fold over and match.
However, if they don't (mine didn't this time), just trim off the extra paper.
At each end, glue the last overlapping edges of the paper strips together.
With a sharp point, make two holes roughly 1/8-inch apart in one glued end of the braid.
Cut a ten-inch length of thread.
I used heavy duty upholstery thread. If you are using just regular sewing thread, cut 20 inches and fold it in half for extra strength.
Push the thread through one of the small beads as an anchor.
Push both ends of the thread through the next bead - a larger bead.
Add the remaining beads alternating between the large and small sizes.
Push the ends of the thread through the two holes in the end of the braid.
Pull the thread until the beads touch the braid.
Tie a knot in the thread ends and cut the extra thread.
Be careful not to pull the beads too tightly - they'll curl instead of hanging straight.
Make two holes in the opposite end of the braid.
Cut a 10-inch length of thread (20 inches if it is regular sewing thread).
Push the ends of the thread through the two holes.
Pull the ends even and tie a knot to make the hanging loop.
Trim off any extra thread.
Holding each end of the paper braid, gently pull and twist the braid to stretch it.
The Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament is finished and ready to display.
The next picture shows four different examples.
1) I used two 1/2-inch strips of silver gift wrap paper. It's pretty, but you can see the white side of the paper too.
2) I used two 1/2-inch strips of silver vellum for this example. Plus, I used a needle and thread to string a small silver bead between each of the folds of the braid.
3) I used yellow and blue paper for this one - much like the green and red example above.
4) This is another silver vellum example, however it used 5/8-inch wide by 11-inch long strips. Wider strips result in fewer folds in the braid.
Isn't it interesting what simple paper and beads can become!
Have fun making a few, several or many!
The Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament is a fun and easy project, and you can be creative in adding other bling to make your own unique decorations.