Know how

Article categories

Grow your own

Whatever the scale of your ambitions or plot you'll find something useful here.

Make your own

Reduce your footprint by making your own, from knitting to soap-making to adorning your home.

Livestock and pets

Find out about rearing livestock from the farm to the garden, and doing the best for your pets.

Energy efficiency and construction

Discover how to adapt, change and even build your own home to enable you to tread more lightly upon the planet.

Cooking, preserving and home brewing

From the home brewery to ambitions of chefly grandeur. Find out how to do it all here and really taste the difference.

Wild food

Subsidise the larder in a sustainable way. From fishing, to shooting, to foraging safely, find it among these articles.

Conservation and the environment

Conserve our world for future generations. See how you can help in these pages.


From shopping with a conscience to building your own enterprise. Find advice and encouragement among these pages.

Everything else

Sometimes the diversity of downsizing can throw up an unusual topic.


Past editorial items from the downsizer front page.

You are here: Home arrow Articles arrow Make your own arrow Christmas Card Baubles


Christmas Card Baubles

Written by Lettucewoman

Lettucewoman takes you through making a greeting card that's more interesting than most...

Firstly I apologise for some of the materials – haven’t got all the stuff I need but cannibalised some other things, as I wanted to get this article in ASAP. These cards turn into baubles, which your recipients can hang on the tree, or somewhere in the house – the one I sent to Mum 4 years ago is permanently hanging off the speaker stand!


One A4 sheet of paper or thin card….coloured, or you can colour your own with potato stamps, drawings, sprinkly glitter etc etc., but don’t use stickers as they can catch! One sheet will make two medium baubles, but again you can experiment with sizes.
Hole punch
Pencil (I used a biro for clarity but you can use a pencil so it doesn’t show too much.)
Fancy silver or gold pen (couldn’t find mine )
Split pins
Thin cord – the sparkly stuff you can find in hobby shops, or any strong thin cord.
Tassel (usually easier to make your own with the sparkly cord!)

Fold the A4 sheet in half from the top short side down to the bottom short side and rule lines across it from the fold to the edge with the pencil about ½” or 7mm apart.

Separate the two halves and put the non-ruled piece away for later.Cut the paper into strips

Take 14 of the strips and punch a hole in them at the top and bottom. Be as careful as you can – you may not get all the strips into the punch, so be sure to put the paper strips in the same place when you punch them.

Push a split pin through the strips with the decorated side on the outside, and bend the pins flat. Turn the strips over and write your message on the top strip. You can do something much more elaborate than me!

Turn them back, take a length of the thin cord, and carefully wrap behind the legs of the split pin at the top. Wrap a few times and make sure it’s secure behind the pin. Then bend the legs of the pin in half back on themselves and flatten.

Pull the cord down to the other end until the strips bend into a bow shape – judge for yourself how tight you want to make it – it’s best as a gentle bow. Secure the end of the cord behind the split pin at the bottom, and bend the legs back.

Take a length of cord and make a hanging loop, (about 2-3 inches doubled over and knotted) then secure it behind the head of the split pin by wrapping it around the back of the head – pull the two sides of the loop either side of the head of the pin.

Attach a tassel to the headpin on the bottom of the strips in the same way (you can make a tassel with lengths of cord tied in the middle, then wrap a short piece of cord round the bundle, and thread a length of cord through the bundle and tie for a hanging loop). Make sure the hanging loop is on each side of the pin head

That’s the bauble finished - this is how you send it, in a bow shape. I usually put a little card with instructions on how to turn the card into a bauble, with the card!

To turn the card into a bauble – gently tease the strips out, starting with the top one with the greeting. Pull this one out opposite the bundle, and then gently spread out the strips to fill in the gaps – being careful to pull them out in order. Check to make sure they are all out. Very gently, hold the bauble between thumb and finger and squeeze together so you can see how even the strips are - this is VERY GENTLE – you don’t want to crease the centre of the bauble strips.

Adjust the strips so they are as even as possible. Let the bauble go, hold by the hanging loop, adjust the shape – and hang up!!