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Easy Christmas Crafts: Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament


Some favorite things - paper, beads and string - turn into an interesting catstep braid and bead ornament with these fun and easy instructions.

Use plain paper for a simple yet interesting decoration, or use vellum for subtly elegant shine.

Take a look at some examples.

Two are vellum. Two use plain, colorful paper and one is silver wrapping paper.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament showing five finished

Easy Christmas Crafts: Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament Materials and Tools:

  • Paper: 20 pound paper, gift wrap, vellum or other decorative paper 
  • Thread
  • Beads - four small and three larger
  • Pencil
  • Ruler 
  • Glue 
  • Needle or other sharp point (pin, t-pin, thumbtack, etc.) 
  • Scissors 

Note: A rotary cutter, clear ruler and self-healing mat are not necessary but they make cutting the paper easier.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament materials and tools

The Steps for How to Make the Easy Christmas Crafts: Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament:

Measure and mark two strips 1/2-inch wide by 11-inch long.

This paper is regular 20-pound paper. I'm using one strip of each color.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 1 measure and mark paper strips

Carefully cut the two strips.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 2 cut two strips

Place the two strips at right angles matching the ends and sides.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 3 place strips at right angles

Begin folding the two strips of paper back and forth over each other.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 4 fold strips

Finish folding the strips.

If you are really careful, the ends should fold over and match.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 5 finish folding strips

However, if they don't (mine didn't this time), just trim off the extra paper.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 6 cut off extra paper

At each end, glue the last overlapping edges of the paper strips together.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 7 glue ends

With a sharp point, make two holes roughly 1/8-inch apart in one glued end of the braid.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 8 make small holes in one end

Cut a ten-inch length of thread.

I used heavy duty upholstery thread. If you are using just regular sewing thread, cut 20 inches and fold it in half for extra strength.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 9 cut thread

Push the thread through one of the small beads as an anchor.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 10 push thread through one small bead

Push both ends of the thread through the next bead - a larger bead.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 11 push both thread ends through larger bead

Add the remaining beads alternating between the large and small sizes.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 12 add remaining beads

Push the ends of the thread through the two holes in the end of the braid.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 13 push thread through holes in end of paper

Pull the thread until the beads touch the braid.

Tie a knot in the thread ends and cut the extra thread.

Be careful not to pull the beads too tightly - they'll curl instead of hanging straight.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 14 tie knot to secure beads

Make two holes in the opposite end of the braid.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 15 make holes in other end

Cut a 10-inch length of thread (20 inches if it is regular sewing thread).

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 16 cut second thread

Push the ends of the thread through the two holes.

Pull the ends even and tie a knot to make the hanging loop.

Trim off any extra thread.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 17 make hanging loop

Holding each end of the paper braid, gently pull and twist the braid to stretch it.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 18 gently pull to stretch

The Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament is finished and ready to display.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament step 19 hang to display

The next picture shows four different examples.

1) I used two 1/2-inch strips of silver gift wrap paper. It's pretty, but you can see the white side of the paper too.

2) I used two 1/2-inch strips of silver vellum for this example. Plus, I used a needle and thread to string a small silver bead between each of the folds of the braid.

3) I used yellow and blue paper for this one - much like the green and red example above.

4) This is another silver vellum example, however it used 5/8-inch wide by 11-inch long strips. Wider strips result in fewer folds in the braid.

Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament four finished

Isn't it interesting what simple paper and beads can become!

Have fun making a few, several or many!

The Catstep Braid and Bead Ornament is a fun and easy project, and you can be creative in adding other bling to make your own unique decorations. 


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