Thursday, December 17, 2015

Pretty Paper Rose Ornaments for the Holidays

These little rose ornaments are easy to do and they'd make great last minute gifts.

Here's what you need to make your own flower ornaments:

Materials and supplies you need to do this project:

• clear glass Christmas balls
• paper roses
• sprigs of seeded eucalyptus
• scissors
• wire cutters
• low heat glue gun and glue sticks
• ribbon, decorative string or metal ornament hanger

Just a few words about the materials in this project: Glass ornaments can be found in a variety of shapes at craft stores. I bought round balls and glass hearts.

For the flowers I chose roses, but you could use any type of paper flowers.

Paper roses can be found at craft stores, but I have also found them at the Dollar Store for a much cheaper price. It pays to shop around!

Step 1: We are going to begin this project by making rose buds and individual petals.

Moving around the circumference of a paper rose, gently push back on the outer row of petals until the rose and the row of petals become separated. Snip off the wire stem and set aside the rose bud. Altogether you will need 6 or more rose buds.

Don't discard the outer row of rose petals and leaves!

Separate the leaves and rose petals by gently pulling them apart. Cut the two sections into individual rose petals and leaves.

Step 2: Remove the top of your glass ornament.

Take your wire cutters and snip away the stems of 3 or 4 roses as cleanly and neatly as you can.

Fill the ornament with roses and the petals you made in step 1. (Tip: I glued a couple of roses back to back so they'd way always be facing out from inside the ornament.)

Place the top back on the ornament. Now you are ready to decorate the exterior.

Step 3: Put a dab of hot glue on the back of a rose and attach it to the top front of your ornament. Flip the ornament over and attach another flower on the top back.

Step 4: Centre two more roses in between the first two flowers.

Step 5: Tuck two of the rose buds you made earlier in between the roses at the top of the ornament to fill in the gaps. 

Place one last rose bud just below the centre rose to create a bit of a cascade down the front of the ornament. Repeat on the back, adding a bud just below the centre rose. 

Finish with a couple of green leaves at the sides of each bud.

The final step is the most finicky and involves working with small pieces of Seeded Eucalyptus. 

Seeded Eucalyptus is fairly easy to find. I found this bunch at the grocery store, but it is also commonly available at most florists. 

I fastened the stems of my Eucalyptus together with an elastic band and hung them to dry, as I plan to use the Eucalyptus for other projects. For this ornament project however, we are going to use just the seeds and not the foliage. The seeds of the Eucalyptus are so dry I think you should be able to use them right away, without taking the time to dry bunches of Eucalyptus first.

Step 6: Cut a large branch of seeds into small sections that are about 1/4" long (on the lower right hand side of my step 6 picture there is an example of these small stems)

Touch the seed's stem to the end of your glue gun to pick up the tiniest amount of hot glue. 

Tuck the seeds in among the paper roses.

Use some ribbon to create a hanger, or even easier, attach an ornament hook.

These ornaments would make a great stocking stuffer, hostess gift or present for your child's teacher.

Put your ornament in a pretty box and use more flowers instead of a bow. 
(I hot glued my flowers onto my gift box.)

I am sure any recipient would be thrilled with this heartfelt gift.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

DIY Wooden Christmas Ornaments

Aren't the best tree ornaments always the homemade ones? 

It's the ones your kids made at school out of popsicle sticks or the ornaments you made yourself that end up having the greatest meaning and hold the best holiday memories.

This year I found some wooden ornaments at the craft store and inspiration struck! Here is what I created:

My first ornament makes use of old chandelier crystals.

Step 1: Start with a wooden ornament. (I happened to find these wooden ornaments at Michaels craft store.) 

Step 2: Paint it white using craft paint or any left over white latex paint you have on hand. (Note: I removed the rough twine hanger the ornament was purchased with to make the painting process easier. I attached a new ornament hanger as a final step in the process.)

Step 3: Paint the edges of the snowflake turquoise. Don't worry of you get some turquoise on the white part of your snowflakes while painting the edge. This is actually part of the look you are going for. 
You can always do a little touch up with a second application of white paint if you are unhappy with any section of the snowflake.

Step 4: Finish with a top coat of transparent glitter paint to add a bit of sparkle to your snowflake.

Step 5: Using a fine drill bit, drill a hole on an angle into the bottom of your snowflake. It is important to work slowly and carefully as the wooden snowflake is delicate.

Step 6: Insert a piece of fine string, fishing line or fine wire into your freshly drilled hole to tie on your crystal. We used a loop of fine wire, which we twisted closed. (Tip: If you don't have a chandelier crystal, search for a similar type crystal in the jewellery section of your local craft store.) 

Step 7: Add a Christmas ornament hanger to the top.

Hang your handmade ornament and enjoy that sparkle that only crystals can add to your tree!

I also created a star ornament using a small tassel.

To make the Star:

Step1: I removed the rough twine hanger the ornament was purchased with to make the painting process easier. 
Paint the wooden star colors of your choosing. I used three non-traditional colors: pink, orange and red. Add a top coat of transparent glitter paint.

Step 2: I found this cord and tassel at the Dollar Store. I cut the cord down to a suitable length for the bottom of my ornament.

I put a dab of hot glue at the bottom of my star and used the glue to attach the tassel. (Tip: Hold the tassel in place for a few seconds to allow the glue to set.)

Then I cut a length of the red cord and used it to hang my ornament.

One final variation on these wooden ornaments. 
This time, I wanted to add the potential for a pleasant jingle.

To make the Ball:

Step1: Paint the wooden Christmas ball colors of your choosing. I used a mix of blues and green. Add a top coat of transparent glitter paint.

Step 3: Using a fine drill bit, drill a hole on an angle into the bottom of your Christmas ball. Work slowly and carefully as the wooden ball is delicate.

Step 3: Using a piece of fine string, fishing line or fine wire to attach a silver jingle bell to your ornament. For my Christmas ball, I used a fine silver string. I looped it through the hole and tied a reef knot to secure my bell.

Step 4: Attach a Christmas tree ornament hanger to the top of the finished ball.

Happy crafting for the holidays!