I previously bought a box of plastic rhinestones with pointed backs for a project that did not work out, so I have re-purposed them as a wonderful Christmas ornament.
Styrofoam ball (3″)
Pointed back rhinestones
Small piece of wire
To start this project, I made a loop with the small piece of wire and pressed it into the Styrofoam ball and super glued it to provide a place to put the tree hook.
Next, I started pressing in the pointed backs of the rhinestones to form small depressions in the Styrofoam ball. I then placed a drop or two of super glue in the depression and added a rhinestone. I kept working circles around the foam ball to the bottom and I was done.
This will look absolutely fabulous on our Christmas tree. The lights will just make it glitter and glow!
Day 11! Today I made some pine cones out of chenille pipe cleaners. Specifically, I made them out of chenille bump stems in a lovely light brown color.
Chenille bump stems (brown)
Large wooden beads
First, I made leaflets with the chenille stems as shown above to create layers of pine cone scales. Next, I glued a bead on the underside of one layer and glued another layer to the bead, as show below, using tacky glue. This can take a little bit of time as you want to let the tacky glue dry really well before you add another layer of leaflets.
I was working on three at once, so I kept them all in a neat pile with their corresponding beads.
I will say that the wooden beads in the middle of the picture worked the best. Made a nice sturdy and pretty pine cone.
Then, I cut individual scales from the felt to make the tops of the pine cones. I glued these with the tacky glue into sets of three. I put 6-7 of these trios on each pine cone. I put I also cut 1/4″ x 3/4″ strips of felt in the same color and glued them into rolls to make the stems of the pine cones.
You can see above where I glued the stems to the top of the pine cones and then added the felt leaflets around the stem.
Once everything had dried, I them touched up all the connecting points with super glue to make sure that everything would stay together and form a strong bond. At this point, you could easily add a tree hook to the top and hang them from the tree. That would look really nice. I have another purpose for these that you will see in about a week.
Day 10 and I am neck deep in crafting supplies. My house is truly a disaster. Maybe my final advent picture should be of the absolute mess I have made.
Today is a very simple and easy ornament you can do with your kids.
Paper cutter (scissors work just fine too)
I cut strips of paper in varying lengths between 4″ and 7″ long and 1/2″ and 1″ wide and in varying colors, then formed circles and glued the edges together. Then I selected the circles I thought looked best together and glued these together making sure the glued edges where on top of each other. Once they were dry, I tied a ribbon to the top, dabbed a bit of glue on the ribbon knot so that it did not come undone and attached a tree hook.
This one is so easy I felt I needed to pay a cat tax.
Day 8 and I went for an easier project today as I am working on two of the future advent projects already. The snowflake confetti I bought has come is so handy throughout this year’s advent and even a small bag of it was a LOT of confetti. I am just now halfway through with the bag.
Clear glass ornament ball
I pulled the top off the ornament and filled it full of snowflake confetti and glitter, then put the top back on the ball. I did fold up the arms of the snowflake confetti before I stuffed it inside. I then took the thin wire and made a loop then threaded some pieces of ribbon on it. I then used a jump ring to connect it to the ball. Done!
Placemats and another awesome wreath are in the works. You should see them soon!
It has been a nice, quiet Sunday around here today. A positively beautiful day that my dogs are thoroughly enjoying.
We are now at day six and I have a really awesome ornament for you today. I have this bag of plastic snowflake confetti that I have been using for various projects and I made up this confetti ornament last night.
3″ Styrofoam ball
Small piece of wire
Nail set (not necessary, but I found this very helpful)
I took my small piece of wire and made a loop that I stuck into the top of the ball and super glued. This gave me my loop for the tree hook. This appears to to be the start of all my Styrofoam ornaments.
I bent up the snowflake arms of the confetti to give my ball a 3-D appearance. Next, I started pinning the bent snowflakes to the foam ball with the sequin pins. I pinned these in circles around the ball. I snugged them all together so they the bent snowflake arms are all intertwined and there is very little of the foam ball showing.
