Christmas Tree Fairy Lights & Paper Pinwheels

This year we got a Living Christmas Tree. I had made a simple decorative decision, I made some pinwheel-sort of decorations from Christmas cardstock, and used Jute to make strings of them. I made the paper pinwheel decorations before we had the tree. (See directions at the end of this post.)

Close-up Pinwheel Decorations on Jute string with Fairy LED Lights.
December 07, 2018

I got the Fairy LED Lights on Amazon. Within 10 minutes of arriving yesterday, I opened the package and installed them on the tree, lovely! Turned around for 1 second, then back and OMG, there are two open ends … what…?? There on the couch a few feet away sat Alice, 1+ years of age, more kitten than cat still. Broad Cheshire grin on her face too.

This was high treason. She snagged the end going behind the couch, giraffe that she must be to accomplish that so fast. Augh!

I spent the next many, long anguishing moments trying to fix them. Watched a YouTube Video from last year, and ohhhh, had to sand the ends of some kind of varnish coating. (Also learn how these things are made!)

At that point it was good, I got some connection touching wires, but then nothing. My set is 100 LED on copper, with a remote to turn on/off and dim and flash settings. My daughter was helping plug them in and out, hit the remote power here and there. It was frustrating. No reaction at all happened 80% of the time. Finally I had gotten electrical tape out, daughter helping, it wasn’t a good thing, fixing the string while it was still attached to the tree, it was broken between the 13th and 14th LED’s.  This set has 3 wires. I got each polarity properly sorted and taped, the light could all come on, but seems really flighty, unless I pressed them hard where I had twisted them and wrapped them from each other with electrical tape. The 3rd wire I brought close and taped it down to the others, wrapping tape around the whole section. Bingo, they came on at this point. (When Christmas is over I’ll redo the fix with a nicer taping job, it’s quite messy right now.)

So yes, cats love these lights. So do I. Sometimes I am a cat.

I am resorted to having my boys watch the tree during the day and shoo Alice, or any other cat that comes near the tree, away.

At night I put a tablecloth over the tree. I did that last night and will continue to do it to save it, and me, from needing work/to work on repairs.

Pinwheel Decoration

This project with pictures: hyperthinking.us/weblog/portfolio/pinwheel-decorations/

  • 4×4 cardstock
  • On the diagonal score each side at 1 1/4″ (envelope punch board, score only.)
  • Fold all scores, cut out the triangle in the middle of each edge. You’ll have what looks like a big plus sign with pointy-ish ends.
  • Each piece will fold at the bottom right corner, the side will line up right under the scored fold.
  • Once each side is done flip the piece over and fold each piece to the front, tucking loosely until all pieces are arrange nicely. One brad through center all the way holds the decoration.
  • This paper decoration uses one side of the paper for the front, though double sided design is preferred since they can turn, so a nice alternate side to view is good.
  • The back is a folded square that I find works well with ribbon or string of any kind to hang in any way. Like with my Jute, I made a long string that could hold 6 pinwheels, then made a loop with one knot crossover around each square, spacing visually. This method means you can disassemble a string of decorations for storage and use the same things the next time, or use a new ribbon, or what-have-you.
  • The main idea is a cute decoration, trim any pieces to make each individual look good. Sometime it’s a bit odd when all folded in, and trimming some big ones, or clipping an edge down more, that’s all that’s needed. Also inking the edges with your preferred ink, makes a finished, beautiful, simple decoration.

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