Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Handmade Christmas-Tree Ornaments

These handmade Christmas tree ornaments are unbreakable. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I'm going to show these and explain in brief detail how I made them. They are all simple and reasonably fast to make. A lot of them are created from repurposed materials and some are from kits. Kits are handy since they can save you time tracking down materials and you don't end up with a lot of leftover odds and ends when you are finished.

About 22 years ago, we were at a large charity yard sale. There was a beautiful crystal chandelier there for only $5. As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be wonderful to clean up, take apart and use the crystal beads and drops as tree ornaments.  The beads that gracefully draped over the armature of the light were joined together with thin gauge craft wire. We had dug up a small cedar tree to use as a Christmas tree that year and along with the crystal drops and some painted wooden ornaments from a kit, I tied some red, narrow satin ribbon on the ends of some of the cedar branches and the tree had a very Victorian look to it.
At another yard sale, a few years later, I found a book of counted cross stitch ornaments and worked up some of those for the tree. That year, I also did some crocheted stockings that are reversible and some crochets snowflakes. They are pictured here along with one of the wooden kit ornaments I mentioned in the first paragraph.
These little angels, I call Asthma Angels. When my son was young, he had asthma. For years, I looked at the plastic inhaler container, trying to figure out a way to craft with them. I came up with the angel idea. First, I spray painted the bases gold. The heads are wooden balls, painted for the faces. Their wings are stiffened scraps of lace. Before gluing the wooden balls to the asthma container with hot glue, I glued a 5 inch piece of ribbon on the insides of the container to use as a hanger. After gluing the ball on, I added some polyester batting for hair, then glued a small circle made from a glitter pipe cleaner to the head for the halo.
These are kid friendly projects and were done with my sons Cub Scout pack one year. This picture has ornaments made from some of the notched craft sticks I used for the train village. A simple snowflake embellished with paint, glitter paint and odds and ends that range from acrylic jewels to large sequins. On the left side of this picture is a glitter pipe cleaner stem icicle that was cut to a 6 inch length, then wrapped around a pencil. The hanger is a strand of metallic DMC embroidery floss. We had some cedar limbs in the yard, my husband cut them into discs and the Scouts decorated them with glitter and a lot of odds and ends. Ribbon is hot glued to the sides of the disc for the hanger.  If your kids are young, you should probably be the one in charge of the hot glue gun.
The clothespin reindeer was made by my son's preschool teacher. It's just 2 clothespins glued together, one turned upside down and glued to the others and some googley eyes and a ribbon added. The painted wooded heart was another Cub Scout project. The hearts were painted gold-or whatever color you want, with acrylic paints. When dry, they were embellished with glitter paints and whatever odds and end were on hand, including flat back, faceted, acrylic gemstones. Ribbon is glued to the sides of the heart for hangers. This beaded star is made from 6mm acrylic, faceted beads woven on craft wire.
At an after Christmas sale, I found a box of the satin thread ornaments for .25. I used scraps of lace, ribbon, glitter paint and the flat back gemstones for accents on them. Kids can do this project, too.
For these colorful ornaments, I used some Christmas fabric that I cut shapes out of. Then, I embroidered around some of the area with metallic DMC floss and lightly stuffed them with polyester 
fiberfill. I whip stitched the edges together and sewed ribbons ends together on the back for the hanger.

These are shoulder pad angels. This idea comes from Aileen-she used to have a craft show, magazine and lots of craft products on the market. She is the creator of Tacky Glue. These angels are probably about 16 or 17 years old.  I got some blouses with shoulder pads at a yard sale. Cut them off the blouses and covered them with fabric. I added some satin balls with faces painted on them by using fabric glue and decorated with glitter paint. Their wings are stiffened ribbon and lace and the hanging ribbon is glued between the body and the wings.
These felt ornaments are among my favorites. The penguins are from a kit, but I loved making them so much, I got more felt and made patterns for  the snowmen and the reindeer. The antler pattern is an applique pattern. I had a string of those little acrylic lightbulbs that I decided to add to them to the antlers. The snowmen are made from glitter felt. All are stuffed with polyester fiberfill. The reindeer eyes and snowman nose are embroidered on.

These icicle ornaments are made from a kit. One for the gold and one for the clear. They are acrylic snowflake beads and round acrylic beads on a chenille stem.
The clear tree in this picture is from a kit. It's 6mm acrylic beads woven on a thin gauge craft wire. I had some glass beads I wasn't going to use for anything, so I took the tree ornaments one step further and used those to make the tree ornaments with different color craft wire. I made an attempt to weave some snowflakes using acrylic beads but instead wound up with the freeform shape that is in this picture. I made a lot of those as it was a good way to use up leftover beads.
I hope these two blog posts about handmade decorations and ornaments have given you some ideas for this holiday season. Many of these are easy for kids to do, so what better way to have some good quality family time before Christmas and create some great holiday d├ęcor and some even better holiday memories.
If you would like to know more details about making any of these ornaments, just leave me a comment on my blog, along with your email address. All blog comments are moderated, so I will not publish your email address when I publish your comment.


Leilani said...

So many great ideas here Sue! Really loved your post...gets my brain thinking... :)

Trishie said...

Cute, Cute, Cute!!! I love the honey polar bears and the Christmas village and the pecan penguins...oh heck, I think everything is just so...cute!!! Got me in the Christmas spirit before Thanksgiving!!