Posts Categorized: Projects

Paper Project: Paper Fortune Cookies!

One of my favorite things to celebrate in the winter is the Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year. It generally falls at the perfect time of year for a party – late winter, when the holiday season has passed but you really, really need some socialization.

I lived in China for a year in 2004-2005 teaching English, and honestly I never saw one fortune cookies there. But that doesn’t stop me from loving fortune cookies at Chinese restaurants here, and loving these paper ones filled with positive messages.

These would be fun to put together for Chinese New Year – it is Saturday January 25, 202 this year, the Year of the Rat – or just to give to your kids, your friends, your neighbors…pretty much anyone who would love to unwrap a bit of positivity (which should be everyone!).

Roxie and I had so much fun making these together, and writing our own positive messages too! So let’s get to it!

Supplies:

• Colored or patterned paper
Note: We got our awesome paper at Cardboard Robot in Decorah – it’s actually thick wrapping paper. Cardstock would be too think, but traditional wrapping paper would be too thin, so plan accordingly! Regular printer paper would likely work fine.
• Small bowl for tracing – we tried a cup, but we felt like it made too small of cookies
• Pencil for tracing
• Scissors
• Hot glue gun (adult supervision required)
Positive fortunes/sayings download

Cut out all the sayings (download the page here), or write your own

 

Trace a circle on the back of your paper

Cut out your circle

Place the positive “fortune” in the middle of the plain side of the circle

Fold the top over to the bottom, but don’t make a crease

Turn the semi-circle over and make a small “wave” at the opening

Hold the wave with one hand and grab the corners of the other “spine” of the semi-circle and place your pointer finger in the center

While still maintaining the wave, carefully push the center of the spine in while pulling the edges of the spine toward each other

Place a dot of hot glue in the crease (we found if you place it about halfway up the crease, it holds best)

Hold the crease in place for about 30 seconds while the glue dries and you’re done!

Hand these little presents of positivity all over! Happy winter! XOXO – Inspire(d)

Make It: Paper Boats!

In this paper project, Roxie will show you how to fold origami paper boats… and maybe, like her, you’ll make nearly 100 of them! She entered some of her paper boats into the hobby collections for the Winneshiek County Fair this summer, and she got a first place ribbon! She was so excited. We wanted to show off her skills this fall with the Inspire(d) Paper Project! Use your boats as place cards at Thanksgiving or make a fleet like Roxie did as a fun activity on a cool day!

Supplies:
8.5 x 11 paper sheet (or any rectangle piece of paper of most any size)

1. Take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and fold it in half.

2. Fold in half again.

3. Open it back up and then, with the crease at the bottom, fold the corners in to the crease (like you’re making a paper airplane).

4. Fold the top piece of excess paper over the folded corners.

5. Flip the paper over and fold the excess corners over the back.

6. Fold the facing corner in as well.

7. Repeat on the other side.

8. Now fold the excess bottom up over the boat (it’ll look like a little hat).

9. Grab the two middle points and open the hat like a pocket – keep opening, then flatten…it’ll be a diamond shape now.

10. With the open pieces facing you, fold the top piece up to the tip.

11. Flip it over and do the same on the opposite side.

12. Open the pocket again (the same way you did before), and make another (now smaller) diamond.

13. With the open part of the diamond facing up, pinch the two pieces on each side of the point.

14. Pull those parts open, and the boat will start to form. It might not open perfectly (like Roxie’s didn’t in the video at the top of the page), but once you pull it should flatten out to make the boat shape. Puff up the middle and adjust the sides to form the boat as you would like it to look, and you’re done! Enjoy!

Paper Project: Heart Mobile!

Our friend Evelyn (and her sister Hazel along with Roxie) helped make this paper project for the Summer Inspire(d). It’s fun because you get to forage for the perfect sticks first, then put the rest of the project together. Check out our how-to here, and have fun!

Supplies:

• Paper of whatever color you’d like
• Paper trimmer (optional – it works great for even sized strips of paper)
• Foraged sticks (cut down to size for the mobile size you’d like)
• Branch cutter for cutting said sticks (the big one was the best for this)
• Stapler
• Scissors
• Yarn, string, or similar

Cut your paper into strips – I had 12 x 12 paper, but you could use 8.5 x 11, and just cut the strips the long way. I cut mine into 1.5-inch strips. The smaller you cut your strips, the smaller your hearts can be.

Once you’ve cut a good number of strips, fold them directly in half, and cut on the fold. (The pieces at the top of the paper trimmer have been cut, the bottom papers have not been cut.)

Now it’s time to make your hearts! Take one of your cut strips, and fold it in half.

Round the top parts and bring the two edges together to form the heart.

Grab the bottom of the heart, and make a good crease. Open the top, rounded part of the heart, and put a piece of string in the middle, and hold that part again. (Evelyn and I discovered it’s best to cut your strings long enough to tie to the mobile, but not too long that it’s hard to know which string is which. The length of the string will depend on your mobile size.)

The goal is to staple the heart so the staple also holds the string in place.

Slide the inside top of the heart out (while the string is still in place) to staple.

Once it’s stapled, roll it back into a heart form. You can adjust the heart a fair amount to your liking.

It should look like the above photo!

Now it’s time to set up your mobile! Play with your sticks ’til it looks how you want it to. Make sure you have enough hearts to balance the mobile out. Tie the top string on with a loop so you can hang the mobile.

Tie the rest of the strings to attach the sticks to each other and form the mobile base.

Lay out the hearts and play with how you’d like them to look. (See what we mean about the strings being too long? Next time we’d trim them while they’re on the ground.)

Hang the mobile up so you can start balancing your hearts. We clipped ours to the bottom of our deck! It might take some doing to get it balanced – move the hearts from the inside to the outside of the sticks, or make the strings shorter, etc, to get the balance just right.

Here it is before we trimmed the strings!

And here it is all done! Thanks to Evelyn, Hazel, and Roxie for the help on this! Hang yours up to twirl slightly in the breeze, or in the window to brighten a gloomy day! Enjoy!