Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Thursday Thirteen 180: Homemade Christmas 1

Since it is the beginning of December and many of us are digging out ornaments and putting up Christmas trees, I thought I would share some of the homemade ornaments on my tree. Being single in a small apartment, I only set up a three-foot tree now—scroll down to yesterday's post to take a look. Done? Because it's so small, I use primarily light-weight hand made ornaments and some years have difficulty deciding which ones to display. There are a few store-bought, but they are small and few in number, used mostly to fill in small open spaces. The rest of the store bought are in storage, waiting for the day I have a large tree again—though I think I'd need at least two trees.

Anyway...I learned how to do counted cross-stitch when I was in the 8th grade, and still whip up a batch every year for friends and family members (as well as a few larger gifts throughout the year for certain people). Most are stitched on 14-ct Aida cloth, though there are some on perforated paper or 14-ct plastic canvas. Occasionally I will also try something in a different medium, as you will see below.

I hesitate to include these first two, but I guess you should see where I started before you see how far I've come. This was stitched sometime mid-1980s and came in a set of three. Heaven knows what happened to the rest of the set. Most of those made in the early years were from kits. Now I have so many pattern books, I usually buy my own materials or use scraps of Aida from larger projects. However, if I see a really cute kit, I will not hesitate to buy it (especially if it is on sale!).

This is from one of those single-ornament kits found in craft stores, made in 1988. There used to be tons of different companies that made these, lots of different designs, from one to three in a kit. Now, I think Janlynn and Dimensions are about the only ones who still do them. Wait, take that back. There is another company that has the single kits, but the thread is cheap stretchy crap, and I will not buy them. I threw away the one kit I accidentally bought by them, it was so bad.

An easy but elegant ornament. Start with plastic or glass ornaments found at any craft store. Pour a few drops of paint inside ornament, swirl, add paint as desired until surface is completely covered. You can use multiple colors for a marbled look. Prop upside down in egg carton or small paper cup to drain excess paint and to dry. Use hot glue gun to add trim to outside. This is an easy project to do with kids.

This is a 3D ornament stitched on perforated paper. It was a bit of a pain to make, but is one of my favorites.

This patchwork candy cane was part of a set of "country" ornaments from one of my books. It is stitched on brown perforated paper. This being my favorite of the group, I made extras of this one and gifted friends with the rest. What's a Christmas tree without a few candy canes, right?

This Victorian "tussie mussie" is stitched on 14-ct perforated paper. I love the elegant designs in the book this one came from, but they can be time-consuming and difficult to stitch due to the delicate nature of perforated paper.

I found these crocheted cones one year at a local craft shop, and wish I'd bought a lot more than I did. I filled them with statice, then used the hot glue gun to add the buttons and bird.

This was another easy one. WalMart had these dove-shaped frames eons ago for only 50 cents each. Silly me, I again did not grab enough. I traced the bird pattern onto the back of fabric scraps, cut and adhered to a self-stick mat that came with the frame, and used the hot glue gun to add a bow. Simple, yet country elegant.

I whipped up this little guy a few Christmases ago in honor of CowParade Wisconsin. Tell me he isn't cute! He is stitched on 14-ct plastic canvas and whipped up fast—I could do a couple in one sitting!

Another stitched on perforated paper. Although the style is similar to the country patchwork of the candy cane above, they are from different sets. There are several little stars that go with this one, which you can see in the tree picture posted yesterday.

This is an example of what you can do with recycled Christmas cards. I bought a small wooden hoop and painted it blue, then used craft glue to adhere the cut-out card image to the back. When that was dry, I used glue again to add the lace, which was a sticky and tricky bit of fun.

I love these white poinsettias stitched on what is called an "Addition." Crafter's Pride, a division of Janlynn, makes these little pre-finished ornaments. They used to be available in ovals, hearts, circles and squares, in both 18- and 14-ct Aida, but now they only make the ovals. I absolutely love the finished look they give stitched ornaments, but they are impossible to find locally any more and are a little pricey to boot.

Another stitched on perforated paper. And how appropriate is this—I had one of the local 24-hr Christmas stations on the radio, and just as I got to the description for this ornament, "Let There be Peace on Earth" came on the radio. Serendipity!
LINKS TO OTHER THURSDAY THIRTEENS:(Please leave your link if this is your first visit!)
Virginia Cavanaugh * Adelle Laudan * Yvette Davis
Alice Audrey * Judy * Busy91 * Darla M Sands
Redhead Sam * Stephanie Bernett * Harriet
Paige Tyler * Jennifer Leeland * Maddy Barone
Jeanne St James * Kimberly Menozzi


Virginia said...

