Sunday, December 15, 2013

How to Make 15 Different Ornaments

Maybe you're putting up your first Christmas tree, or maybe you're tired of the old ornaments and want something new. Well, I've put together a bunch of different ornaments I found online and put them to the test:

#1 - Wedding Invitations

If you've got a lot of wedding invitations laying around and you're not sure what to do with them, cut them into strips and put them inside a clear ball, so you'll always be reminded of your big day!

#2 - Sheet Music

Find your favorite Christmas carol, cut it into slices, and put inside a clear ball. Put a red ribbon around it or leave it as is and enjoy your festive ornament!

#3 and #4 - Pages from a book

Perhaps you have a favorite book, or you know of someone that has written a book this year. Why not make an ornament out of their words? You can either glue the pages of their book to the outside, or take pages, crinkle them into balls, and put them on the inside! Granted, they may not like their work being crumpled up so keep that in mind if you know the author...

#5 - Christmas List

A good way to remember what you or your kids wanted in years past is to put a Christmas list in an ornament. That way, years down the road, you can look at them and fondly remember what a "Furby" was... oh wait, they're back, aren't they? Hmmm... well, you get the idea!

#6 - Photo in Snow

This one is quite simple, really. Just print out a photo (I used an old wedding photo), throw in some sugar as "snow" and some pine needles from your tree and voila! A wintertime ornament, perfect for your tree. I also threw in some fake berries, in case you're wondering what those red things are!

#7 - The Melted Snowman

Speaking of sugar, you can use sugar to be the "snowman", throw in a paper "nose" and something for the eyes and buttons (I used the top of whole cloves) and now you have a melted snowman on the tree... poor little guy...

#8 - A Ball of Yarn

This one is quite easy -

Step 1 - Wrap yarn around ball
Step 2 - Put toothpicks in yarn

You're done! I recommend having a little piece trail out, to make it look a little more realistic. But quite easy and perfect for the knitter in your life!

#9 - The Moustache

My husband pointed out to me that it should be "staching" instead of "stashing" but I was taking this from Wanelo's post. People have been a bit mustache-happy lately so if your man has a soup-strainer, a flavor-saver, a crumb catcher... well then, this is the ornament for him. Take some white acrylic paint and pour a little bit inside a clear ornament (or just buy a white ornament). Roll the paint around until it covers the entire ball, then with a black Sharpie, write on the outside. Bada-boom bada-bing, now THAT is how you decorate a tree!

#10 - A Map

Maybe you took a big trip this year and you want to remember it - why not remember it on an ornament? You'll have to bear with me and my sloppy attempt, but if you Mod Podge a map of where you went or where you plan on going, it will be a nice reminder for you year after year.

#11 - Superhero Ornaments

I found this post on HappyLooksGoodOnYou and thought it was so clever. Put paint inside of an ornament, just like the Mustache example, and then print out the superhero's symbol and glue to the front. I used yellow paint and printed out Batman's symbol because, well, my cat's named Batman so it seemed appropriate, but you could use any color/symbol combination you choose!

#12 - A Snowball

Here's another easy one for ya - take an ornament, cover it with glue (or Mod Podge) and then roll it in epsom salts. The result? A snowball!

#13 - The Glitter Ball

This is pretty self-explanatory - put glue inside of a clear ornament (I used clear Elmer's glue), pour some glitter inside, and roll the ornament around until it's completely covered! I suppose you could glitter the outside but then you run the risk of glitter getting everywhere...

#14 - First-Time Homebuyers

If you bought a house this year and you want to commemorate it, you can make a salt-dough ornament (like the Hand Santa Ornament post) and either imprint the key into the dough before putting in the oven (like this) or tracing around the key and dating the ornament with the date of sale. Sometimes it's the small, personal memories that make the tree special.

#15 - Scrabble Tiles, c

If you don't mind ruining your Scrabble game, pick out a few letters and using the stands the game provides, use that to glue all the letters together, glue a ribbon to the top and you're set! I recommend sawing the stand in half if you want to display shorter words.

Here's one big fail I found roaming around Pinterest - using crayons to melt the inside of an ornament. Here's what it should look like vs. what it actually looks like:

And this was after 5 straight minutes of using a blow dryer to the ornament. Your hands will get hot, the ornament will become difficult to hold, and the crayons will barely melt. If you want a cool effect like the photo above, use paint, not crayons.

The other fail? Well, even plastic balls can shatter, so be very careful!

Some other projects that I recommend you try include:

1. Painting an ornament with chalkboard paint (and not spending $9 on one from Etsy!)
2. Cutting up an old DVD or CD and gluing the pieces to the ornament like this
3. If you have a newborn, paint their hand and have them transfer their handprint to the ornament for their first Christmas

TOTAL COSTS: Depends on the project
You could spend anywhere between just $2.99 the on the 6-pack of ornaments from Michael's, or you could spend much more, depending on which project you choose and what you need to buy.

TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: Depends on the project
All of these were quite fast, the only thing that took a while was waiting for the Mod Podge to dry.

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): Depends on the project
Most of these were so easy, your kids could get involved. None of them were difficult - the map ornament looks sloppy because I rushed but if you use smaller pieces and take your time, it could looks as good as this one, I'm sure!

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