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This Easy Tea Bag Ornament Will
"Enfold" You With Catty Christmas Charm

Tea Bag Ornament craft on Vintage Image Craft
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We have been wanting to make a tea bag ornament for some time. Tea Bag folding is a paper crafting technique from Holland, where tea bags are traditionally wrapped with a decorative paper. The simple folding technique is part Origami and part paper airplane. Individually folded squares of paper are assembled into a dimensional design and usually mounted on a flat surface. Our tea bag ornament variation is a little different. It is double-sided to create a lacy, hanging snowflake design.

The entire trick behind this tea bag ornament is selecting a dazzling paper. We sifted through dozens of specialty and hand-made papers, looking for a textured, medium-weight paper that would hold a fold. We chose one that had web-like translucent streaks through a field of snowy white.

We designed this tea bag ornament around a bold vintage image of a white cat on a red background, discovered during our VIC Creative Challenge for November 2011, with the theme of "Christmas Cats." We thought this cat from a Victorian "Pussy White Cigars" label was purr-fect!

Materials for our Tea Bag Ornament

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  • Vintage images (FREE PDF download) printed on glossy photo paper, heavy presentation paper or white card stock.
  • Light to medium weight, textured white paper (see Tips).
  • Scissors or paper cutter. A paper cutter makes it easier to cut accurate paper squares.
  • Decorative-edge scissors. Something frilly.
  • Hole punch, regular or decorative.
  • Paper glue or white glue.
  • Tape.
  • Ribbon or cording, 12", for hanging. We used narrow red metallic ribbon.
  • Glitter or sequins (optional).


  1. Tea Bag Ornament, step 1Cut the white paper into 16, 2 1/4" squares.
  2. Use the decorative scissors to trim away 1/4" from two adjoining sides of each square. This will reduce the dimension of each paper square to approximately 2".
  3. Punch a hole in the corner of each square, where the decorative sides meet.

  4. Tea Bag Ornament, step 4Folding time! Follow the diagrams below to fold all 16 pieces into "half-kite" folds. We didn't show the decorative-cut edges in the folding illustrations, but your squares will look something like this:
    1. Tea Bag Ornament folding, step 1Fold the square paper  corner to corner on the diagonal (corner D to corner B). Open it flat again.
    2. Tea Bag Ornament folding, step 2Tea Bag Ornament folding, step 2Fold the sides DC and and BC in to the center fold line.
    3. Tea Bag Ornament, step 3Tea Bag Ornament, step 3Fold point C up to meet points D and B. Place a piece of tape across this "tail" to hold the folds together and create a small pocket. The open pocket is what will give the papers some dimension when they are connected together.
    4. Okay, now fold and tape the remaining 15 pieces in "half-kite" folds and lay them face (flat side) down.

  5. Keeping the flat sides down, arrange 8 of the folded pieces into a circular octagon "snowflake." You'll have a 2" octagonal opening in the center. Tape the aligned edges of the pieces together. Repeat with the remaining 8 pieces to create a second snowflake.
  6. Tea Bag Ornament, step 2Cut out the two cat images from the FREE vintage image sheet. On the backside of one, securely tape the ends of the loop of ribbon behind the top of the cat's head. Align the second image over it and glue the two images back to back with the ribbon sandwiched between them.
  7. Tea Bag Ornament, step 3Apply a thin bead of glue around the octagonal opening on the back of one snowflake, center and glue it around one cat image.
  8. Tea Bag Ornament, step 4Let it dry, turn it over, and repeat by gluing the second snowflake around the image on the other side, rotating the snowflake slightly so the projecting points alternate with the first snowflake. Let all of the glue dry.
  9. That is one adorable Christmas cat to hang on your tree!


  • Any kind of paper that can be easily folded will work. We wanted the snowflake effect, so we chose an icy, white textured paper. But you might enjoy a red and green plaid pattern, or alternating red and green segments, or silver or gold metallic papers. Use up that scrap paper you have been hoarding!

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