I've written before about some of the ornaments we've made during the Christmas season. These snowflakes are something I'm extremely fond of, mostly because they are so easy and they look so incredibly beautiful. We got the patterns from the 2002 Martha Stewart Kids magazine, but I see they've since graduated to the MS website. We like to add glitter to ours - it makes them look quite ethereal when they're suspended from the ceiling.
These are salt bread dough ornaments, a little Henry the Tank Engine in there from the days when Max was mad for trains (I don't see any deleterious effects from all our fraternizations with Thomas, either, PHEW, I was worried). You can find any salt dough recipe on the web, so I won't include one here, but I will give you one tip: use those little jars of Ceramcoat acrylic paint and coat them with spray urethane and they will last for a long time. These ones are 10 years old.
Here's a new one we're trying. I quite like the look of it. You lay a picture on a table, we've used something in the stained glass vein, then tape a piece of saran wrap over it. Colour the picture (on the saran wrap) with felt pens. Caution: we've tried a LOT of felt pens and have only been successful using Sharpies. Then take a same-sized piece of foil, crumple it a bit, then smooth it out (sounds idiotic but bear with me) and place it under the saran wrap (which you will have by now removed from its taped position on the table). Glue the saran wrap to the foil. Then cover with a black paper border.
Another one, this time a Christmas tree. They catch the light very nicely.
This is 4 tinsel pipe cleaners, glued together. You fold them up accordion-style, using 2 pipe cleaners to make two separate 4 pointed stars (does that make sense? it doesn't sound right). Then glue one over top of the other. I used hot glue - it's faster than regular craft glue. I made them in white, gold, and silver and strung them up on the ceiling of the dining room.
This is our latest project. I don't know if you've seen these Coke bottles everywhere (like I have), but my mum bought them for the kids, as she was unable to resist their bauble allure. The kids were unable to resist their sugar-in-a-bottle allure (me being the horrible Pop Denying Mother that I am). I was unable to resist their craft potential allure.
First we tried stuffing them with tinsel pipe cleaners but that didn't look right. Next we poured thinned red and gold paint into them and swirled them around but that didn't look right either. I washed it out, under the faintly damning glare of FDPG, whose bottle I was guinea-pigging with. "That's not going to be RUINED, is it?" she said, worriedly. "That's MY bottle, you know." "I know," I said, feeling slightly desperate as I watched the red paint NOT wash off. "It'll come out, trust me."
Fortunately for both FDPG and myself, it DID come clean.
Then I had a brain wave: I drew a stained-glass style picture with a black Sharpie, then had FDPG colour it in with yet more Sharpies. Then we filled the container with that plastic snow stuff you see in dollar stores everywhere this time of year. Then I drilled a hole in the lid, painted it gold, and slid some rickrack through so it looks like an ornament. I like this version best. It's a bit heavy for the tree with all that fake snow in it, so I am tempted to try using thinned white paint for the inside with the others. It's quite the attractive object, though, don't you think? I might have to get this baby on the MS website.