Looking at those makes me remember making similar things in school. My mom always hung the ones we made on the tree.

Thanks for sharing

Best Wishes
Virginia Cavanaugh

Heather said...

Virginia: Glad they stirred up a few good memories. Thanks for visiting!

Adelle Laudan said...

You are very creative. Very pretty little tree.
Happy T13!

Heather said...

Thanks, Adelle! *vbg*

Bratty said...

The cow is cute! And I love the cones too. I never mastered the cross stitch, and was telling hubby that I need to learn how to knit. Can I come over?

Heather said...

Bratty: LOL - Crafters are always welcome in my house. You should see all the cross-stitch and paper-crafting materials I have. Knitting, however, is one of those things I have always wanted to learn but haven't. Yet. *g*

Alice Audrey said...

I love the little angel and, of course, the cow.

Judy said...

Happy TT and I remember making some of those earlier ones myself :-) I loved counted cross-stitching. Unfortunately, now all my crocheting and stitching stuff sits in a bag next to my chair. One day I'll have time for hobbies again :-)

I do love the Christmas card one... have some friends I want to share that idea with.


busy91 said...

well my homemade ornaments look nothing like those, not nearly as nice. Happy tt

Darla M Sands said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

My favorite was the birds nest in the cone. It's so cute!! Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself today.

Happy TT

Stephanie Bennett / Adkins said...

Awww ... these are beautiful! I love handmade Christmas ornaments. Thank you for sharing yours. :)

I am Harriet said...

Some wonderful craft ideas!

Have a great Thursday!

Heather said...

Alice: I had a feeling you might like the cow. *VBG*

Judy: Most of my stitching and crafting tends to be during the colder, winter months. Amazing how much you can get done while watching a few TV programs, football game or movie!

Busy91: No matter what they look like, I hope you still display the homemade crafts with pride!

Heather said...

Darla: Thank you. *vbg*

Sam: Thanks, that bird in a cone is one of my favorites. One of these days I'll get around to trying to replicate it with paper cones. I have the pattern here somewhere... *g*

Stephanie: Thanks - homemade are always best, aren't they?

Harriet: Thank you, I'm glad you liked. :)

Paige Tyler said...

Very cool! We made ornaments when I was a kid. Gifts, too. Not anything that involved sewing, though. I'm so not good with a needle and thread! LOL!


My TT is at

Maddy Barone said...

Wow! I think I'll have to do a T13 this month on my ornaments. Yours agre adorable!

Heather said...

Paige: I don't consider myself much of a sewer, either, but cross-stitch I excel at, and just about anyone can manage a back or a whip stitch, LOL Of course, ornaments are A LOT easier to finish off since I discovered Lite Steam A Seam 2, lol.

Maddy: You were one of the people I knew would appreciate this and upcoming posts. I look forward to seeing some of your creations!

Savannah Chase said...

Those are so pretty....Each has a unique touch to it..

Heather said...

*Blush* Thanks, Savannah!

colleen said...

I used to make ornaments but haven't in a long time. Yours are nice.

CountryDew said...

Those are quite lovely. I have very few handmade items on my tree (if any) and I am quite envious of folks who can do that kind of thing.

Heather said...

Colleen: Thank you. Sounds like it's time to make a few of your own again. ;)

Anita: Thank you - this is only a small selection of the handmade ornaments on my tree. You should see some of the ceramic ones a friend has done!

Kimberly Menozzi said...

They're all great, but my favorite is the simple white ball at the top of the list. So classy and elegant, ya know? :)

A belated happy TT! to you - and thanks for sharing these.

Heather said...

Thanks, Kimberly. I like the simple elegance of that one, too.

Jennifer Leeland said...

I absolutely love homemade/hand crafted ornaments!!!! They make a Christmas tree so beautiful.
These are fabulous, Heather.

SweetMissDaisy (Anna Wight) said...

WOW!! I had to come check out your beautiful ornaments ... they're WONDERFUL!! Beautifully made!!!

Heather said...

Jennifer: Thank you, I had a feeling you might like. Sorry for pouting at RD. *G*

Anna: Thank you, that means a lot coming from someone as talented in crafting as you are.