My sons love to do origami. Recently they wanted large paper to fold, larger than the biggest origami paper we had. We tried wrapping paper, which folded nicely, but tended to damage easily. And, well, I didn’t want to use up all my wrapping paper! I realized newspaper is thin and folds easily. Adding a coat of paint makes for more colorful snowflakes, and strengthens the paper too!
Painting sheets of newspaper provides an inexpensive material to snip and fold into big, easy, and quick holiday decorations like snowflakes, trees and doilies.
Cover your surface with newspaper or any scrap paper. Lay down a sheet of newspaper and paint. We used acrylic craft paint (fluid, in a bottle, not in a tube) without watering it down. Tempera paint or poster paint would work too, but it doesn’t cover the paper as opaquely or add strength. Acrylic craft paint gives the paper a leathery finish (while the tempera or poster paint will provide a chalky finish).
Don’t worry if the papers curl up. You can trim that part off later.
Lay one sheet down the wide way, as shown. Fold the top right corner down, and trim off the excess strip on the left to make the paper into a square.
Fold the top left corner down to meet the bottom right corner. Then fold down the left side in one third of the way but do not crease yet. Next fold down the right side without creasing. Adjust both sides until you have folded it evenly in thirds and then crease. Cut off the bottom points, as shown.
Draw on your cut outs, if desired. Cut away!
Unfold to reveal your beautiful snowflakes! They can be hung to curtains with small safety pins or tape rolls.
The plain white curtains in our living room are a blank canvas for a seasonally rotating display of paper cutouts. The snowflakes that we make at holiday time stay up for New Year’s parties too! This is the first year that we made these oversized guys. We covered the curtains fast and it was a lot of fun!
After accidentally folding one of the snowflakes an additional time before cutting, I ended up with a 12 pointed snowflake that looked more like a doily so I used it for exactly that on the table!
Blue painted snowflakes make a nice decoration for Hanukah as well. Just make sure they don’t hang too close to the flames!
Painted newspaper can be used for any of your favorite origami projects too. We’ve made these trees from Bead & Cord out of origami paper and were excited to make larger versions with painted newspaper for a fun centerpiece!
The possibilities are endless! What will you make out of painted newspaper?