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Christmas Mini Book Tree Decoration Using Recycled Cellotape Rolls


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When i bring this project to demonstrations, everyone loves it because it makes use of something that most crafters throw away regularly – that and of course because it is so easy to replicate! The basis for this project is an empty cellotape roll which makes a great sturdy frame to create a shallow cyclindrical box to hold a mini book. Apart from the empty cellotape roll and a few bits of card and pattern paper, there are not really very many other items that you need for this project other than some ribbon, a few eyelets and a brad if you want to secure the lid shut.  This project does call for cutting out a variety of sizes of circles from your cardstock and paper, so you may find it useful to have a circle cutter or circle punches to hand.  As for me, i used the Fiskars shape cutter, with the circle templates as these worked best with the size of my cellotape roll, but if all else fails, just draw around cups and glasses and use scissors to cut them out.

From card, measure and cut a circular base and a lid for the box which is slightly bigger in diameter than the cellotape roll.  Cover this cardstock with pattern paper on both sides.  Measure the width of the cellotape roll, and cut two strips of pattern paper to this width.  Use these to cover the inner and outer areas of the cellotape roll using white glue or double sided sticky tape.  Place the circular cellotape roll frame on the base and using a pencil, mark a spot near the top where the eyelet will go in order to hinge the base to the lid.  Repeat for the lid, and set an eyelet into each to reinforce the holes.  If you wish to add a closing mechanism so that the lid can stay shut, punch a small hole opposite the first holes which you have made in each cover in order to make the hinge.  The second hole in the base will need an eyelet set into it, and the hole in the lid will be for a brad. Using a strong adhesive or glue dots / strips, stick the frame to the base and allow to dry completely in order to ensure that this adheres properly.

To make the inner pages, cut 5 – 6 smaller circles from cardstock and enough circles from pattern paper to cover each side.  Stick the pattern paper to one side of each of the card pages, and then line up in a row on the table, pattern side down.  Before sticking the pattern paper on the second side, lay a piece of ribbon across all the pages, so that the ribbon is trapped between the cardstock and the pattern paper and all pages are all linked together in a line. Make sure to leave about 6″ of ribbon at one end – take this and feed it through the base of the box from the inside out.  Then feed this ribbon back through the eyelet in the base again (from the inside) and tie a knot so that the ribbon is held fast to the base part of the box and the circular pages can be folded in a concertina style inside the circular frame.  Next take this same ribbon and feed it through the lid (from the outside to the inside) and back into the hole on the inside of the base to create a hinge.  Tie knots on the outside to make sure the hinge is secure, and decorate with more ribbon bows to add more interest and colour.  

Next take a piece of ribbon or elastic and create a loop with a knot on the end.  Push the loop out through the second hole in the base so that it can be pulled out and over the brad on the cover, and the knot will hold the end in place inside the base of the box.  

All you need to do now is to decorate the pages inside.  My book is about my nephew Joshua on his first Christmas.  He looked so cute in his little Santa outfit that i couldn’t resist taking the photos and putting them into a little book. In all honesty, making this into a Christmas tree decoration was an after-thought, but with the elastic closure it works really well.  I have also used some beads to decorate a piece of wire in order to make a little hook so that it can be hung on the tree easily.  Why don’t you give it a try, as i am sure there will be plenty of empty cellotape rolls in your house after all the Christmas wrapping has been done!


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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • roz December 17, 2008, 3:14 pm

    I love this…what a great idea, thanks for sharing xx

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