ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Making Ornaments

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Making Ornaments

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If you are stopping in for our weekly feature, please stop back this evening to begin linking up to our special holiday edition of Show and Tell. Right now we are excited to introduce you to today's creative guest writer.

I'm Sara from Mom Endeavors and am so pleased to be here at ABC and 123, sharing with you a few ideas for homemade Christmas ornaments.

In our house we have an ornament tradition, part of which includes homemade ones. Even though they may not be the most ornate or prettiest, many are favorites for the memories they hold.

For our oldest son's first Christmas a few years ago, we made a handprint ornament to remember those precious little baby hands--one for us and one for both sets of grandparents.

We continued that tradition this year for little brother's first Christmas...

To make ornaments like this, you'll need:

- clear glass ornament balls (you can pick them up at your local craft store for a few bucks), acrylic paint, a paint pen that writes on glass, and any decorative stuff you want to put on the inside (paint, fake snowflakes, tinsel, glitter, etc. There's a great tutorial here on putting glitter inside.)
This year, I opted to paint the inside by just squirting some paint inside adding just a bit a water & swirling around.

Once that's had a bit to dry, then paint your little one's hand and apply to the ornament. If it doesn't look right, you can just wipe it off while it's still wet! (Getting a baby's handprint on there is definitely the hardest part of making this!)

You can also make cute whole family ornaments in a similar fashion--instead of handprints, we used everyone's thumb prints to make our snowmen family:

Paint each person's thumb with the white paint and (starting at the bottom of the ornament) apply to form snowmen. Let the thumbprints dry (about an hour) and then you can paint them to your liking. Just dip toothpicks into the colors of your choice and paint!

Then use your paint pen to write the year, names, a Christmas message or anything else you'd like!

If you don't want to mess with acrylic paints or glass ornaments, here are a few other kid-friendly ideas:
Let them paint wooden ornaments! You can pick them up at the craft store on sale for less than 50 cents a piece.

Set your little one up with some washable tempera paints and let them go. Here's "big brother" making his star ornament presents last year (2.5 years old):

His first hand-painted ornament!

Other good homemade ornament ideas with kiddos involve pictures! Use paper, foam sheets, popsicle sticks, or anything similar to make a decorative photo ornament. Even very little ones can get involved by finger painting or dumping glitter on glue that you put on.
This is little brother's first ever "homemade" ornament:

And, last but certainly not least are some of my favorite kid-craft ornaments...
candy cane reindeer!

They bring back fond memories of making them with my grandparents as a kid! And, they are so easy to make too! You need some candy canes, pipecleaners, pom-poms, eyes, any other embellishments you'd like (bows, bells, etc.), and hot glue.
If your kids are too young to make these all by themselves (like mine), then get out all the supplies and let your kiddos make choices about the reindeers' look--like what size/color nose, what kind of antlers, bows/bells, etc. We made "Rudolph & Clarice". Fun!

Hope you and your kiddos have a great time making some homemade ornaments!! Thanks to ABC and 123 for inviting me today! And please come join us for more Christmas and everyday mom endeavors! Merry Christmas! ~Sara

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