Homemade holiday cards

CD Ornament Photocards: Create mod CD ornaments using old compact discs and tissue paper. It's a highly addictive little project, once you get the hang of the technique you may not be able to stop! And the best part is, you can put a photo on the back, pop it in a 5" square envelope, and mail it as a holiday greeting.

Betsy's Instructions:


  • old compact discs
  • assorted sheets of tissue paper
  • pencil
  • SHARP scissors (one regular pair and ideally another, smaller, very sharp pair for detail)
  • all-purpose liquid glue (e.g. Elmers)
  • glue stick
  • small dishes for water and glue
  • old paint brush
  • ribbon (not shown)
  • tape (not shown; masking tape works well)
Optional materials:
  • template for cutting star shape (downloadable PDF template here)
  • SHARP hole punches and decorative scissors
  • colored construction paper
  • photo
  • CD labels
Step 1: Cut base tissue
  • Use your pencil to roughly trace a circle around your cd, approx. 1/2" from edge
  • Cut two to this size.

  • They don't have to be exactly round, or exactly even. You just need enough extra tissue to wrap around to the back of the CD, and the rough edges will be hidden in the end.
Step 2: Cover two CDs with tissue
  • Working with one CD at a time, cover the entire shiny side of each CD with gluestick.

  • Place one of your rough-cut tissue circles on top of the gluey CD and press gently to adhere.

  • You can usually work out most of the wrinkles by smoothing gently with your fingers, but I don't worry about getting all the wrinkles out.

  • Flip the CD over and apply gluestick around the perimeter of the CD (approximately 1/2").

  • Glue only 2-3 inches at a time, gently folding your excess tissue over the edge of the CD and pressing it onto the glue.

  • Note: the glue can dry quickly, and you don't want to be rushed. That's why I advise doing it a section at a time.

  • This is what your covered base CDs will look like (front and back).

  • You'll end up with two, and they get sandwiched together at the end of the project, covering all that yucky-looking stuff.
  • Set these aside for now and move on to...
Step 3: Cut tissue starbursts
  • Pick two different contrasting tissues. They should have good contrast with the "base" tissue, and with one another. I chose red and blue for mine.

  • Not shown: Using another, uncovered CD and your pencil, trace exactly around the CD, one for each piece of tissue.

  • Cut carefully. The precision of this cut matters more than the first ones we did. You'll want to end up with two nice, clean circles of tissue (the same size as a CD), one in each of the two colors you chose.

  • Fold each tissue circle in half once; then in half again; then one more time.

  • Using the downloadable template provided here [there will be a link to download], lightly mark your two cut lines on each folded tissue wedge.

  • Cut as shown, trying to start as close to each outer corner as possible, so you get a nice sharp pointon your starbursts.
  • You'll have two, one in each color.

  • Unfold your starbursts... fun!
Step 4: Apply tissue starbursts
  • In a small dish, use your brush to mix a little pool of liquid glue with a roughly equal amount of water water (approximately 50/50 mix.

  • Adjust the water/glue balance as needed and mix completely (see photo above right). You'll want the finished consistency to be kind of milky/creamy.

  • Decide which color you want underneath. I started with my red starburst.

  • Center your first starburst on one of your two covered CD bases.

  • Gently apply the glue mixture with your brush to adhere it. The glue will soak through the paper so you can work from the top of the tissue. In other words, there's no need to glue the reverse side of your starburst and then stick it onto the cd. It's a one-step stick, with your glue-water and brush!

  • TIP:Use just water on my brush first; brushing lightly to get my starburst placed where I want it. Then I go over it with glue.
  • Either way, you want to be very gentle with your brush, to avoid tearing or folding your tissue starburst.

  • If an accident happens, don't sweat it. They're often fixable, using a light touch.

  • As you can see, it's OK to be fairly generous with the glue-water mixture. It all dries to a nice, mattefinish.

  • Overlap your second starburst, rotating it slightly to show the rays of the lower starburst
  • This one will stick to the wet glue on the layer beneath, so consider your placement carefully before pressing down!

  • Lightly apply glue-water with your brush to adhere it completely.

  • Let the whole thing dry completely.

Step 5: Ceate ornament hanger
  • Cut a piece of ribbon approximately 4" long and loop as shown.

  • Apply it with a piece of tape to the back side of your second covered base CD.

Step 6: Glue front to back
  • Apply liquid glue to the back of your starburst cd as shown.

  • Attach your plain, covered CD (the one with the ribbon hanger) to the gluey side of your starburst CD.

    Note: if your front CD design (in this case, the starburst CD) has a definite "up" direction, make sure that your ribbon hanger is positioned to allow the ornament design to hang correctly.

    Press to adhere tightly and gently wipe away any glue that spills out the sides.

    Let dry completely.

Step 7 (optional): Finishing the back of your ornament
You have at least a few options for the back or your CD ornament:
  • You can leave as is... you're done!

  • You can cut a circle from a piece of colored construction paper; apply it with gluestick and write a message.

  • You can cut a window out of the center of the construction paper (above) and sandwich a photo in between the construction paper and the CD, to create a photo frame (see photos below).

  • For the computer-design whiz: Create a sticker for the back of the CD with photos and text if youlike; print onto paper or CD label sheets (available in office supply stores) and adhere to the back of your finished ornament.
TIP: If you do choose to adhere something the back of the ornament, cut it to approximately 4.5" round, so it will be inset from the edge of the CD a bit and show a bit of your tissue-covered border. Click here for detailed instructions.

Paper Weave Wreaths: Here's yet another way to give old magazine pages a fresh new life, as colorful, woven paper wreaths that you can use as photo frames. Hang them on your tree or send them as greetings. Click here for detailed instructions.

About february 13 Creative Holiday Collection at Cardstore.com:

As always, february 13 creative has a stunning variety of photocards, greetings, invitations and thank-you notes, all ready for you to personalize online with your own photos and text. Take a look at their favorites at www.february13creative.com. Enter code MERRY15 at checkout to receive 15 percent off your order.

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