Handmade Christmas Ornaments- A Tutorial

Most of our extend family celebrates Christmas so we like to join in the fun by making them meaningful gifts of the season as a family project. This year as I had mentioned before we are doing our best of have a crap free holiday but not at the expense of losing traditions that are dear to us.

Making and selecting ornaments each year is a big part of the joy for my kids so this year on Thanksgiving we took some time to make ornaments for the Aunts and Uncles, with an eye to me getting them into the mail early so they can be enjoyed on THIS year.

This is a fantastic project to do with both the young and the young at heart. You will need:

Plastic or glass ornaments that open at the top ( not the split open variety)
Craft paint- feel free to control the color selection as you see fit. Old paint works great for this since you are going to need to water it down a bit so it flows really well for a good marbeling effect.

Important enough to say again - Make sure all the paint you are going to use flows free. Some of mine was OLD.. so I put in a bit of hot water and shook them up to get a nice smooth flow, like that of heavy cream. Cover your work surface with a drop cloth ( I did not and had to scrub the table before we put the food out!)

Take the little silver caps off all the ornaments and then start adding paint.

 Swirl in the color not putting in so much that it covers all the inside. You want room for 3-5 colors.

This is my handsome oldest son who came home for the holiday, giving it a go.. poor thing I have been forcing  encouraging him to do crafts every holiday since the dawn of time, he is very patient with me :)

It was not my best planning that I set them up in the formal dinning room just an hour before dinner but what they hey.. to have all my guys there crafting with me was SO worth it. 

Sam took the relaxed approach, good thing that craft paint comes off of gold velvet pretty well.

Greg was careful and studious as always mixing his colors for the perfect balance that pleased his engineer self..  Did I also mention that the sun was shining through my french windows in a blinding way?? ..  I love the afternoon light in this room but wow it made it hard to take photos.

We missed having this beauty with us, but she was celebrating the first half of T-day with her boyfriend's family but did catch up with us in time to have some Turkey and a bit of pie!

 Ok.. back to work - After everyone was thrilled with their swirl of colors we took the ornaments over the trash and shook out the extra paint. Then wiped away smudges on the outside and let them sit to dry. After that it was easy to pop back on the little silver caps and be done!

I will add ribbons and hang tags this week and out they will go with all of our love to family far away.

The shiny nature of the plastic or the glass makes any paint look fantastic, so feel free to give it a try with whatever you might have!

Now it is your turn to share.. Do you make ornaments as part of your tradition, if so tell us about them!


Diane R said...

One of my favorites is to recycle Christmas cards into a garland. I prefer using the 2 inch circle punch, but you can use whatever punch tickles your fancy. Punch out your favorite part of the cards you receive - the smiling Santa, the top of the chritmas tree, whatever. Then punch out the name of the person who sent it (or part of the enclosed newsletter or family photo). Glue these two pieces together, so you have a front and back. If you really have your craft on, you can gussie it up with ribbon or lace or whatever around the edges, too. Then punch small holes on the left and right side so they can be tied or strung together, garland style. Use the garland for decorating - swag it up the stairs, outline a door, etc. If it is tied with string, you can even cut it to fit and then tie it back together again. After the holidays before you put it away, go through your cards and add this year's circles to it. It is amazing how it grows from year to year...a colorful reminder of family and friends, with their names (usually in their own hand writing)and pictures.

Audrey Pettit said...

I just love these ornaments, Maddie! Such a great projects for kids to get involved in, too. I LOVE that your boys were crafting with you. Handmade ornaments are very special to me. I try to make some every year for family and friends. And definitely one very special one for each of my kids every year. I figure that by the time they move out and start having their own trees, they will have a fairly good collection of ornaments to get them started.

from the SpiritsFold said...

One year we threaded clear beads in graduated sizes onto wire or white pipe cleaners, the pipe cleaners are easier for my young granddaughters to handle, to make "icicles". We have strung large wooden beads onto string for "garland". Cinnamon and applesauce with a little glue make a dough that can be rolled out and cut with gingerbread boy/girl cookie cutters, dried and hung with ribbon. We try to come up with something new each year. Happy holidays!

Allison said...

So cute! I will have to try this in that week between school getting out and Christmas!

Round Rock Gal said...

Wow! What a great idea. So simple and so lovely. This sounds like a great weekend project. Time to head to Hobby Lobby!