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Paper and plants, simple and cheerful.

Paper and plants, simple and cheerful

Snipped and folded paper has long enlivened various cultures' folk art. Here and on the following two pages, we offer ideas from Czechoslovakia, Japan, and Sweden. You can use them on greeting cards, as tree ornaments, and for wrappings whose intricacy may rival the gifts themselves.

Traditional choices to work with include origami paper and glazed gift-wrap--for the birds and the Czechoslovakian doily-adorned presents at right--and colored art paper for the wreath on page 66.

Less conventional selections are old road maps, sheet music, or brown paper bags. Art supply stores specializing in paper products sometimes offer exotic alternatives --papyrus, Japanese gampi paper, Florentine or marbleized papers, or hand-made rough-textured sheets of refined mulberry pulp.

You'll need scissors, transparent tape, craft glue, and a craft knife. Each project features one or two designs; copy ours or just use them for inspiration.

For more paper ideas, see our reports on "stained-glass' acetate cards (page 110), iridescent cellophane ornaments (page 106), and Cuna Indian-inspired mola cards (page 112).

Chain of felines

Kitten twins line up paw to paw in chain fashioned with "paper doll' technique. Accordion-fold long paper strip; draw design on top (see diagram at right). Keep tail and paw on folded edges, so kittens link up after you've cut paper.

Swedish wreath

This wreath's a ring of cutout shapes folded to add dimension. (We used reindeer, Santa, and trees, but you can use any pattern.) Fold and cut shapes as in drawings below; glue them to a styrene foam wreath.

For the three-dimensional trees, place two together, butting center folds; punched holes evoke ornaments. The reindeer get horizontal spacers between sides. Santa's face, beard, hands, and piping glue on. Arm at right in drawing tucks into cut on robe to become his right arm; other arm wraps around back.

Easy-cut package wrap

As intricate as lace, but simple to make, these Czechoslovakian-inspired doilies give plainly wrapped Christmas gifts a colorful lift. Below, we provide the pattern for the wrapping at right (other designs appear in the photograph on page 65).

First, cut a square, circle, or rectangle that fits the package you're decorating; fold paper into quarters and draw design. Cut border with scissors and interior areas with a craft knife to avoid creasing paper. Unfold doily, then adhere to top of package with glue or spray adhesive.

Photo: Festive orangequat bears its ornaments naturally (see page 68). Perch origami birds in branches. Gifts, clustered below, feature vibrant Czechoslovakian-style doilies

Photo: Origami bird, Swedish wreath, lace-like wrap . . . to cut and fold for Christmas

First, cut out paper square; fold in half, then fold top corners down and in toward the center

Next, cut wings and tail. To fold and form beak, press in at head to create V shape (see drawing)

Finally, fold wings back so inside faces out. Punch hole through all layers for eyes

Photo: A Japanese twist--or fold

Let this bird--or another origami shape--alight on packages, greeting cards, or a tree. Use glue, tape, or string to hold it in place. Each bird starts as a square (follow folding guide, above); inset drawing shows how to fold the beak.

To waterproof the ornaments, dip them in plastic finish, available at crafts or art supply stores (about $14 for a 1-pint kit of resin and hardener).

Photo: Fish and fowl alike have waterproof coats; they can survive outdoors in damp weather
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Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Dec 1, 1987
Previous Article:Hats, boots, chaps, neckerchiefs, dusters, and more: Western wear by mail.
Next Article:Talk about good timing ... citrus that grow their own ornaments.

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