When you open that box of Christmas tree ornaments, memories of all the delights of the season come popping out. All of your decorations, especially the handmade ones, can embody warm personal messages. Who doesn’t have a selection of special ones-your child’s hand print in plaster, a glued macaroni celebrity, or an elegant hand-sewn Santa? Making your own ornaments offers you the joy of production, lasting decorations for your tree, and treasured gifts for friends.
All ages, from kids to grandmas, will find pleasure in making their own ornaments. Children like to use simple, quick materials and techniques to make ornaments. Artists use their more technical skills to make them out of blown, fused, or stained glass; engraved gold or silver alloys; modeled and fired clay; or stained wood. The skill level required for most projects in this book fits in between. They concentrate on readily available materials and reveal doable practices.
Christmas is celebrated in many lands and many ways. Knowing some of the lore makes the theme of each Christmas decoration more interesting. Some of these traditions are ancient ones which have such icons as evergreen trees, wreaths, mistletoe, candles, bells, and holly. Others reveal more recent themes such as Santa’s, stockings, toys, gingerbread houses, and elves. No ornament shape is much more lasting than colorful balls in several styles, and not one symbolizes Christmas more than a star on top of the tree.
Along with these bits of classic lore, you’ll discover full-color photos of each ornament, lists of materials, patterns, illustrations, and instructions to make them.
Tips for making ornaments
Ornaments, by their nature, are delicate. At our house, a few of these lovely glass balls burst on the hard floor each year. The fragile ones are like blossoms, meant to blossom a short while and then fade. Yet when packed away with care, even fragile ornaments, including your handmade paintings, may last for years and years.
Choose lightweight, yet sturdy materials to build your decorations. Heavy ornaments will lead to tree limbs to sag. Ornaments that are too fragile won’t survive until next season. By way of example, the folded Christmas tree can be made from a variety of papers, thin sheets of plastic, or even rigid cloth.
Store your decorations in sturdy boxes. Wrap the fragile ornaments in tissue paper and pack them in these separate compartments. Over the summer, ensure that your ornaments are stored away from extreme heat or dampness.
You can leave the lights and ornaments on an artificial tree, for those who have a place to store it. If so, be sure to bend the pins closed, both on the decorations and the limbs, and wrap the tree in a big plastic bag to store (available for live tree disposal). Move back the tree in place next year, and add some new touch, such as a wire-edged ribbon or particular new ornaments.
Select the ideal sorts of glue and paint for the materials you are working with (product labels will record this information). For instance, some beads will need hot jewelry glue, and Shrink Dinks plastic requires waterproof paint or pencils. For your decoration making session, gather ornament materials from everywhere-candy ribbons, costume jewelry, art papers, and on craft shop safaris.
Include family and friends in creating these small decorative projects. Part of the joy of Christmas is being with people you love. Another part is giving presents; and the ornaments you make will be fine gifts.