Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What I've Been Working On: 15 years of Handmade Christmas Ornaments

One year my mom decorated her entire Christmas tree in pink and silver.  Another year, she and my sister spent a couple of hours hot-gluing real candy to the branches of their live tree.  They didn't even bother getting the ornaments out that year. 

My theme, on the other hand, is always the same- handmade eclectic!  Every year I make a new set of ornaments to put on our tree.  The old broken ones get tossed and the new ones get added.  I let the kids put up the tree.  The only thing I do is hand out the ornaments so they can't rummage through the box and break things.  Our tree will never be magazine-worthy but we love it!

I thought I'd share some of the ornaments we have done over the years.  These are sort of in chronological order.  (Most of them aren't dated.)  All of these are handmade but not all by me. We do have a few store-bought ornaments on there because one year my sister complained that we didn't have enough "sparkle" on the tree and proceeded to buy us a set of ornaments the next year (even after I told her that I only wanted to use handmade ones).  I put them up so as not to insult her.  It's not worth fighting over...

Anyway, here they are (be warned, this is long):

I'm pretty sure this is our oldest ornament.  Rock made this in scouts years ago.  It's a coke can.  They cut the top off and then cut the sides of the can into strips and curled the strips around a pencil to make a wreath.  Hmm, one of these years I might have to make these with the kids... (Yes that's hubby's picture in the middle, wasn't he cute?)
I made this when I was a teenager.  One of my few attempts to tole paint.  I quit when I decided I wasn't going to get any better!
I worked in a ceramic shop the year after graduation.  That's when I made these cat ornaments.  There used to be some reindeer as well but the kids broke all of them.  I loved painting ceramics...

This one and the next were made of styrofoam balls wrapped in scraps of fancy trim and sequins.

Pompoms and hot glue.  What more can I say?

I was a huge Garfield fan when I was young.  These were made of shrink plastic, using pictures from a Garfield coloring book.  The kids always fight over these two.

When we first met, Rock sent me a dozen roses at work with a poem.  (We got married 6 weeks later.)  I dried the roses and put them in 3 clear plastic bulbs and added some ribbon trim.  I think these are my favorite ornaments.

We were pretty poor after we first got married so I made these origami stars out of wrapping paper and glitter glue.  Most of them have been crushed now, but I still have a few.

Mom knew we didn't have money for ornaments that first year so she and my Grandma made me these huge styrofoam and colored plastic wrap lollipops.  The kids have destroyed all but this one and it's in pretty sad shape too.

These were the first ornaments I made with the kids.  We drew all over some aluminum foil with permanent markers and then carefully wrapped the foil around styrofoam balls.  Added a hanging loop and a ribbon and we were good to go.

Ahh, my frogs.  My sister loves frogs so I decided to make ornaments for her one year.  I loved them so much I made a set for myself.  They are made out of craft foam and hot glue.

Mom made these ones.  Glazed ceramic, decal flowers and silk flowers on top.  They look breakable but they really aren't too bad.

I did an ornament exchange with a bunch of women on my favorite homeschooling message board one year.  This one was my favorite.  I don't know how she knitted such tiny stuff but I love them!

This one's a little goofy looking but I was in charge of weekly activities for the 8-9 year old girls at our church one year.  We made these angels out of the old-fashioned clothespins, wired ribbon, lace, pipecleaners and other stuff.  They had a lot of fun making them.
And, of course we can't forget the beaded ornaments.  These were actually made over several years.  Some of them are woven and some are made with pipecleaners.  I made a few, mom made a few, and mother in law made some of them- even my daughters made some!

This one's woven.

Beads, lace and pipecleaner.


And this one is my son's contribution to the Christmas tree this year.  I turned him loose with the box of pipecleaners and some basic instruction and this is what he came up with.

Well, that's it.  Are you thoroughly bored yet?  Have you ever made Christmas ornaments for your tree?


1 comment:

  1. That's a great idea for the rose petals. I saved all the petals from our wedding and keep them in a fancy bowl but they tend to get dusty so now they're in a ziplock which detracts from the pretty. I'm going to have to get some of those clear balls!