Thursday, 27 November 2014

Paper kirigami gem advent calendar...


Every year I make Little Miss Moo an advent calendar....something a bit different, and this year is no exception. Taking inspiration from my post here , this years calendar is made up of little kirigami paper gems filled up with little toys and treats.
See last years advent calendar here.

These paper gems are lovely...and would also look nice strung up and hung as decorations on your Christmas tree!

If you are wondering what Kirigami is, it is basically like origami, but with the shape templates cut out before folding and gluing together...

"The word “origami” is a Japanese word for paper folding using a square sheet of paper with no cutting and no glue. To do traditional “origami” you’re only allowed to fold.The japanese word “kirigami” can be used for any paper craft where you cut shapes and/or glue the pieces together"

I found the templates for the paper gems at 
mini-eco, where the lovely and very talented Kate generously shares her paper craft ideas and tutorials...if you, like me, love origami and other paper crafts, I highly recommend that you check her out!!

You can find the 5 different shaped templates I've used for my advent calendar on her site here.

You can choose from small or large shapes, I've chosen the large, so that I could fill them up with daily treats for Little Miss Moo during advent! (But why not get the small templates while you are there, to make some decorations for your Christmas tree...)

Just download the PDF's, save to your computer and print on good quality paper (color of your choice)


A ruler
Pen or pencil
Glue or double sided tape

Here's a few pointers on making your paper gems:

1.Using a ruler and a sharp pencil/pen, draw over all the lines that need to be folded before cutting the templates out. This will make the folding easier!
(Also, for some reason , some of the dotted lines on the templates, that indicate where to fold the paper, doesn't show up when printed, so do this next to the images of the templates on your computer to make sure you draw up every line that needs to be folded)

2. Cut out each template

3. Fold. Make sure that the printed side of the paper faces inwards..

4. Glue the tabs to assemble the paper gems. I used small strips of double sided tape instead of glue, as it is less messy...especially as I wanted to fill mine, as it can be a bit fiddly to assemble the gems!

I placed small pieces of double sided tape where the tabs would meet the shape of the gems, then peeled off the backing to stick together bit by bit...


I used colored embroidery thread to string a numbered luggage tag on each of the gems, for each day of advent.

5.Before you finish assembling each gem, tape a piece of thread on the inside of the gem, tie a knot to secure, then thread the cotton through the top of each gem...

6.Fill with treats and sweets...

7. I got these plain white luggage tags , then Used my stencil from tiger to draw on a number for each day... As my luggage tags was a bit big, I trimmed them down later.


I attached a numbered tag to each paper gem...24 in all!

If you find, like I did, that your paper gems are opening up a bit when filled, simply secure with a bit of clear tape

Now, you have made your advent calendar, you can display the gems as you like....maybe hang them from a branch/piece of dowel or on the Christmas tree....or dot them around your home for a fun game of "find the number"....

I used a big glass jar:

I placed all the filled paper gems inside, along with some battery powered fairy lights for a bit of twinkle...

...and simply let the numbered luggage tags hang out from the top of the glass jar..

I made sure I placed the higher numbers at the bottom, and that the strings didn't get tangled.

It'll be fun to see Little Miss Moo "fish" out her daily treat during advent, as we count down the days till Christmas..


Sophie Smith said...

WOW! This is such a good idea! I'm definitely going to try this, I don't know if it will turn out as well as yours though.

june olsen said...

Sophie! Thank you! Give it a go...its not difficult: The templates have already done the hard work for you...a little fiddly to assemble...especially the small ones though:) Good luck!!

Sarah Akwisombe said...

Great post! I love this idea! I really don't know how you find the time, you superwoman you :)


june olsen said...

Thank you so much Sarah!! I guess I have nothing better to do with my time...LOL!!