Amy’s Free Ideas


Seasons > Christmas > Decorations for the home > Paper Stand-up, “JOY” Christmas Decoration

Cut two sets of letters out of stiff paper such as card stock or poster board, one set with wide letters for the back of the decoration, and one set of narrow letters for the front set.

Fasten the letters together with foam-style double stick tape, or make your own “connecters” out of paper: cut out 16 or so strips of copier paper 1/2 x 3 inches long.

Glue one end and fasten it to the other end to form a ring.

Press the ring flat.

Pull the flattened ring into a ring again, and press it flat 1/8th inch away from the first fold. It should now form a narrow rectangle. Glue these to the back of the narrow letters, then glue the narrow letters onto the front of the thicker back letters. The rectangle “loops” will make the narrow letters stand out from the thicker background letters, and make it look more three dimensional.

To make the word stand up, lay the finished letters against a ruler or other straight edge, to make sure all the letters are straight when you glue them together. Cut strips of paper to glue to the top and bottom of the backs of the letters to hold them together (see photo above.) Once the glue has dried, fold the stands on the dotted line, then glue the stands to both sides of the back of the letter “O.”

Cut a crown of thorns out of black poster board, or cut it out of thin cardboard such as an empty cereal box or cracker box, then color it black with a permanent marker. Fasten the crown of thorns onto the “O” with loops made in the same way as explained above, except cut the strips of paper out of the same paper as the letters are cut out of, in this case the metallic red poster board.

NOTE: Make sure the colored side is on the inside of the loop so that when it is glued between the “O” and the crown of thorns, the loops will not show: the red-on-red will disappear.


Strips to hold letters together

The angel said, “I bring you good news of great joy, that will be for all people. Today a Savior has been born for you; he is Christ the Lord.” Christmas is celebrating the coming of the Savior, so this decoration has a crown of thorns to  show the reason for our joy.

These letters are made out of stiff metallic paper that was purchased at a dollar store. Some craft stores sell it as well. The paper does not have to be metallic, but it does have to be stiff enough to stand up. Regular copier paper will not work for this project. If you don’t have colored paper that is stiff enough, glue colored paper to thin cardboard, and cut the letters out of this. The cardboard can be an empty box such as cereal or crackers come in.

Display the word, “joy” with other Christmas decorations, or give it a frame--an empty cracker box covered with wrapping paper! Glue wrapping paper to the outside, then cut a window in the front of the box. If the inside is not white, glue some gift wrap on the inside back and floor of the box, too. Fasten the letters to the back of the box with foam-style double stick tape, or loops of paper as shown below. Or easier still, use an empty tissue box--cut the hole for the tissue a little bigger. Before Christmas, stores sell so many pretty Christmasy themed tissue boxes, so buy now, and use it as a decoration once it is empty!

Download Large set of letters for “JOY”

(about 5 inches tall)

Download smaller set of letters for “JOY”

(about 3 inches tall)

Download pattern for stand and crown of thorns (this includes letters from the word “NOEL” which you can ignore, and just use the pattern for the stand and crown of thorns.)