I used the 1/32″ Nail Set to push the pins in all the way so I would not bend up the confetti snowflakes. The nail set is a simple tool from the hardware store, used to inset nails in trim and such. You can see it in the photos below. It worked great for this project. It even had a small cup on the end so the pin doesn’t slide around as you push the pin into the ball.
After starting this ornament, I thought that it might be very pretty to have painted the ball before adding the snowflakes. I wanted a very white ornament to contrast to the green tree, so I left mine white. I made a small ribbon bow and attached it to the top of the ball with the tree hook.
I do not recommend dropping this ball on the floor if you have carpet and pets. I have a lot of dog fur on my floor no matter how many times I sweep and I was terrified that I would drop the ball and end up with it covered in fur. The bent arms of the confetti snowflakes make them almost velcro-like in its ability to pick up lint and fur. I didn’t drop it, but I just wanted to forewarn anyone else who made this.
Ha Ha! I got both my projects finished today! My project for day 5 is an ornament (Styrofoam base) that I covered with strips of red and green paper, then finished off with some wired silver/multicolor mini-garland.
I took the small piece of wire and formed a loop at one end. I stuck the other end through one sequin then stuck the wire into the Styrofoam ball. Then using the super glue, I glued it securely. This gave me somewhere to safe to attach my tree hook at the top of the ball.
My next step was to cut lots of 1/4″ by 2″ strips of green and red paper. In reality, I only used 2″ x 10″ pieces of paper in each color and cut them all into my 1/4″ strips. I then folded these strips in half. I grabbed a sequin pin, put a silver sequin on and then attached the folded paper to the ball with the pin/sequin.
I did seven rows of these, with no particular spacing, just what I thought looked good, and covered about 2/3 of the ball, leaving the top uncovered. Lastly, I took the silver/multicolor wired mini-garland (trim ribbon) and pinned it to the ball in circles to cover the rest of the ball.
Since I had already put in the wire loop for the hook, all I needed to do was add a green tree hook and I was done!
I like this one and ended up curling the ends of the paper strips to give the ornament more depth. I think it looks like a Christmas acorn.
I made it to day 3 of the Christmas countdown! This feels a bit monumental, as we have been absent from craft blogging for so long.
Today, I made little tree ornaments out of foam sheets (Foamies) in various shades of green.
First my materials:
Small plastic snowflakes
Head pins with eyes
Tiny jingle bells
4 sheets of green Foamie sheets
Wire cutters and pliers
Pointed yarn darning needle
Circle cutter (Thank you Martha Stewert)
Superglue (not pictured)
I used my circle cutter to cut out 24 circles of various sizes of green foam from 1″ to 2″ in diameter. I then poked a hole in the center of the plastic snowflakes and the green circles with the darning needle. Using the head pins, I slid on one snowflake, one circle, and another snowflake, twisted a loop and cut the wire. I ended up making 24 of these and then using the jump rings, I strung them together for a total of eight green circles on each ornament. I attached a single jingle bell to the last foam circle with a jump ring to add a little fun and noise.
Lastly, I cut three more circles at 1 1/2″ diameter and cut them in half. I glued these into cones with superglue and then slid another snowflake on a headpin, then poked the headpin through the bottom of the cone, made a loop at the top of the cone and attached an ornament hook. I used another jump ring to attach the cone to the rest of the tree ornament and Voila! I was finished.
I am very happy with how these turned out. My one recommendation is to use a circle cutter as cutting these out by hand makes them look very lopsided and wrong. The circle cutter makes them perfect and even.
Loryn: I had some vintage green corduroy that I wanted to make into an ornament, so I made up the tree before deciding how to decorate it. I’ve collected buttons since we inherited my great-grandmother’s button box when I was six, so buttons seemed like a natural fit. Quilting or embroidery would look great, too!
To get started, I drew out a couple tree shapes onto my corduroy, then decided which one I liked best.
Then I stitched the tree, leaving an opening to turn and stuff it.
Then I cut out the tree. It’s much easier to sew an irregular shape if you wait and cut it out afterwards.
