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A unique mix of crafts, nature, homeschooling…life.

the ellusive cone


This is one of those unintentional projects that seem to plague my creative world. The basics of this started brewing over a year ago. Last Christmas I made some party cone baskets. They were my first attempt and and I didn’t have a real pattern. They were shallow and wide, but kind of irregular. For most projects I would mind irregular, after all, I can kinda relate. But I’d rather save the unique-ness for the embellishing on this one. This was the old project:

This year I wanted to make trees out of cones. I searched everywhere for a basic pattern but while I could find instructions for making them, and even some descriptions on math sites, I could not find a simple print and cut pattern. You’d think that a project as old as this, from crafting days of yore, would be around somewhere, but I couldn’t find it. Even Martha let me down. So I broke down and made one. It was an excruciating 5 minutes. Which leads me to believe that last year I *might* have made it a bit harder than it needed to be.

So now I have a basic pattern that could use for either a tree or cone. But did I stop there? Oh, no.

I’ve also been toying with printing a pattern on one side of paper and cutting parts of it out and sort of pushing edges up to make different embossed effects. Kirigami comes to mind, but my project is less about folding than cutting, as you will see. (I’m sure it has a name and one of my readers will enlighten me. You are a smart bunch!)

So this is what I ended up with.

I printed the pattern on the reverse side of paper but it would be done on white as well. I resized each one so they are all different. This pattern fits well on a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper.

I also cut the snowflakes out differently on each cone using an exacto knife. For example, on one cone I cut all of the lines, on another one I cut only the points, on the final cone I cut a mix of points and lines but not everything…you get the picture. My purpose was to have different effects from the same pattern. Cheating. Yes. But I am lazy about that sort of thing. Why make multiple patterns when we can just look at the same pattern differently?

Once I got the designs all cut I decided to play and embellish them. I just used adhesive/tape runner to stick the flap down inside the cone. (Learn from my mistake: do not score or fold the tab. It makes the tree all wonky.)

Here I will note that most embellishments work best on an assembled cone. I embellished with little flowers, colored bling, bling flourishes, pipecleaners, and stickles. I also thought about using glitter but didn’t get a chance to…yet.

After my cones were finished I started thinking about what a waste it was to not light them from within so that all the detail would show. I’ve seen little battery operated tea lights around a lot this year, and they are perfect for this because they don’t heat up. It’s important that you don’t use lights that will get hot because come on, it’s paper! I’m not even going to mention candles.

I was thrilled when I added the lights. Even the patterns on the paper showed through. Lovely is an understatement.

So there you have it. Some trees for your reindeer, or cones for your home. At any rate, super cheap decorations that were a lot of fun to make and the kiddies can decorate, too.



  1. Anonymous

    I love them, the lights through them look awesome! Very nice, ur ROCK!! 2ndShooter :-)

  2. Aimee

    i lovey lovey them. how’d you do the lights? just a string? xmas lights?

  3. Darlene

    I enjoyed your narration of the cones. Very cool idea!! Thanks for sharing. By how much did you enlarge the template to fit a letter-size page?

  4. meggiecat

    Thanks so much for sharing your templates and ideas. Love your blog!

  5. jannypie

    i absolutely love this project! i am adding your blog to my subscriptions, thank you!

  6. Suzanne

    Oh adorable, thanks for the template, I’m no good at figuring this sort of things out so I’m more than glad that you are :D

    Especially love the ones that are lit.

So, what do you think ?