Even if you are not from the UK or US, you probably know the song 12 Days of Christmas. I am somewhat partial to that song, with its very nice, over the top imagery of ever more luscious gifts being piled onto the dearly loved recipient.
It lends itself very well to illustration, of course, and so I thought I’d give it a try to turn the gifts in the song into paper models.
This will take a while, of course, but the first step was to determine the level of detail. Making all 364 gifts in total would take a lot of time, and even just making the 78 gifts of the last verse will be a challenge, so each gift should be easy to make. Which requires a good deal of abstraction.
Here are the first attempts of some of the gifts, but I still consider some of them to be too detailed:
The turtle doves:
The French hens:
The golden rings:
Of course, the models will be colored later on. In fact, I am thinking about two versions, one which has the typical mono-colored face “low poly” look, and one which is more detailed, almost like painted wooden toys.
Well, I am pretty sure I won’t finish this before (or even shortly after) this year’s Christmas, but maybe for next year. If you are interested, I’d like to hear from you.
My wife found a very nice idea on the web for cookie bears holding almonds. Naturally, we wanted to have those bears, too. However, we didn’t have a bear-shaped cookie cutter. So I turned to Thingiverse and found this very nice cutter from user rozoom, which not only cuts out bears, but also makes dents for the eyes and nose.
I felt that the arms could be a bit longer, in order to be easier to wrap around the almond, so I created a slightly modified version. Works like a charm:
And – as a bonus – here are a few other cookies we made:
And my personal favourite, little Lederhosen bear:
Prompted by a comment from Marcus (thanks for the great idea!), I have turned the paper planets into Christmas baubles.
They actually turned out very nice, and in mid-air from a tree gives off a much more planetary impression than when they sit on a shelf.
And they are easy to make, too. When assembling the planets, simlpy glue a looped thread to the top (from the inside). I actually had to attach the thread to the already finished planets, which I did like this:
I took thread (a green one, for better camouflage in the tree) and a couple of matches:
Broke off short pieces from the matches, and formed a loop with the thread:
Tied the thread at the non-loop end to the matches:
And finally, poked a hole into the top of the planets and pushed the match through (carefully, so that the thread would not slip off the match).
One note: The planets come in different sizes, to (very roughly) approximate their real sizes. If you want to decorate a tree with these, you may want to scale them so that they have roughly the same size. Below, you will find the planets scaled to the same size. In these templates, I have also left out the data on the bottom of the planets, as the text interferes with their use as baubles.
I had some requests for adding the wisemen to the nativity scene template I posted about a year ago. So right before Advent Sunday, here they are:
See the original post for the downloadable PDF template.