Monday, October 29, 2012

Seaside Milk Ring Christmas Tree Ornament

These are easy to make, but take a few days to dry.

What you need:
~plastic rings from gallon milk jugs (or other beverage)
~tacky glue
~scrap string for hanger
~mini seashells
~waxed paper for a work surface
~Scissors to cut your string    

1. Using the waxed paper for a work surface, add a layer of glue to one side of the milk ring. Note: you can add the hanger now or after it's finished.  I found it easier to handle with the string attached first.

2. Sprinkle sand and gently place shells around the ring.  You may need to add more glue for the shells.  Allow to dry.

3.  Turn the ornament over, and repeat step #2.  Allow to dry completely.

If needed, add more sand and shells using tacky glue.  Allow to dry again.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Clothespin Icicle/Teardrop Ornament

Over the years, my wooden clothespins (with metal spring) often broke.  I kept all the pieces and stored them in empty food jars for crafting or school projects.

To make these ornaments, you will need:

~2 pieces of wooden clothespins that have broken (or simply remove the spring from one)

~strong glue such as E6000

~drill and 1/8 inch drill bit (a smaller one would work also, but keep in mind the size of the thread you will run through the hole)

~Safety gloves/eye wear

~white acrylic paint (or color of your choice)

~paint brush

~string, yarn, chenille stem, other other hanger of your choice

 (painted teal and covered with clear and silver glitter)

~embellishment ideas:  glitter, beads, buttons, fake snow, or ribbon.

Version #1
1. Glue the wooden pieces together, with flat sides together.  Allow to dry.

2. Turn the glued pieces to the side and drill a hole through the top portion, using a safe work surface.

3. Paint the wooden pieces, and allow to completely dry. 
Optional:  With a thin layer of white glue, add a thin layer of clear glitter.

4. String a piece of yarn, ribbon, twine, or other scrap string through the hole you drilled and knot the ends.  

Optional:  Use thin jewelry wire, and run it through the drilled hole, leave enough for a hanger, and twist the wire as shown.

Add beads onto the wire of your choice.  This takes about 12 inches of wire.  

5. To secure the beads on the wire, wrap the wire over the last bead, holding the beads tight together, and twist the wire around the section between the last bead and the one prior to it. 

5. Decorate the icicle as you prefer.

Version #2 - Teardrop Ornament

(Slide one cut end of string into the drilled hole, add bead(s) by stringing both cut ends through the bead, and then knot the cut ends of string.)

You can drill a hole at the other end and hang this as a teardrop ornament.  Run the string or wire, and add a coordinating colored bead at the top.  I used a 3/32 drill bit to drill a smaller hole at the thinner end of this ornament.

If you have trouble getting the string/thread through the hole of the bead, use a needle to pull it through.  

To secure the bead, simply add a dab of strong glue, underneath each added beadHang the ornament to dry completely.

Apply a thin layer of white glue (I used Elmer's), and sprinkle glitter over the glue.  Hang to dry completely.

Tip:  Use a recycled foam food tray to catch the glitter. 


Eliminate the wire, and wrap rick-rack around it.  Or simply leave it as is.

These clothespins have inspired more ornament ideas, as this shape could be used for dolls, angels, soldiers and more. 

Watch for more postings.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Clothespin Spring Christmas Ornaments

What you need:

~ 5 metal springs from broken clothespins
~silver chenille stems (1 1/2 per ornament)
~scissors or wire cutters

1.  Slide the metal springs onto the silver chenille stem, one at a time.   Gently push the chenille stem through the spring and then pull from the other end to add the next one.


2. Bend the to form a star (or snowflake) shape. Bring the chenille ends together tight, and twist.  This creates a star or snowflake shape.

3.  Cut the remaining chenille stem at this point if preferred.  Otherwise, simply wrap the chenille stem around (in and out) of the remaining springs (it doesn't have to be perfect).

If you have cats, you may want to snip your ends and decorate the "star" using other materials.

4.  Use a chenille stem to make a hanger, or use another material to hang the star with (scrap string, scrap twine, scrap ribbon or fabric, etc).

These are so easy to make. If you do not use clothespins, search for them at dollar stores for inexpensive prices.

These can be embellished with glitter, buttons, and so many other creative items.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Denim Gun Holster Christmas Tree Ornament

This is not my original idea.  The pattern can actually be found the book, Treasures for the Christmas Tree, 101 Festive Ornaments to Make and Enjoy, by Carol Taylor © 1994.

(Linked to the book on Amazon, but check your library to borrow it for free)

I simply scanned the pattern at home, increased the size using the computer, and printed a pattern to fit the size of a mini-candy cane.  My pattern size was about 4 1/2 inches by 2 3/4 inches.

These patterns are reversible, and can be made using either side.

The original pattern calls for a 9 x 12 inch holster, and to use a regular size candy cane.  

I made my pattern small enough to hold a mini candy cane. The smaller one can also be used for money or other small gift.  It's cute all by itself also.

For the holster itself, I traced my templates (made from a recycled cereal box) onto a pair of recycled jeans.  I hand stitched the edging with a blanket embroidery stitch, and used brown ribbon for the belt.  I glued the star sequins onto the denim. You could use star buttons as well. You could use felt or scrap fabric for the belt as well.

For the belt buckle, I simply cut a piece of silver wrapping paper.  You could also recycle the silver packaging that is used for some boxed crackers.

You could even embroider a name on the front before sewing them together.

For help with the embroidery blanket stitch, there are many free resources at your local library, as well as on-line.