Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Ornament Tutorials...

"A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, But softly gives itself away ."

~Eva Logue~

(Image from Karen's yWhimsy)

I know that Christmas is upon us and most of us have our Christmas crafting all done and are in the throws of baking and wrapping but I wanted to share a few ornament tutorials with you anyway. You can tuck these ideas away for next year or you might need a quick little last minute handmade gift or package topper. I'll add these to my tutorial link blog for easy access in the future. You can access all my tutorial links by clicking on the little birds nest on my sidebar.
I had a request from Bonita (her blogs, here and here) and from Rose (her blog here) for tutorials on a couple of the ornaments I made this year and I thought I would share them with you in this post. My Vintage Paper Snowflakes were a huge hit this year and I thought you might like to make some too.I am also sharing the process for the ornaments on my tree which are all pretty quick and easy. Some of the instructions do not include step~by~step photos as is the norm here but, I did not photograph them as I made them and I don't have time right now to make up samples showing the steps. If anything is not clear, just email me or leave a comment and I will try to clarify for you.

MATERIALS (needed per ornament):

*Plastic Glitter Snowflake
*6 to 12 ~ 1 1/2 inch squares of vintage paper such as sheet music or book pages NOTE: The amount of squares per ornament depends upon if you want a 6 pointed or 12 pointed snowflake.
*Mini clothespins
*1 inch paper or card stock circle matching the color of your snowflake

*6 inches of 24 gauge wire
*Beads of your choice, I used a mixture of vintage, plastic, and glass
*Embellishments of your choice
*Clear drying glue
*Hot glue and glue gun
*Ribbon for hanging

*Curl paper squares into small cones, run a bead of clear drying glue along one seam, fold edge over and hold for a moment to let glue take hold. Pin mini clothes pin to the glued seam to hold it until it dries. Repeat of as many cones as you need for your ornament.*Using your 6 inch piece of wire, bead and wire a dangle for your snowflake.
*Wrap wire around one tip of snowflake a couple of times.
* Bring wire end around to the back of the snowflake and bend and smooth towards the center of the snowflake. Add a generous bead of hot glue to the center of the snowflake right over the end of the wire and place the 1 inch round of matching paper or card stock on top of the glue, hold in place until glue sets. This will not only secure the wire but finish off the back of your ornament nicely.
*Flip ornament over and straighten dangle end.
*Using the snowflake tip directly across from the dangle end, thread your ribbon tie through the openings on either side of the tip, knot, leaving the long ends loose for tying onto the tree. Be generous with this ribbon using at least 18 inches, ends can always be clipped if needed.
*Remove clips from paper cones. Each plastic snowflake has 12 points, this makes laying out your paper cones very easy, for a 6 pointed star just hot glue six cones to every other point as shown below:
For the 12 point snowflake, layout as below:*Brush clear drying glue inside each cone tip and glitter. You can glitter all your cone tips before assembly if desired.Now for the fun part!

*Embellish the center of your snowflake in any way you wish.

In the sample below I used a snippet of vintage crochet lace, a crepe paper rosette made from very old crepe paper, and a vintage look felt flower embellishment. These snowflakes not only look stunning on a tree or in a garland but make pretty package toppers too! That is why I don't have any on my tree, they will be on top of packages under it.What else can you do with tiny paper cones? By inking the edges and folding down one corner before assembly you can make tiny cones like these:I added a tiny wire handle by hot gluing it to the inside of the cone sides, added a snippet of real moss and tiny paper punched bird (Martha Stewart Paper Bird Punch) to the "nest", finishing it off with a vintage shell button and a pearl bead to the tip. I will glue these onto place cards for my table setting!

For my tree ornaments I made a variety of styles using vintage glass balls as the base. I found a bag of 63 balls for $2.50 at a flea market and decided to repuropse some of them. The first step to using them was to remove the chipped cracked paint so that anything I glued to them would stick and give way with the loose paint.

To remove the color from old Christmas balls, place them in the sink and run cold water over them. The paint will loosen and slide right off. I only did this with those garish royal blue ones, I just don't like them so they got used in these projects. The paint comes off and you are left with a shiny silver mercury looking ball, great to use as is. Allow to air dry completely before embellishing.


You will need:
*Masking Tape
*Paper Towel
*Brown Shoe Polish
*Embellishments of your choice

Getting started:
*Tear off pieces of masking tape and begin taping the ornament with the jagged edges covering any straight edges. Tape the whole ball and burnish the tape down.

*Using paper towel, rub brown shoe polish all over ball.

*Glue on ornament cap and embellish as desired.

You will need:
*Chenille Yarn
*Hot glue & glue gun

Getting Started:
*Start at the top of the ornament by adding a bit of hot glue to secure the yarn end.
*Continue adding glue and wrapping yarn until whole ball is covered.
*Glue on ornament cap.
*Embellish as desired.

You will need:
*Hammered Finish Spray Paint ~ I used RUST~OLEUM Copper Hammered
*Clothes hanger

Getting Started:
*Tie no more than three ornaments to a clothes hanger with twine.
*Following paint can directions, spray ornaments.

