Ornamental Separator

Good Tidings for Christmas

Is this the holiday that your ship comes in?

Lovers of ships at sea can decorate their holiday trees with a reminder of the majestic sails that catch even a faint breeze in calm waters. The simple act of folding paper creates the feeling of the billowing sails captured in The Brig Georgiana, an 1846 painting by James Guy Evans.

After a stint in the military, Evans settled in New Orleans in the mid-19th century. He advertised himself as a painter of ships and signs, as well as historical, marine and ornamental pictures. His depiction of the Georgiana illustrates the complex network of ropes and chains that comprise the ship’s rigging. A ship of this size might have as many as 200 principal lines, each playing an important role.

Luckily, you won’t have to re-create 200 lines for this ornament. With just a few items, you can anchor this craft in a prominent spot on your holiday tree. Find a video demonstrating how to fold the paper for this project here.

Artist James Guy Evans captured the complex beauty of a two-masted brig in this 1846 painting, which was the inspiration for a project that conveys the spirit of a vessel under sail.


Scrapbook Paper


Wooden Skewer, 11"

2 Paper Clips







Step 1

Cut a 5½-by-8½-inch rectangle from a sheet of scrapbook paper. Click Here for video instructions for folding the base of the boat.

Note: If the scrapbook paper is printed with a design, fold so the printed side faces inside.

Step 2

Push the point of the skewer through the bottom of the boat into the peak at the center. Cut a trapezoid from scrapbook paper using the pattern as a guide. Center and secure the skewer to the bottom of the boat by wrapping the trapezoid around the skewer and gluing the trapezoid to the bottom of the boat. Create a secure bond. Use a paper clip to hold the skewer and paper in place until dry.

Step 3

Use the patterns to cut out Sail #1 and Sail #2, then place them on the cardboard and use a pushpin to poke holes where indicated on the pattern. Push the skewer through the holes of each sail.

Step 4

Fold a sheet of scrapbook paper in half to make the banner, matching the fold with the dotted line of the pattern. Cut along the solid line. Unfold the banner and cover the inside with glue. Place the skewer inside the fold line, then match the edges and fold, smoothing with your hand.

Step 5

Place the boat on the cardboard and use a pushpin to poke holes at the top of the banner and at each corner of the boat. Thread a needle and tie off the end of the thread. Push the needle through the hole at the top of the banner, and then through the hole at the corner. Tie a knot. Repeat the process on the other side.

Step 6

To make flags, fold scrapbook paper in half, match the fold with the dotted line of the pattern and cut out two each of Flag #1 and Flag #2. Unfold the flags and cover the insides with glue. Place each flag over the string on the fold line, match the edges and fold, smoothing with your hand.

Step 7

Thread the last bit of string through the banner hole and tie off for hanging. Snip off the skewer just above the top of the banner.

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