I like to give a special Christmas ornament to each of my grand children every year. This is a great tradition to start with your children or grandchildren. That way, when they get grown up and leave home, you can pack up their personal ornaments and they can have them and all the memories that are attached to them to put on their very own first Christmas tree.
One of my favorite places to visit for ideas is Better Homes and Gardens website. Not only do they have wonderful color photographs of what your finished product will look like but step by step instructions on how to make the project.
As for where to grab supplies for your projects, look around the house first, you most likely will find objects that you can recycle to make many of the items. If you don't, you can find what you are looking for at Hobby Lobby or Michaels as well as your favorite fabric stores, like JoAnn's and Hancock Fabrics.
Clear Ball Ornaments
Take clear ball ornaments, and fill them with metallic shred and then write the child's name and perhaps the year on the outside with acrylic puff paint or use Elmer's glue to write their name and sprinkle over the top with colored glitter. Tie a ribbon bow at the top of ball.
You can also take off the cap, pour inside your favorite color of acrylic paint or poster paint. Swirl it around and dump out what doesn't stick. Let it dry thoroughly. Write a name on the ornaments as in above instructions.
Etching cream is also fun to use. Use a template and tape it to the outside of the ornament. Apply the etching cream according to instructions.
Take some wire and lace it through the top of a pinecone to make a hanger. Use Elmer's glue on the tips of the pinecone an then dip in glitter or artificial snow. Tie a colored velvet or grograin ribbon at the top.
Salt Dough Ornaments
These are fun to make but have a tendency to disintigrate over time, even when coated with a protective finish. If you want something that is quick, fun and inexpensive to make but not worried about having it last for years and years, give these a try.
White styrafoam ornaments, medium to large sized work best
Lots of Elmers glue
Any type of lightweight paper that you can rip into medium sized pieces.Old vintage type papers or floral work great.
Start by applying glue to a section of the ornament. Apply the pieces of the ripped paper to it, smoothing it as you go. Continue until the entire ornament is covered with paper. Let dry thoroughly.
When dry, use a small foam paint brush to apply several coats of Elmer's glue on top of the paper, letting it dry between coats.
Small embroidery hoops
You can actually get two ornaments out of this one, using each hoop separately
Using a hot glue gun or Elmer's glue, apply pretty ribbon, covering the wooden hoop outer edge
Using jewelry craft beads or crystals, make a string of them to hang down in the center of the hoop, using filiment wire, such as for jewelry making or fishing line.You may wish to put a heavier bead at the bottom so that it will hang straight.
Make a loop out of the same filiment wire at the top of your hoop to use to attach to the tree. Make a large bow for the top of the hoop and attach it.
Salt Dough Christmas Ornamets
These are easy and fun to make and you can even get your little ones involved in this project. They love to help stir the ingredients, roll out the dough and use the cookie cutters! Depending on how old they are, they can also help decorate them once they come out of the oven and are cool.
You can use craft style acrylic paint and glue on items for three-dimensional effects. The accessory extra packages that you get to do scrap booking with are usually just the right size for your ornaments. If you do not have those, look around your kitchen and your sewing kit for some ideas. Raisins make great eyes glued onto snowmen! Snippets of lace, ribbon, rickrack or felt can become hats, bonnets, skirts, noses (for rain deer) even small buttons can be used for your snowmen.
The great thing about this project is that there are no set rules on how to decorate, just use your imagination and have a lot of fun!
Salt Dough Ornament Recipe
2 cups flour
Mix salt and flour.
Add in half the water, and then eventually add the remaining water as needed a little at a time. Knead until the dough is smooth, this can take up to 10 minutes. For flat dough, ornaments roll out the dough on waxed paper or a smooth surface. On the other hand, be creative and make three dimensional snowmen and wreaths. The three-dimensional ones will take longer to bake, so do them separate from the flat ones. Using cookie cutters or your hands have fun and create your decorations. The best way to make a hole in the top of the ornament so that you can hang it from the tree is to place a straw where you want it and press firmly and twist to remove the piece of dough Baking time will vary depending on the thickness your ornament. Set your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit baking it for an hour to an hour and a half. To check if they are done, just feel the dough it will feel dry to the touch. Let your ornaments cool and then decorate.
So get out the cookie cutters and have some fun
This is a wonderful project to keep your children happy and content for hours!