NOTE: These ornaments will drip a bit, do this outside in a well ventilated area. I hung mine in a tree and dabbed the drip on the bottom with a paper towel to remove excess. Allow to dry completely.

*Clip twine and remove ornament from hanger.

*Glue on ornament cap.

*Embellish as desired.

You will need:
*Cream colored spray paint
*Clothes Hanger
*Clear Drying Glue ~ I used Matte Gel Medium
*Paint brush

Getting started:
*Tie no more than three balls to a clothes hanger with twine. Spray paint them with the cream paint in a well ventilated area. This might drip too so you might want to do these outside also. Allow to dry completely.

*Glue on ornament cap.

*Dab gel medium on one half of the ornament kind of thick and glitter. Allow to dry and then repeat for the other half of the ornament.

*Embellish as desired.

NOTE: To fashion a tattered muslin rose, follow the directions for making a ribbon rose HERE, only use a torn strip of muslin. I rubbed brown ink over the tattered edges to antique the rose. For the leaves on this one I used some silk wedding floral leaves. I inked them all over in brown ink then brushed on gel medium and glittered with mica flakes.

You will need:
*Matte Gel Medium
*Paint Brush

Getting Started:
*Dab gel medium on one half of the ornament kind of thick and glitter. Allow to dry and then repeat for the other half of the ornament.

*Glue on ornament cap.

*Embellish as desired.

You will need:
*Vintage paper scraps
*Matte Gel Medium
*Paint Brush
*Tissue Paper

Getting Started:
*To make working with the ball easier I glued on the ornament cap first and allowed to dry. Then I inserted a wooded skewer into the ornament opening and taped it securely, inserting the skewer into a block of foam to hold it while I worked.*Tear small pieces of tissue paper.
*Spread glue over section of ornament and place tissue paper over it, lightly brushing more glue onto it to stick it down. Repeat process until whole ball is covered. Allow to dry.NOTE: You are building a base with this step so that your vintage papers will stick, otherwise they will slide all over the place and not stick well.*Once ornament is dry, repeat gluing process only this time apply your vintage papers in a random fashion until whole ball is covered. Allow to dry.
*Embellish if desired.

I hung all these ornaments with hand stamped torn muslin ribbons. To make your own ribbons you will need:

*Ink Pad
*Rubber stamps of your choice
*Old press cloth
*Hot dry iron ~ cotton setting

Getting Started:
*Determine the length you want your ribbons to be and cut your muslin to that length.

*Make a small snip near both of the outside edges with a scissor and rip the muslin leaving a raw edge.

*Begin by inking your stamp and stamping a row of your chosen image down the length of the muslin.*Leave a small gap and repeat stamping process until you have as many rows stamped as you need for ribbons. Allow ink to dry.*Cover stamped images with an old press cloth and iron to heat set the ink with a dry iron on a cotton setting.

*Snip between each ribbon row with a scissor and then rip the fabric to create your ribbon.
*Remove any excess threads

*Place ribbon strips face down on press cloth and press out rolled edges.Use your custom stamped ribbons on ornaments, to tie up packages, or to add to your artwork.

PAPER BIRD COLLAGE ORNAMENT:I added a few of these quick easy paper birds to my tree and thought you might enjoy them too. I am giving you patterns in two sizes, large and small birds.

As I am working on projects I keep a piece of brown tag board handy and when the scraps pile up I grab a glue stick and randomly glue them down until I have the whole page covered in scraps. It looks like a hot mess! That is what I used for the back ground of my little paper birds. You can use plain, printed, or vintage paper, what ever you wish to make your flights of fancy.

*Print out Bird Pattern on card stock and cut out pattern pieces.

*Trace onto card stock.

*Spray glue back side of tracing and apply to your choice of paper and cut out.

*Glue mirror image of birds together being sure printed paper sides are out.

* Spray glue back side of tail and wings and glue to printed paper of your choice and cut out.

*Punch hole where indicated on the pattern and snip on lines where indicated on pattern.

*Thread string, twine, ribbon, etc. through hole for hanging bird.

*Fold bird tail and wings in half and insert into slots.
*Dab hot glue to wings and tail near slits and hold until glue is set.

*Curl wings out a little and embellish as desired.

NOTE: If you want all the bird parts edges inked, do so before assembly on front and back sides of pieces.

NOTE: To save patterns to your computer, click on photo to enlarge. Right click on enlargement and choose, "save image as" to save to your computer.


OK, that's all I have for you today! I have a center piece that has no center so I need to get that figured out so I can finish wrapping gifts. I hope your day is merry and bright!

Miss Sandy


Vickie said...

Wow, Miss Sandy - those are some awesome ornaments! Much prettier than the store-bought ones AND made with love!

Just stopping by to wish you and yours a very Merry CHRISTmas!

Lorrie said...

Just beautiful, Miss Sandy! I've printed out the patterns and hope to squeeze in some time to make a couple of birds as package embellishments. Or, if not this year...then next.

