Saturday, December 7, 2013

Americana Christmas Ornaments

I had already decided to make my mom some new Christmas ornaments in an Americana theme for their tree this year, to continue the tradition of our Elf on the Shelf decorating their tree while they were away. 

After being inspired by some ideas on Pinterest, here's what I did. 

Fabric Wrapped Stars

I purchased several different designs of fabric in 1/2 yard increments.  I then cut that fabric into 1 1/2" strips, roughly (don't cut up the whole 1/2 yard!).  I didn't really measure, I just eyed it.  I then used some wire to make a star, and proceeded to wrap each wire frame with fabric.  (I used several different wires for this, basically because I only wanted to use what I
had on hand.  I tried a coat hanger, pipe cleaners, some other wire that I had from who knows what, and finally settled on some floral wire, that I doubled up.) I hot glued the ends, so that they wouldn't unravel.

Fabric Covered Ornaments

My next inspiration came from Good Housekeeping.  You can look at it here.  Mine are pretty similar.  I measured out (from the 1/2 yard fabrics I purchased) 13"x13" pieces for each ball.  Now, I'm not sure what type of circular object they used in their instructions for the actual ball, but after much scouring of Hobby Lobby and Walmart, I went with a 12-pack package of wiffle balls.  They were the perfect size and ended up being about $.62 each.  Not bad.

After wrapping the ball with the fabric, I tied a piece of ribbon around the top and tied it in a bow.  Pretty simple

I tried a few other decorations on the bow, like some white berries, but I ended up just sticking to the original bow.

 I had a few wiffle balls left over, so I used some of the scraps from my wire covered ornaments to cover these extra balls.  I would recommend cutting those fabric strips in half, to about 1/2"-3/4".  The smaller strips are easier to fold around the ball and make it less likely to have gaps.  For these fabric strip covered balls, I also simply finished them with some hot glue at the top, then I attached a ribbon hanger and a button on the top to complete it.  I thought they turned out very cute!

 I liked the look of those larger fabric strip covered balls so much, that I did some small ones too!  I had some small Styrofoam balls in my stash, so I used the same method and covered these balls as well.  I finished these off with some ribbon hangers and a pearl bead with a straight pin through the top.  It couldn't be easier.  You could hot glue these as well for added security, if you'd like.

Candy Canes

I got the idea for these candy canes here, but I didn't go into their actual post to see how it was made.  I simply used the same method I did with the wire star ornaments.  Cut your fabric of choice, preferably something with red in it, and wrap to your heart's content.  I wish now I had done the ends differently, but it's too late!
 USA wired ornament

The last wired ornament I made was in the shape of "USA".  I didn't do any more of these for several reasons, the most predominant one being that it was a pain.  Again, I doubled up on floral wire to make the shape, then used strips of fabric to cover it.  I hot glued the ends down, and attached a piece of ribbon from the U to the A as a hanger.
Denim and Corduroy Ornaments

I originally got the idea from here, but they didn't have a tutorial, which saddened me.

I used an old corduroy shirt for the red ones, and some of my son's jeans that had holes in them for the denim ones.  I simply cut a star pattern out and stitched them together on a sewing machine.  I only made a few of these, because they too were a major pain in the hiney.  I finished them off with some twine on the denim, and yarn on the corduroy.  Cute, but not worth it, if you ask me.

American Flag Ornaments

The last ornament type I did was to cut out 6 pockets from my son's old jeans that had holes in them.  I then proceeded to paint red and white stripes, and on some, I actually painted the blue behind the "stars".  I used a pencil eraser to paint on the "stars".  I had to do 2 coats of paint on each.  To finish, I hot glued the pockets shut, and inserted some twine into the pockets as a hanger.

Whew!  When I post it here, it seems like a lot of work, but it didn't feel that way when I was doing it.  It was just something that had to be done before our Elf antics!  I'll post the final tree decorated when I'm doing my recap on our Elf on the Shelf:  Week One.  Stay tuned!

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