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Monday, December 5, 2011

Home Made Yule/Christmas Ornaments (Support the 99)

I grew up watching the Hallmark holiday commercials and still continue to find them rather enduring, but I've come to realize that they are not selling the spirit of the season, but rather simply profiting from it. This year instead of giving into the corporate processing of cheap plastic or glass ornaments, make ones that will endure generations of love.

One of the most precious ornaments on my tree is one my third daughter made me when she was in kindergarten, and it still is proudly hanged each year. It is two cd discs glued together with a red bow. On one side is Merry Christmas in glitter paint, and on the other side is her picture from that year. Don't know what to do with those scratched discs that cannot be salvaged? Turn them into priceless family keepsakes.

Another project that I grew up making alongside my mother was egg carton ornaments. Simply cut out Styrofoam egg cartons so that you have just the cup remaining. Spray the inside of the cup with spray glue, or you can simply use clear drying Elmer glue and sprinkle with gold or silver glitter. Once dry sew decorative light weight fringe to the edge. Once that is done glue in a miniature of your choice. You can find small enough miniatures at any Michael's or JoAnne's craft store. You simply want a piece that is small enough to glue inside the egg cup. You can then sew a hanging string into the top of the ornament. These fragile but precious ornaments make fun family projects and precious gifts.

A slightly more challenging project but one that is fun is beaded ornaments. There are many patterns out there for various types but one that I like involves simply using plastic beads (found in any store in the craft department)and threading them on wire to form a cross. You can create the cross by tying the string in the center (two pieces of string tied in the center) or if using wire you can simply wrap the wire in the middle. You can do any color design, and bend or tie the wire or string off at the end of the cross. Simply put the hanger on one end of the cross and hang.

Stain glass ornaments are also very pretty. An easy way to accomplish this is to use wax paper and shaved crayons (everyone seems to always have a handful of old crayons hiding out in odd places around the house). This project requires adult supervision because it uses an iron. Simply cut out the shapes you want your sections of stain glass to be (you want two pieces), then place the colored shavings into each piece. The adult should then use an iron on low to rub over the wax paper to melt the crayon in between. Once dry you can then hole punch the top and hang to the tree. If you want to create a Yule picture you can use construction paper to frame around each section.

Decoupage is another wonderfully creative way to make a classy home made ornament and you can do this with virtually anything! I find that anything from glass ornaments to spaghetti tops work well. Simply select the pictures you wish to create the piece, glue them down, and when dry shellac them.


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