Friday, March 23, 2012

Homemade Christmas Tree Ornaments

This is what happens to me every time I sign up to do a Super Saturday - I sign up for, like, three crafts, and then I only have time to complete one while I'm there. And I have to do the rest at home. I really need to stop doing that.

Anywho, one of the crafts at my mom's Super Saturday was glass etching. I dithered for a long time on whether I wanted to do it, because something about glass etching feels so eighties to me, you know? But I thought long and hard about it and went to Porter's for inspiration. And there I found some square glass ornaments. Really cute. And I thought, I'm going to fill these ornaments with something dark and then etch the glass on the outside. Perfect. I got some cute Martha Stewart stencils to use for the etching part.

I wanted to make the ornaments for my sister, Beads. We sisters rotate who gives whom gifts for Christmas every year, and I had her this year. And may I say that my family is so sweet when it comes to me and my silly gifts. I make a lot of them, and they aren't necessarily what my family members want or need, but they are gracious when I make them stuff for presents. Beads's tree is decorated in navy blue and silver. I figured I'd fill the ornaments with navy-colored stuff, and then etch the outside and it would look great.

So I took my ornaments with me to my mom's Super Saturday, applied the stencils, applied the etching chemical, and....nada. It didn't work. That was when I realized that I hadn't gotten real glass ornaments - I had gotten craft glass ornaments:

And apparently, craft glass is kind of plastic-ey. Or maybe all plastic-ey. Who knows?? So it turns out that I didn't have to worry about the eighties-ness of etching, after all. :) Because there was no way the etching chemical was going to work on these.

I decided to use those same stencils and paint them the outside of the ornaments, still filling them with...something.

So here's what I came up with.

There is this special glue that you can pour into these ornaments - it's very liquid-ey, almost waterey. So you pour some in, shake it up so the whole inside of the ornament is coated, and then pour fine glitter in. Then you shake it some more, and voila, you have a glitterey ornament:

After much searching, I also found some navy blue glitter, but for some reason, it wouldn't stick. It all just fell to the bottom, despite applying glue first. Which was weird. So that didn't work out.

Then I found this amazing stuff called alcohol ink. Oh my gosh, it is soooo fun to play with. And you actually apply it to the outside of the ornament. You just drip a few drips on the outside and smudge it around with a sponge. And it spreads and just does cool, funky things on its own. Drip, smudge. Drip, smudge. And it dries quite quickly. Here is the result:

I just love the way that looks.

I thought I'd get a similar result with the silver-colored alcohol ink. Turns out, nope:

No matter how much I dripped and smudged, it turned out to be a very matte finish. Which was fine.

Then I messed with doing both together. Because the silver doesn't spread like the blue, it was interesting, but still kind of a fun result:

I still had several more ornaments I needed to figure out. I searched high and low for navy blue stuff and really was coming up empty. I finally found this cool yarn and decided to cut the poofy navy parts off it and stuff one of the ornaments:

It took every single navy blue poof to fill that sucker:

I have some Christmas tree garland in my storage room that I've used before and really liked, but I didn't want to spend any more money on stuff (I'm sure my husband would have agreed with that sentiment), so I cut the garland apart and dropped just the silver beads into another ornament:

Oh my gosh, never again. It took FOREVER:

And it ended up making the ornament really heavy - Brianna has to kind of rest the ornament on a sturdy bough of her tree, because it's too heavy and the top keeps popping off.

You live and learn, eh?

I forgot to take individual pictures of the two ornaments I stuffed with bits of cut-up, navy blue tinsel. I liked how those ones turned out, too.

Once all my ornaments were painted/glittered/stuffed, I put those stencils on top and painted them just with acrylic paint. They do sell metallic silver acrylic paint, thank goodness. And of course they sell navy. After I painted each one, I sprayed it with that glossy finishing stuff. And topped each with a pretty ribbon. Here are the finished ornaments:

That is supposed to be holly on the silver glittery one. Hard to tell. That didn't end up looking so good. It was the bigger stencils that turned out better, I think.

Beads loved the ornaments and proudly displayed them on her tree. We skyped with her on Christmas Eve and she took her laptop up to the tree so she could show me how she hung them up. She's so cute. That girl has GOT to move back out west. For reals, yo.

So yeah, for the funkiness of the navy alcohol ink and the crispness of the silver snowflake stenciled on top, that is definitely my favorite ornament of the eight. Which one is yours?


Monique Kent said...

Kar -- I love your creativity! Your family must have great gifts you have made! I tried to make Christmas globe ornaments at Christmas (the one we just had). Total flop! So did not even work out remotely close to my idea. Oh well, maybe another time. I do love your posts and your creativeness! You are woman - hear you roar! :)

Emily Empey said...

wow you are creative!! those are beautiful!

megan said...

WOW!! I didn't realize you were doing square shapes for the ornaments!! they all look so AWESOME!! GReat job!! I think my favorite one is the glitter silver one, but I like the matte silver one too. I'm a silver kind of girl:) BUT I also LOVE the blue cut up paper one too:) Great job Kar!

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