Saturday, December 8, 2018

"Favorite Things" Christmas Ornament

I love Christmas. I love the spirit of it, the magic that just happens to come with the season. I love how time seems to slow down (even when we are rushing around) and the extra time with family.  I also love being able to create yearly traditions that help me hang on to these memories for just a little longer.  Last week you may have seen me talk about our Christmas Eve Boxes,  which always include a (usually DIY) ornament highlighting something special that happened to that child in the last year ("firsts", big events, etc.). For example: my son's 'first flight' (blog post) or my daughter's "first flight" & "first trip to the ocean" (facebook video post) ornament. These are special ornaments that they get to take with them with they grow and move out, starting their own family tradiations.

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This year I couldn't think of what to do for my daughter's ornament.  She did so many of her big "firsts" last year and although she changed a lot this year, it wasn't anything I could make into an ornament theme.  So I opted for a "my favorite things" theme.  It was SO easy to put together, I wanted to share it with you all!

Let me start by saying that although I run a craft blog, I'm really not artistic in any way. I don't draw or paint or sculpt or anything like that so drawing designs on shrinky dinks and cutting out shapes with felt is not something I'm naturally gifted in.  So if you are like me, fear not- you can still make this and it'll turn out just fine.  Let's begin:

First, you need to get a clear ball ornament. They come in round or flat and a variety of sizes but that link is a good place to start.  I got mine at Michael's Craft Stores for a steal (you can buy them individually there)

Next, pick up some Shrinky Dink material and a pack of Sharpie markers. Draw your designs. I like to use the "crystal clear" Shrinky Dinks because they are see-through and it's so easy to trace your design (you know, if you have 0 artistic skill like me!) I traced the bird from my daughter's favorite book: Are You My Mother so that it actually looked like the book.

Remember that you need to make your design 3x bigger than you want it to end up.  The colors will also darken up a lot as it shrinks, so don't worry when it looks like it's barely showing up.  For my 'book' I creased the shrink material before cooking and then right when it came out of the oven I lifted one side off the pan (with a spatula) so that it had that open book look.

I also made some regular shrinky dink shapes:

There were a few things that I felt I couldn't make in shrink plastic so I made them out of felt.  This gave them a more dimensional feel, which is perfect for her beloved bunny and her baby doll(s).  Okay and a truck because I felt it was more forgiving than a drawing!

Felt is perfect for adding a little dimension.  I thought about stuffing the bunny but opted not to.

Once all your parts are made, it's time to put together your ornament.

First things first, MAKE SURE YOU BOUGHT PLASTIC.  Some are glass so please do not try to cut a class bulb with an exacto knife.   Draw a line around the bottom of your ornament in the size you'd like cut out.

I'm so sorry for the photo quality. As always, my house has terrible lighting and I was making this in the middle of the night!  Next, carefully cut on the line you drew with an exacto (utility) knife.

Cut it all the way off and throw away the extra piece.  Next, grab whatever you want to use as your bottom piece. This will depend on the size of bulb you purchased. You could even just use a piece of cardboard you've cut into a circle if you wish.  I used an old mini Play-Doh lid.  Paint and let try.  If you love glitter, add a little sparkle like I did!

I need to do a little touch-up on mine. Some paint came off when I lifted it off the paper to dry the glitter!  That's what happens when you try to get everything done in less time than it actually takes to make.

Finally, glue any pieces you want standing/stationary onto your bottom piece.  Then glue your globe on top.  Drop in any moveable pieces into the top hole (or carefully lay them on the inside before you glue the globe part on).

I opted to have most pieces stationary but have a few small pieces (glasses, water and a couple colored beads) able to move just for fun.  I'm considering adding some "snow" inside of it as well that can shake around but haven't decided for sure if I want to or not.

That's it!
What would your child's ornament be?  Something special from the year or a "favorite things"?  You could use this same globe idea for a 1-themed ornament as well or make it a mash up like we did!  Merry Christmas and happy memory making!

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