Merry Christmas,

Lululiz said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the tutorials, thank you so much for spending precious time to post these.

Myrnie said...

You are such a generous artist- these are lovely (and I'm now kicking myself for not picking up the large, $2, bag of ornament balls I saw at the thrift store on Saturday!)

I shared something on my blog today I thought you might like- a little Christmas music!

Celestial Charms said...

Miss Sandy, thank you ever so much for these lovely ornament tutorials. I know they will not only come in handy for Christmas time, but also for Valentines Day, which dare I mention...is only around the corner :)
Thanks for sharing!

Charlene said...

You are soooooooooo sweet to share these tutorials!!!! I love Christmas time & the whole season that surrounds it but, I think I am just pooped now. How about you? Hugs! Charlene

Bonita said...

Wow, Sandy! Thank you so much for going to so much trouble right here at Christmas to share these tutorials. I really appreciate them! These ornaments are stunning and I hope to try some in the future. Thank you for the step-by-step intructions. Have an extremely Merry Christmas!

Claudia said...

These are exquisite, Sandy! You are truly, truly talented. I thank you for all these tutorials and hope to make some of these myself!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Vee said...

Okay, that's just it. I am going to absolutely make something tomorrow that I don't have to eat. LOL! Oh my, Miss Sandy, are these creations ever gorgeous. I love the little birds and the star and all the ones in between. Think I'll try the birds first. Thanks!

Laurie said...

Sandy, you are so incredibly generous and big-hearted to share all this beauty and expertise with us! Thank you! Merry Christmas!

David said...

I am amazed by your creativity!

Lorrie said...

Hello Sandy,

Just to let you know that I made three of the bird ornaments yesterday and posted a photo on my blog. I used them to embellish a few special gifts and they add a lot of style under my tree.

Thank you so much for sharing your creativity.


Elizabeth said...

Miss Sandy,

Your tutorials are so wonderful, detailed and iinspiring. You should sell them in an online shop.

I am wishing you a wonderful Christmas, full of God's blessings now and always!

Flower said...

Wow....what a talent you have!
You make everthing looks so easy but elegant! Thanks!
Have a blessed holiday..and Merry Christmas!

KathyB. said...

These are all so beautiful I cold not pick a favorite excepting if I HAD to it would have to have a bird in it! I think I will be making and taking time to craft using your ideas come January. Your techniques can be used in so many creative ways to suit so many themes and types of decor', thank-you and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

BellaRosa said...

Sandy amor, I finally got the chance to come and visit you, I got your note ty! I have been helping my mama get things done for Christmas, my tree is still not up, but hers is and that is all that matters, seeing her smile each time the tree lights up is worth it...When I saw the snowflake tutorial my eyes watered, when I saw all your other ornament tutorials....the tears flowed free...because of your generous heart...you and Dawn have been such an inspiration and you both have the biggest hearts..Thank you!
I plan on coming back right after Christmas and start printing everything out :) Besos, Rose

p.s. I hope you have a beautiful & wonderful Christmas and that your wrist is doing much better :)

Decor To Adore said...

Love truly lives in the details.

May the peace of the season be yours.

Karen Valentine said...

Miss Sandy, you are my arts and crafts hero!!! I have loved everything that you have shown here. My bird tree in the front room needed a face lift and I wasn't coming up with anything right. Next year it's going to be exactly the way I've always wanted it, all because of you. You have REALLY inspired me this year. Thank you so much for sharing your talent. It's been such a wonderful gift to me. Have a wonderful Christmas and God Bless you and your family.

My Desert Cottage

JD/ Jill said...

You are so creative, thank you for sharing the bird pattern...

Tricia said...

These ornaments are so beautiful. I just discovered your blog. It is wonderful. You are so very talented and creative. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. Hope you enjoyed your break. Hope to visit again soon.


Deborah said...

I can't begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed finding your blog. when is your book coming out? I can't wait to get my copy. I adore how creative you are and your Victorian sensibilities. You have given me some great idea. I particularly love how you use things I already have and not exotic materials I would have to source and run out and buy. I also love how kind you are to share the instructions. I can just imagine how long it took for you to write those up and take and add the pictures. Please write a book. I will buy it.

marie said...

Your blog is so beautiful and so full of love and inspiration. Your kindness in sharing blesses my heart.

These tutorials are wonderful and I can't wait to try my hand at creating some of these beautiful things.

The paper cone ornaments are simply stunning...I think I'll be trying those first.

I'm so glad I found your blog and I will visit often.

Have a joy-filled day Miss Sandy!

crazypatch said...

This tutorials are very beautiful. thank,

awal.ny said...

I just love all of your creative ornaments. I think my favorite are the little music paper cones with the birds in them.

Rhissanna said...

Wow! Such a lot of beautiful ideas! And thank you for the tip on taking the paint of old plastic baubles. I have the blue ones, too, and they really don't go with anything else.

Rhissanna said...

And, oh wow! You're playing the snow dance song from Edward Scissorhands! My fav!

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