A Christmas Tree Ornament Tutorial

Monday, December 14, 2009


Now that most of my swap partners, if not all of them, have gotten their ornaments in the mail, I can finally share the finished products with all of you!

I came up with the idea to make these, after making a glitter painting for my friend Jessica. A lot of you had asked me in the comments section of that post, how I did it. I know it sounds complicated, a giant painting made out of nothing but glitter, but its simple really. Glue + glitter. That's it. I had actually seen it done in an issue of Martha Stewart magazine, and wanted to see what I could bring to the project. The end result of that project, inspired me to create this project. And now I've got a tutorial to share with you, in case you'd like to make some of your own!

You Will Need:
-small wooden plaques
-craft paint
-sponge brush or paint brush
-brown paper bag, cut open and used as a place mat
-printed out image, approx 3 1/4" x 3 1/4"
-craft glue
-scissors
-popsicle stick
-eye hooks
-ribbon
-glitter
-paint brush
-a blank sheet of paper
-small glass of water

Lets get started?


First, you'll need to sand down any rough edges on your wooden ornaments. Put down a brown paper bag as your work space, paint your plaques. I chose white paint, and I did 2 coats.

For your image, you can use either pictures printed from your computer, magazine clippings, whatever you want.

I used recipe cards that belonged to my great grandmother, scanned them into the computer, re sized them, and then printed them out. At first I was going to use the real thing, but just couldn't bring myself to cut into them.


Get your images ready. If you printed them out on a sheet, its time to cut them out.


Put your image down on your work surface, picture side facing up. Position your plaque down on your image, exactly where you're going to want it to be when all is said and done. Make sure that its lined up so that all of the colored area is on the plaque, etc etc...


Now very carefully, pick up both the plaque, and the paper, and hold it in one hand. Make sure you have a good grip on it.


Holding the plaque firmly in one hand (your left hand, probably), you're going to crease it using your other hand. Take your right thumb and index finger, bring them to a pinch, and crease right along the edges, all the way around.


See, like that. You want to do that on all sides of the paper. And its easier to see your crease, if you do it image side down.

After your paper is all creased up, cut it out with your scissors, along the inside of the crease. Set the cut out image down on your plaque, and make sure that it fits. You might have to trim it to make a few slight adjustments, and don't worry about wobbly edges, nobody will notice.


Get your glue ready. Do a little zig a zig (ah).

Spice Girls, anybody? ...sorry.


Quickly, before it dries, take your finger and smear it around, smoothing it out. I wear a craft apron, so that I can just wipe my sticky finger on myself, but if you don't have one (seriously, ugly aprons are like 25 cents at goodwill, get yourself one), then you can use a hand towel or something


Put your image on. Don't rub too hard, or you'll cause the paper to wrinkle. Another thing that might cause it to wrinkle, is too much glue. This is where your popsicle stick comes in handy. Just take it, and scrape it along the picture, and smooth it out.

Now the fun part...


Put your blank piece of paper down, and set your ornament on top (later on, you're going to use that paper to pour all of your glitter back into the bottle. Make sure to do this inbetween colors). Get your glitter ready. Get your paint brush. Put a little bit of water in a glass, to dip your sticky paint brush in from time to time, so that it doesn't get too stiff.


Dip your brush in glue, and dab it wherever you want the glitter to stick. Adjust your brush size to the area of space that you'll be glittering. I used a smaller brush, for more accurate and detailed glittering.


Tap, tap, tap on some glitter.


It should look something like that. Messy little piles of sparkle.


And now tap, tap, tap the glitter right off.


Now take your ribbon, and wrap it around the ornament. Cut it at the overlap.


Line the edges of the ornament in glue. Put on your ribbon, making sure the overlap happens on the under side. It looks prettier this way :)


After that's all dry, take one of your eye hooks, position it somewhere near the middle on the top, stab it through the ribbon, and screw it in. Sometimes this is easy, sometimes its hard. I've never had one not work though.


See, there. Like that.

Now cut another piece of matching ribbon, and string it up!!


Or if you want, you can get a little thing like this, that you hammer into the back, to turn it into a wall hanging!


I lined a baking sheet with tin foil, set all of my ornaments down, and then sent them out into the garage with my husband to get sprayed with a misting of clear coat. That way most of the glitter stays on the ornaments, as opposed to your floor, haha.

And ooh lah lah, don't they look pretty?

Here is another example of an ornament you can make this way...


Eleanore and I made pony ornaments for her and her friends.

Ta-da! Some homemade Christmas tree ornaments.

15 comments:

Lauren December 14, 2009 at 8:58 AM  

Just gorgeous! I love the look of these =D.

Oh Mandie! December 14, 2009 at 9:01 AM  

super cute!!! I think the boys and I are going to have to make some glittery Thomas the Tank Engine ornaments now!

Christina December 14, 2009 at 9:20 AM  

I'm happy to have my "Tia Made" wall hanging!! :D I posted a link from my blog to this post. I happened to be using the same exact little plaque to make a little decoration for a friend's child. I finished it last night, a little birdie painting. Those little plaques are so cute and can be used for so much fun.

Fallon December 14, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

Great tutorial.. loved the spice girls reference, haha ☺

Even greater.. I own one of them... made by you! Thanks again!

AlyGatr December 14, 2009 at 10:04 AM  

That is such a fun idea!!! I'm going to have to try for myself. Thanks for doing the tutorial :)

Giggly December 14, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

How fun! Those are the most delicious ornaments I've ever seen! :)

ElegantSnobbery December 14, 2009 at 11:51 AM  

So cute! You know I love 'em! And glitter! Who doesn't love glittery stuff?

Betsy December 14, 2009 at 1:31 PM  

I love it! I did something similar YEARS ago and made candle holders. I should revisit that - thanks for the inspiration!

Sarah December 14, 2009 at 1:50 PM  

Cute and easy! I'll have to remember this for next year!

soul_searching_mama December 14, 2009 at 2:14 PM  

These look super easy & pretty! Thanks for sharing! :)

NessaGurl December 14, 2009 at 10:33 PM  

Oh yay... what a great tutorial. I'm so not crafty with painting and paper... totally all thumbs. I usually stick to sewing or making jewelry. Guess I should practice :) I think I'm going to try this, but I'd like to use pics of my girls. Not sure if I'd like to make small ones like this or make larger one? Hmmm

Thanks so much for the tutorial and the inspiration!

jessicajane December 15, 2009 at 7:25 AM  

i think i got the tutorial one! hehe.

and yes....the spice girls reference...awesome.

w December 24, 2009 at 1:51 PM  

i love this idea!

thanks so much.

and merry christmas!

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