Homemade Christmas Ornaments
Last week Charlotte and I made ornaments and decorated a tree for her organization Literacy Volunteers of Southwest Minnesota. The tree is at Lyon County Museum together with many trees decorated by local organizations and businesses. The museum looks now like a Christmas wonderland!
As Charlotte works for literacy, we wanted the tree to represent that. Charlotte made an ABC crown for the top, then we made miniature books, glittered letters, chains of old book pages, and small gifts that could contain books. We also added vintage glass crystals, a big red bow, and red ribbon.
The crown was made by gluing three pencils together, then attaching a coiled wire for attaching the crown to the tree. First we used wire to keep the pencils together, and to help space them apart. Then we added hot glue to stabilize the crown.
Charlotte drew the letters A, B, and C on cardboard, cut them out, basted them with glue and gave them a good dose of fine gold and silver glitter. After the glue dried, she shook off the excess glitter and glued the letters onto the pencils as shown in the photo.
Miniature Book Ornaments
The book covers were downloaded online and printed on card stock. You get about three covers per page. The covers need to be aligned to the right hand margin in order to have enough cardboard for the back of the book. Cut the covers out, first into long strips. Then fold a cover along its spine. Crease the fold using your finger, or a tool like a wooden ruler, pressing hard on the fold as you pull the tool. Cut away excess card stock.
Take pages, I used three, from an old book, or print your own pages! Fold and press them along the long side, and place inside the cover. Either mark the pages and then cut, or just cut freehand to make them fit inside the cover.
Mark the spine of the book with four to six evenly spaced dots. Hold the pages in place and push a needle trough the marks to make holes.
Thread the needle. I used fishing line to make the binding invisible. Here I’m using red thread. Insert the needle in the lowest hole, pull through, leaving about half of the thread as a tail …
… then into the next hole, and so forth until you have no holes left. Remove the needle.
Thread the needle with the beginning tail. Make stitches opposite the ones you already made, until you come through the last hole. Remove the needle.
Tie a secure knot with the tails, close to the edge of the cover.
The stitches cover now all, except the lower part, of the spine, both inside and outside of the cover. This will keep all the pages in place. Tie the tails to create a loop for hanging the ornament.
There you have it! We made 56 books!!! What books do you want to hang in your tree?
For the glittery letter ornaments we used store bought wooden letters. First, fishing line was attached to the letters, then they were painted with white glue, and then covered with fine glitter and left to dry. I forgot to count the letters, I’m guessing we had 30!
This is an oldfashioned new favorite!
To make paper chains, simply cut paper strips in a size you like. To make the first loop, bring the ends together, slightly overlapping, then attach the ends with tape, a small stapler, or a dot of glue. Add the second loop by inserting it into the first one, then attaching the ends. Continue in this way until the chain is as long as you want it. If it’s too long or too short, it’s easy to break off, or to add more.
We used old book pages. You can use any paper, in any color to fit your tree. Why not use several colors!
Miniature Gift Ornaments
The small presents are made by covering small, square objects. We used wooden blocks cut from a larger piece, but you can use anything of the right size, like the small raisin box shown in the photo. For the paper we used crumpled up brown lunch bags. You can, of course, use any paper you like, but I recommend using solid colors to make the ribbon and bow pop. Our ribbon is 1/4″ (6mm) wide satin ribbon.
For the hangers, we attached fishing line around the ribbon on the short end pf the presents. We made two dozen!
P.S. When the tree was decorated, we placed some fake presents underneath … =)