Then I turned the tree right side out.
Then pick out what embellishments you want to use. I picked out buttons for each side of the tree.
Lightly stuff the tree with batting and stitch the opening closed.
To sew the buttons on, add one at the front and one at the back and stitch both on at the same time. When finished sewing through both button shanks or holes twice, make a quick knot underneath the button, and run the needle through the middle of the ornament to the next button location, without cutting the thread.
Make a hanging loop at the top after you’ve sewn on the “stars” and your tree is ready to hang!
Lynne : This is my second ornament for our 2013 countdown. I am in love with trees right now and have been drawing them over and over so it seemed natural to find an ornament that looked like a tree. I was browsing through google images and I found this article from Just Something I Made by Cathe Holden about how to make bottle brush trees. Since I do not have much need for bottle brushes any more I was delighted to find that she uses rope and wire for her trees and shapes them with scissors. And as a bonus I could use my Copic airbrush system to color the trees.
You will need these things:
Rope (sisal, jute, or any twisted fiber)
Hook (shaped from a wire coat hanger or from a small S-hook)
Vise (or something that will hold the wires securely when twisting them with the drill)
Copic airbrush (optional)
I already had some jute, but when I untwisted the fibers I thought they were too fuzzy and too fragile. I made a trip to the hardware store and found some thick rope that is used on farms. (I remember swinging on the hay ropes as a child. When my grandparents weren’t looking of course.) I cut my rope into lengths of 3 to 4 inches and then began to untwist the fibers. When I had an amount that looked like it would make a full Christmas tree I laid the fiber between the wires as described in the tutorial. It is so nice that you can make two at once by cutting on the diagonal.
I didn’t have a wire coat hanger to make into a hook for the drill because I don’t like the sound they make rattling in the closet. So I took an S-hook and straightened one end so that it would fit into the drill. You can see it in the drill in the photo. I put the wire ends in my vise and inserted the hook in the top of the wire and the wire began to spiral just like it was supposed to. I noticed that the fiber also tangles and you do need to spend some time straightening and combing the fibers to approximate the shape of your tree. Then I used small scissors to cut the final shape. It’s best to do this over something you can throw away because the fibers are very small and sticklish.
When I had the shape I wanted I looked for something to hold them while I spray painted them and found an empty Kleenex box. The wires poked in easily and the setup worked, but I think I’d rather have had a piece of styrofoam. I’m sure we’ll have some after unwrapping presents and I intend to save a piece for a painting stand.
To color the trees I used mostly blues and yellows and finished with a dark green. I start with the lightest yellow and spray the whole tree. Then I concentrate yellow on the ends of the branches using what yellows look good on the fibers. I then use blues from the lightest to the darkest making sure that the lightest yellows remain as free as possible of the blues. The yellows and blues make a lovely variety of shades of green as they are sprayed one on top of the other. I use a dark green to deepen the shadows between the branches to create more depth in the tree. I touch up the yellow and the tree is almost done.
I bent the stem wire with pliers into an X-shape for the bases, but you could use cork or wood or just about anything for a base.
These trees look so good and once you have everything laid out, they work up very quickly. I hope you have as much fun making them as I did.
Loryn: I’ve been doing a lot of sewing and beading for Christmas this year, and I wanted to make an ornament that would come together pretty quickly. I used a scrap of vintage silk and rayon velvet. This miniature stocking is perfect for tiny scraps that you might have lying around – I used less than 5 square inches for the stocking. I sewed it by hand because the fabric is so slippery, but you could use a machine if your fabric isn’t so touchy. I had planned to make a cuff, but it was too small to fold over the stocking body. That’s why I made a simulated cuff with the beads. I also made the toe way too big, so I cut it off and reshaped the bottom. Little pieces like this are fun because even when it goes wrong, you can still end up with a cute result.
Here you can see the beaded detail. I used number 15s and gold delicas for a little sparkle. I sewed the beads on in groups of three. The stocking is very cute, and you could easily make a dozen to decorate a small tree! — Loryn