Month: December 2015

Christmas Craft: Baby’s First Ornament

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November 12th, 2015 my sweet baby boy was born. Between the visitors, nurses, doctors, and mentally processing my new baby and title as mom, I barely remember our hospital stay. I do remember the excitement of packing up our things, trying to figure out how to put Cooper in his carseat the first time, and the mounting anxiety as we got closer to home. I walked in the door, sat down, looked at Nick and my creation, and felt terrified. We had a tiny human to look after.

Four and a half weeks later I still feel moments of terror thinking about the responsibility we took on. However, the fear is now mixed in with laughter, excitement for each new day and new thing he does, and unconditional love for this little man.

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Once things began settling down Nick and I realized Christmas was just around the corner. Coop’s first big outing was to our local Lowe’s to pick out our Christmas tree. The next few days were spent unpacking Christmas boxes and transforming our house into our own Christmas wonderland.

As I set out the stockings I came to the sudden realization that this was Cooper’s first Christmas and he needed Christmas things. He needed presents, a stocking, and of course, baby’s first ornament. I immediately went to my favorite shopping website, Etsy, to see what I could find.

After much research I fell in love with a polar bear stocking, handmade in Ireland, from Santa’s Sock Central. Despite being December already, the stocking was shipped out quickly and arrived in plenty of time. My first item was checked off the list.

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Next, I began the hunt for the perfect ornament. I searched through page after page on Etsy and found nothing that peaked my interest. I felt the majority of the ornaments aired on the side of cheesy. I wanted something sentimental, traditional, and interesting. I wanted an ornament Cooper would gladly take and put on his own tree one day.

After coming up empty handed I decided it was time for another craft project. I would find a way to personalize an ornament for him. I ended up finding a beautiful hand blown glass ornament from Grow Gallery, and knew it would make the perfect base. I decided to use glass paint to put Cooper’s handprint and his birth date on the ornament. It would be quick, easy, and exactly what I was looking for.

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To personalize the ornament all I needed was the ornament, glass paint (non-toxic), a paint brush, and paper towels for clean up.

We waited until Cooper was good and tired until Nick and I attempted the first hand print. We quickly painted his hand and tried to immediately press it to the ornament. However, as soon as the paint hit his hand, his little fingers curl into a fist that was difficult to uncurl. By the time we had his hand flat the paint was smeared on everything. By the time his hand made contact with the ornament half the paint had dried. It was a complete failure.

Three attempts later I decided the hand was too much, a footprint would have to do. Once again I waited until he was fast asleep and carefully pulled his foot from his onsie footie.

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At every stretch, groan, and deep breath I froze for a moment, hoping he wouldn’t wake up. Next, I applied the paint, and held my breath as I waited for him to wake from his slumber.

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Surprisingly, he stayed fast asleep through the foot painting, and didn’t wake up until his foot made contact with the ornament. The first try I got a clean print that only needed light cleaning up around the edges. I used a thinner paintbrush to add his birth date under this heel.

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After air drying for four days I baked the ornament in the oven for 20 minutes at 325 degrees to set the paint. I love the end product and how personal it is. Once I gave up on the hand print and opted for the “mistletoes” print, the printing process only took a few minutes from start to finish.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about my arts and crafts by sharing with others. I couldn’t do it without you! Merry Christmas, happy holidays![subscribe2]

Craft Project: Christmas Ornament Wreath

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The DIY Christmas ornament wreath is a project I have seen circulating crafting websites for many years. While this isn’t a new or innovative craft I loved the look, wanted to make my own, and share my experience with you. This wreath was made in preparation for Christmas 2014, and this year I rounded out the look of the exterior of my house with matching twig and ornament wreaths for my windows. Check out the pictures of that finished product below!

When I say Christmas is my favorite time of year, I mean Christmas is my favorite time of year. My mood begins a slow rise as Halloween approaches, it marks the beginning of the holiday season. I get another boost as Thanksgiving reaches the horizon, knowing Christmas is right around the corner. While I am a Christmas enthusiast, I am also a strict seasonal rule follower. No Christmas decor should appear until the day after Thanksgiving. This means when the time finally comes to go Christmas tree shopping and dust off my many boxes of nutcrackers, I need to make the most of it for the short stretch between turkeys and santas.

Because Christmas only lasts a month (or longer depending how long it takes me to de-decorate post Christmas) that month is jam packed with Christmas music, egg nog, shopping, wrapping paper, and holiday decor. It is very typical for my holiday season to also be filled with holiday crafts. I love making gifts for others and revamping my holiday decor. Last year I decided to finally take the plunge and create my own ornament wreath. Check out supplies, instructions, and tips below!

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This wreath appealed to me because it requires few supplies, the supplies are cheap, and the end product is beautiful. All you need to get start is:

  • Hot glue gun
  • Wire hanger
  • Round ornaments
  • Ribbon (optional)

I found the wire hanger in my closet and I purchased the ornaments and ribbon at Hobby Lobby during one of their 50% off sales. I loved the color and textures of the ornaments and they were an amazing price. However, the price did reflect the quality of the ornaments, and the tops kept falling off the ornaments as I strung them onto the hanger. Once I completed my wreath I spent the season collecting and reattaching ornaments that kept falling off. As a tip I would add a dab of hot glue to the top of every ornament (where the gold cap and hanger attaches to the base) to make sure they won’t pop apart.

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To get started, reshape your wire hanger into a circle. While reforming the hanger, leave the top intact, it makes it easier to shape while both sides are still connected. Once you are satisfied with your shape, unwrap the hook at the top to open up the circle.

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String your first few ornaments onto the hanger. Since my ornaments were all red, I didn’t worry about creating a specific pattern. If you have a variety of colors, pay attention to the pattern you are creating as you add ornaments. Make sure your colors are balanced.

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Push the ornaments all the way to the other side of the circle, until you hit the unwrapped “hook” of the hanger. Glue the first couple ornaments to the hanger to prevent them from sliding off the hanger as you add more.

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Continue to add ornaments until your hanger is filled up. Push and fit them together, make sure there isn’t much space between them.

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Once all the ornaments are added, rewrap the top of the hanger to create the hook. This can be used to hang the wreath or you can add ribbon. I used a wide, burlap style ribbon to hang my wreath. I wrapped it around the top, and hot glued it to the hanger hook for additional support.

I love the look of this festive wreath. It’s bold, modern, and can my seen on my door from down the street.

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This year, I decided to make a new set of wreaths for my windows to match the ornament wreath I made last season. I once again returned to Hobby Lobby during a 50% sale to collect my supplies.

  • Wreath base
  • Mini round ornaments
  • Neutral floral accents
  • Red berry floral accents
  • Ribbon
  • Hot glue gun

I was ecstatic when I found mini versions of the round ornaments I used for the original wreath. They were the perfect way to visually tie the wreaths together.

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This wreath was a piece of cake to make. All I did was hot glue three mini ornaments to the front, then I intertwined the neutral floral accents and red berry accents into the wreath, no glue needed, and I was done! I am a brand new Mom with a brand new four week old at home with me, and I was able to put together four wreaths during his nap.

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I placed the ornaments and floral accents off center and added the same burlap ribbon I used for the ornament wreath to hang it. After adding the ribbon I realized I still needed a wreath hanger to hang them on my windows, but I was still able to use the ribbon in conjunction with the hanger.

Thanks for checking out my DIY holiday wreaths! Although Christmas is quickly approaching you still have time to put together your own wreaths before Christmas arrives. Help me spread the word about my craft projects by sharing with others on your social network of choice. Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and thanks for stopping by!

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