3-D Ornaments


When it comes to learning math, we enjoy exploring it in fun and challenging ways and do our best to turn simple items into cool, useful things. Making 3-D ornaments from paper and/or recycled cardboard is a great way to do this.

3-D Geometric Shapes

3-D Geometric shapes make really nice tree ornaments. When I did craft programs for kids and families, the kids really enjoyed the challenge of making these and had a lot of fun decorating them.

Octahedrons have 8 equilateral triangles, they look like two pyramids put together. 
Enchanted learning has a printable octahedron that can be used to make this 3-D shape. Just follow the directions on the page to put it together. Decorate the triangles before or after folding and gluing it. 

Sphericons are an unusual 3-D shape, and a bit of challenge to make, but look really nice once you get them together. Print these sphericon templates to make them.

Print out, make and decorate a cube, dodecahedron and a tetrahedron too.

We made ours by printing out a template, making a pattern out of it by gluing it to a piece of cardboard, cutting that out carefully and tracing it onto construction paper or a piece of festive paper. Once we cut out our pattern, we carefully folded the edges, glued it together, decorated them with stickers, and put ribbons on them.

3-D Basic Shapes

3-D Star by Fran W

Another way to make 3-D ornaments is to take two identical shapes, that are the same size, and put them together by cutting one shape from the bottom to the middle and the other from the top to the middle, then sliding them together. A small amount of tape may be needed to keep them in place. 

We cut our shapes from cardboard, covered them with festive paper, put them together and added ribbon. We used our own stencils to do this project, but if you don’t have any, you can use the suggested templates below, or trace around cookie cutters.

Hang these on the tree, in corners or along the tops of door jams. 
Tip: 3-D ornaments can be made from construction paper, card stock, and recycled cards as well.

Suggested templates…

Tree, star, bell, round ornaments, gingerbread man and snowman

Origami Projects

Some origami projects make really nice tree ornaments as well.

We made our origami ornaments with foil origami paper that we purchased in a craft store, but copy paper can be decorated and used and so can wrapping paper, if it is cut into even squares. 
A sticker or a picture can be put in the middle of the star box and the paper balloon can be wrapped like a present.

Suggests for origami ornaments…

Crane, star box, paper balloon, star and stocking
Click here for more holiday origami projects.

3-D ornaments make great gifts and additions to holiday gift wrap too!

More holiday activities can be found here on FranW.com.

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3-D Ornaments by Fran W


  1. Fran, these are such wonderful ideas! I love the idea of making origami into ornaments. Thanks so much for the wonderful resources. Perhaps the kids and I will try making one of these tomorrow!

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