DIY Christmas Ornaments

My creative side seems to thrive at Christmastime.  I see inspiration everywhere I go, and then I get the crazy ideas to either make my own creations, or use what I see in the stores and decide that I can recreate it cheaper.  But, usually time gets the best of me and only the quick and easy projects get completed in time for Christmas.  Fortunately, this year I get to share Christmas creations from year’s past. 

At one of my previous jobs, I worked in a small department and it became my tradition to make my co-workers an ornament or small craft for their gifts.  Unfortunately, I didn’t always make a spare one to keep for myself.   One year, I made jingle bell ornaments.  And, these were one of the ornaments that I failed to make extra.  But, I found I still had the supplies in my craft closet, so I made a few this year.  You only need 3 (or 4) supplies.  Jingle Bells, Wire, Wire Cutters, and Ribbon is optional.

        DIY Christmas Ornaments - Tools - Wire and Wire Cutters

I made two different ornament shapes: wreaths and candy canes.  All you do is cut your desired length of wire.  Bend the end to create a loop so that the first bell does not fall off, and then just thread the bells on your wire as you bend the wire into the shape you choose.  If you are making a wreath, just loop the one end into your original loop to close the circle.  You can then attach wire as your hanger or ribbon.  For the candy cane, your two ends are just two loops to hold the first and last bell in place.  I used ribbon for my hangers, and tied it two different ways to show you some examples.  These are a simple craft, and a perfect one to make on the couch watching a Christmas movie!

DIY Christmas Ornaments - Jingle Bell Wreaths and Candy Cane

Another simple ornament craft, and this is one I kept plenty for myself when I made them years ago, uses clear ornament balls and craft paint. 

DIY Christmas Ornaments - Swirled paint in glass balls

Pull the hanger off the ball, and then squeeze craft paint into the ball.  Swirl the paint around for your desired look, and then turn the ball upside down to let the extra paint drip out into a container.  Once the paint dries, reattach the hanger and place on your tree.

DIY Christmas Ornaments - Green and White Swirled paint in glass ornament

The next ornament uses fabric, felt, buttons, stuffing, thread, hot glue and twine (or ribbon). 

DIY Christmas Ornaments - Heart with felt and buttons - 2

I made a heart pattern and cut the fabric.  Then I sewed the two pieces, right side together and left a small opening.  I turned the fabric right side out and stuffed it to the desired fullness, inserted the twine for a hanger, and then handstitched the opening closed.  I cut little star shapes out of the felt, and stitched Noel into the felt.  Then, I used the same thread and handstitched the felt to the fabric.  I completed the ornament by hot gluing buttons to the edges of the heart.

DIY Christmas Ornaments - Heart with felt and buttons

A few years, I read on Centsational Girl about using glitter on cookie cutters to make ornaments, so I had to try it myself.  It was an easy craft that I shared with my family, and again kept several for my own tree.

DIY Christmas Ornaments - Glitter Cookie Cutters

I have a few more handmade ornaments to share, but I can’t take any credit for them.  They just provide me good memories of who and where they came from.  First is a lightbulb snowman that my friend Cindy made for me.  From what I can tell, you need a lightbulb, buttons, paint, felt, fabric and a screw for the nose.  Those few supplies and you can have a cute little guy like this hanging in your tree too.

DIY Christmas Ornaments - Lightbulb Snowman

These last two were made by my Granny.  The first I think resembles a pine cone.  It is fabric folded and pinned over a styrofoam ball.

DIY Christmas Ornaments - Fabric pinecone

The final ornament has the most sentimental value of all.  This is Granny’s tradition for all the grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren.  She traces each child’s hand and then sews the ornament with your name and year on it.   This is my hand from when I was two years old.

DIY Christmas Ornaments - Childs Hand

Do any of you make ornaments for your tree, or to share with friends and family?  Any other sentimental ornament creations?

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Labor Day Weekend Picnic

Bob and I decided to host our family for a Labor Day Weekend Picnic on Sunday, September 2nd.  And, we also thought it would be a great time to recognize my Mom’s recent accomplishment of completing her Associate’s Degree.  So, we invited everyone like a normal family picnic, but then I sent out a supplemental evite to everyone except Mom informing them that it would also be a suprise graduation party for Mom.  We were very excited that Mom’s siblings (she is one of eight!) and spouses could all make it, and of course my siblings and their families too.  So, we were expecting about 35 people.  Fortunately, we lucked out and the weather cooperated and we had a nice day….it rained before the picnic, but cleared up in time to set everything up and enjoy.

I thought everything was going well, and then my sister and I were finalizing our cake and cupcake decorating and Mom just walks right in the kitchen before the picnic was supposed to start.  I just looked at her and laughed, when she walked right up to us and asked what we were doing!  So, obviously not a very good surprise.  Mom just said that now that she was college educated, she was smart enough to sort of figure out something was up!! 

My sister made the cake.

I made the cupcakes and then we coordinated the decorating. 

The little graduation caps on the cake and cupcakes were my first pinterest inspired creation!  Yes, its terrible that I have not implemented anything else I’ve seen on pinterest, but I finally had a reason. 

This was my inspiration:

source

I modified slightly by using the Reese’s, a fudge covered cookie, M&M, and then twizzlers.  They aren’t nearly perfect, but I think they made a cute addition to the food and decor.  I also added the Class of 2012 ribbon to the cupcake stand.  Even though we had planned the surprise for a few months, I failed in shopping for graduation decor in June when most stores had a good supply.  So, many of the items we were just working with what was available in August and also what I had on hand.

I made the Congrats Grad banner with some Congrats ribbon from the Dollar Tree, pre-cut stars from the craft store, and then I used my Cricut to cut out the letters. 

Even though she wasn’t too surprised, Mom still enjoyed the celebration. 

We had quite a crowd filling our patio.

We also took the opportunity to get some family photos.  These are my seven nieces and nephews.  There is an eighth one on the way thanks to my younger sister and her husband! 

Mom also enjoyed some cards and gifts from our generous family.  This card was made by my sister and her children.  Her son cross-stitched the cap for the card.  I will be putting my Cricut to work and creating a scrapbook of the pictures from the event as my gift to Mom.

We are all very proud of Mom.  She obtained her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education, and maintained a 4.0 GPA!  Congratulations Mom! (I hope you at least read this 🙂 )