The air is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and you know what that means -- less time playing outdoors. Gone are the days of warm weather and pool time. Kids will soon be stuck inside, bored and asking you what they should do to entertain themselves. Well, we have just the answer. Get out your supplies, put on your creative thinking caps and make your own Christmas ornaments. It's a great way to get into the spirit and spend some quality time with the whole family. You never know; you could be making the next family heirloom that will passed down for generations. Read on for five ornaments you can make that will add style and whimsy to your Christmas tree without breaking the bank.
5: Clothespin Ornaments
Clothespin ornaments have been a popular family craft for years. They're easy and inexpensive to make, and they look super cute hanging on your tree. The best clothespins to use are the old-fashioned ones that don't have a spring. You can make an easy reindeer by gluing one clothespin upside down on top of the other. One side makes legs and the other makes antlers. Add a red pompom nose and some googly eyes and voila -- you've got your Rudolph. But where is he without Santa to guide him? You can make Santa with a single clothespin that has the prongs facing down -- those are his legs. Paint it red, add a felt hat, some eyes and a cotton ball beard. Follow up with pipe cleaners for arms, and a black paint pen for details like his belt and boots.
4: Candy Cane Reindeer
With a few materials and a couple of minutes, you can turn the consummate Christmas candy into a darling reindeer ornament. As with all candy cane crafts, it's best to leave them wrapped so you don't end up with sticky fingers and a trail of ants.
Brown pipe cleaner works great for antlers, and should be wrapped around the curve of the candy cane. Add some teensy googly eyes and a big brown or red pompom nose, depending on which reindeer you're representing. Just don't be surprised if you find some of your reindeer missing throughout the season. Underneath their adornment, they're still a delicious candy!
3: Decorated Glass Ball Ornament
Glass ball ornaments are inexpensive and come in a variety of colors, but let's face it -- they're pretty plain. You can easily add a little pizzazz to the ones on your tree with a few materials and a dose of creativity. Get familiar with decoupage techniques by layering a couple of colors of tissue paper or some pieces of wrapping paper and adhering with Modge Podge. Or, use paint pens to create circles or squiggles in different colors. You can also cover the ball in a thin paste of Elmer's Glue and roll it in silver or gold glitter to add a little sparkle.
2: Beaded Ornaments
Beaded ornaments are a stunning addition to any Christmas tree, and you can create your own for a fraction of the cost of what you would pay in a store. All you'll need for this project is some 20-gauge wire, a pair of round nosed pliers and a stash of beads. An eight-point star is a great project to get started with. First, cut the wire into even lengths about 8 to 10 inches long. You'll want to wrap the wires around each other to create eight points that are equidistant apart. Use the pliers to bend and wrap the wire. Add your beads, alternating colors and sizes for maximum visual effect. Then, bend the end of the wire into itself so the beads stay put.
1: Pine Cone Ornaments
Pine cone ornaments are a great way to add a natural element to your tree, and they're so versatile that you can make a number of different ornaments out of this simple and abundant resource. Long, thin pine cones are great for angel ornaments, and stocky, fat pine cones are perfect Christmas trees. Paint with gold or silver spray paint for a more sophisticated ornament, or if you just like the look of the pine cone, spray with a clear lacquer and hang it au natural.
Lots More Information
- How Christmas Works
- How Christmas Trees Work
- How Fruitcake Works
- How Santa Claus Works
- How Santa's Sleigh Works
- How Santa's Elves Work
- Is there a controversy around the word "Xmas"
- How does Santa make it around the world in one night?
- What are the 12 days of Christmas?
- Why is Rudolph's nose red?
- "Bead Ornaments." Craftideas.info, 2010. http://craftideas.info/html/bead_ornaments.html
- "Candy Cane Reindeer." Thriftyfun.com, 2005. http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf22401235.tip.html
- "Christmas Pinecones." Christmasgeek.com, 2010. http://www.christmasgeek.com/christmas-pinecones/
- "Clothespin Reindeer with Chenille Antlers." Michaels.com, 2010. http://www.michaels.com/Clothespin-Reindeer-with-Chenille-Antlers/99167b,default,pd.html?cgid=projects&start=2
- "History." Elmersbrands.com, 2010. http://www.elmersbrands.com/history.asp
- "Silver Swirls Ornament." Michaels.com, 2010. http://www.michaels.com/Silver-Swirls-Ornament/26125e,default,pd.html?start=18&cgid=projects-seasonsandcelebrations-christmas
- "The Shakers." Shakers.org, 2010. http://www.shakers.org/discover-and-learn/the-shakers.html