How to Make Sheet Music Ornaments
A big Hello to my Art and Paper Crafting friends. It’s Rebecca E. Parsons, sharing a fun holiday craft tutorial with you – How to Make Sheet Music Ornaments! We will be using some of the gorgeous Sheet Music images from The Graphics Fairy to make them extra special. But you can use almost any image here for these treasures. Can you believe that it is nearly November already? This is a great project for getting into the holiday spirit. It is also a fun family project to do together.
TGF Sheet Music Image HERE HERE HERE
Cardstock or Photo Paper
Circle Die (2″, 2-1/2″, 2-3/4, 3″ circle die)
Die Cutting Machine
Scoring Tool and Mat
White Glue or Any Glue for Paper
Strong Adhesive (Beacon 3 in 1 or Zip Dry Glue for Bling)
Long Head Pins and Stick Pins
Beads – I used pearls and pearl teardrop
Small Clamps or Clothespins
Thin Ribbon, Bakers Twine
Sheet Music Ornaments – Step-by-Step Directions
Oh my word… these are so lovely, with a delightsome vintage look and feel. The whole Christmas tree could be decorated with them. They could also be used to embellish presents and as gifts for musical friends. My best tips and tricks will be mentioned in the steps below, but there are two critically important things tho know: 1) Keep your hands clean, clean, clean; and 2) Use very little glue. If glue seeps out of the edges, the individual leaves of the ornament will begin to stick together. When that happens, you can get tears and holes, leaving you frustrated with a giant mess.
I love my nesting circles die set. There are so many uses that I find for them. I will be working with the 3″ size ornament. However, I made a 1-3/4″, a 2″, a 2-1/2″, and a 2-3/4″ just to see if smaller ones were more difficult. I am not sure I would go much smaller than 1-1/2″ because my fingers can be clumsy with small bits of paper. But I would love to know how small or large you decided to go. Please share in the comments your experiments. Let’s make one…
Step 1 – Print and Trim Sheet Music: I used my Ink Jet on photo paper because I didn’t have enough white cardstock on hand. How that happened, I don’t know! But you can use regular copy paper for this project as well. The 2″ ornament was my test piece, and I made it with 20 lb. copy paper. Keep in mind that it is a little more fragile than the cardstock ornaments. Trim the sheet music so that it fits into your die cutting machine. (photo below) Mine is 6″ wide. Yours may be different.
Step 2 – Cut Circles: You need 8 circles of the same size to make this ornament. (HINT: You can use more circles to make a fluffier ornament, but never less than 8.) I am using the French Sheet Music with a 3″ die. Move your die around on the music to find a good place to cut. (photo above) I was able to get a three inch circle and two smaller circles to use for future projects out of each section of the printable. Place the music and the die (make sure the cutting side is face down) on the plates. Cover with a top plate and roll through your die cutting machine. TIP: I was able to cut two layers of paper at a time. If using paper you might be able to cut more layers. Separate the circles.
A word about direction of music. You have several options when creating with an image that has a clear top and bottom direction like our sheet music. You can make all the leaves read from top to bottom. This is the most difficult way, but it’s really not very hard. It just requires more planning upfront and thought as you glue. You can be willy-nilly about direction. This also takes a little pre-planning when you fold and score them. Again, it is not hard to do! They all look good as you will see in my samples.
Step 3 – Fold and Burnish Circles: This step must be done as perfectly as possible. If not, the ornament will be wonky. With the image side facing up, fold in half matching edges. When you are sure they are lined up, finger press your fold line carefully. (photo left) Check that you don’t see any of the image hanging over an edge. Once you are sure the fold is correct, burnish the fold with your scoring tool or bone folder. (photo right)
Step 4 – Score the Circle: Open the circle and place it carefully on your scoring board. Slowly score the circle. Repeat Steps 3 – 5 with all circles.
Step 5 – Glue Circles: First, we will be gluing 4 circles together to make two halves of the ornament. Lay 4 folded circles out on your work surface in the direction you will be gluing them together. TIP: Double check to ensure they are the placed in the correct direction before you glue. Spread a little bit of glue on one half of a circle. (photo left) Place another half circle on top, matching the edges carefully. (photo middle) Press them together. TIP: If any glue seeps out, wipe it immediately with a baby wipe or dry cloth. IT should look like the photo at right when finished. Now fan it open to make sure the image side is not stuck together like the bottom image. Repeat with next set of half circles. You will now have two halves of the ornament. Lay them down on your work surface, fanned out. Allow them to dry for several minutes while you make the bling.
Step 6 – Making Bling: This step is optional. You do not need to bling these ornaments at all. They look beautiful without it. I wanted a vintage look of pearls, so I used three pearl beads on an eye ring for the top. The hook will allow you to attach a hanger. I used one pretty dangle bead on a head pin to accent the bottom of the ornament. But, you can use whatever you like to decorate.
Step 7 – Add Bling to Ornament: Hold one side of ornament with the middle open like below. Place a bead of glue along the center seam. Lay the beaded pins in the glue, making sure that the eye pin pearls are at the top and the head pin dangle is at the bottom of your ornament. IMPORTANT TIP: I used white glue for mine. Some of them did not hold well when I went to hang them. I would use a stronger glue for this step like Beacon 3 in 1 or even a super glue that works for paper.
Step 8 – Add Other Side: This step is a little tricky. You could use two more hands. WINK! Spread a little glue on each side of the half with the pins. Hold the other section between your fingers as shown below. Press one side down in the glue making sure that the edges meet exactly. Then press the other side down. TIP: You will need to fuss with them to get them perfectly in place. That is why I like the white glue for this step. It allows me to move the paper longer.
TIP: I found it very helpful to have small clamps to hold the sides in place while drying. I placed the clamps near the pins as shown below. Allow to dry for 10 minutes like this.
Step 9 – Allow to Dry Overnight: Remove the clamps carefully. Adjust the pins so the pearls and the dangles are close to the paper like you see below. Spread the leaves of the ornament and place it down on your work surface. It should sit up on the surface like below with bottom leaves holding it. Allow it to dry untouched overnight.
Optional – Add Ribbon, Bakers Twine, etc: Add ribbon or bows if you like. I loved the simplicity of a very thin black satin or velvet bow. You can also use Bakers Twine or Jute to form a bow. I also like the look of just the pearl bling without a bow. Another option is to also glue some ribbon through the middle of the ornament instead of the bling pins. There are so many choices to finish the 3D Paper Ornaments.
You can also use Bakers Twine or Jute to form a bow like below. I also like the look of just the pearl bling without a bow. Another option is to also glue some ribbon through the middle of the ornament instead of the bling pins. There are so many choices to finish the 3D Paper Ornaments.
I hope that you had as much fun learning How to Make Sheet Music Ornaments as I did! You might also like another Vintage Paper Christmas Ornaments Tutorial HERE.
When I am not exploring with new and old Techniques for Mixed Media in my Graphics Fairy sandbox, I also create Photoshop Elements tutorials and craft project videos over on The Graphics Fairy Premium Membership site. You can find even more of my books, junk journals, mixed media art, classes, and whimsical shenanigans on Rebecca E Parsons .