Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas Ornaments

December is here!  Christmas isn't far away.  It's too early to start baking but it's not too early to get in on some holiday fun.  

The ornaments on my Christmas tree are a mix of things my children have made over the years and the "new" ornament we get each year.  That is a tradition that my dear Mother always did.  Each year there was a new set or ornaments, one for each of those in the house and if not matching exactly then obviously part of a set.  

In the lean years, we made ornaments.  One year, she got some little plastic figures from the manger scene, like the biggest plastic person was about an inch tall.  We took the tops and bottoms out of tuna fish cans and covered the can with felt and brick-a-brack from her sewing box.  We then tied a string around it so it would hang in such a way that you were looking at a circle.  I hope that makes sense.  We'd glue cotton balls where the bottom of the circle was and the glue the little plastic characters on the cotton.  I wish I had a picture of those to share.

There are ornaments you can make with your children rather inexpensively.

The picture here shows some of the ornaments that my kids have made over the years.  Some of these were made through school and some through Girl Scouts and some just because there was boredom in the house. 

The one on the upper left is great for little kids.  It is just a clear glass bulb that we removed the hanger out of the top.  Then covered the entire bulb in Elmer's glue, just plain white school glue.  I put glitter on a paper plate and let the kids roll the bulb in it, they also used their hands to sprinkle it on.  This is not a non-messy project but they sure do have fun with it.  You can spray a clear sealer over it if you'd like but we didn't and this one in the picture is at least 15 years old.

The one on the upper right is so easy.  It is just a colored bulb that you can use paint or a colored sharpie to write their name on it.  Then you glue it to an ice cream cone.  Again, with Elmer's school glue.  Easy.

The lower left is a little more challenging.  Start with the same clear glass bulb and remove the topper that it hangs from.  Break up potpourri and carefully put it down inside of the bulb until it is full.  Put the top back on the ornament.  Then take some lace that has some holes in it that you can weave a thin ribbon through.  Use the ribbon to bunch up the lace and tie it around the top of the ornament.  We make the ribbon match the color of the potpourri but you can use whatever you like.  These smell fabulous too!

Finally, the one on the lower right is easy but requires some patience.  Again, start with clear glass bulbs.  Remove the top and put a little paint inside.  Not a lot and roll it around to get the paint down in it.  Wait a bit and add some more and do the same thing.  You don't want to use too much paint at a time as it will pool in the bottom of the ornament, too little and it won't cover all the glass on the inside.  It really works well if you can let it sit for 10-15 minutes between colors to allow it to tack up so that when you add more paint, it won't become a muddled mess.  I have one or two that ended up that way and they're on the tree too!

These are just a few ideas of things that we've done over the years.  The best part isn't in what ornament you decide to make or how beautiful it is, it's about having fun with your family.  Making something together.  That years from now, you will look at your Christmas tree and think "I remember how much fun we had making that one!"  

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