Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Trying to Get Crafty for Christmas

Christmas is coming, the kids are getting restless....let's make Christmas ornaments!  I went online to research what opportunities there were for a teenager and two grandkids, ages 6 and 9.  I found a few possibilities I liked and printed out the instructions.  We spent about $75 at AC Moore and the next couple of days creating personal masterpieces.  Some worked out better than others.  I put links to the detailed instructions of the ones we liked which also shows you what they're supposed to look like compared to our reality.

Ben, Kelsey and Amanda

Peppermint Candy Ornaments - Not worth the aggravation - Will likely drop on the way to the tree

The individual candies are arranged onto a wax paper-covered cookie sheet and heated in the oven so the candies melt together to form a shape.  The candies often didn't hold together unless they were over-melted.  They tended to break, but Ben says they taste the same either way.

Amanda adds sprinkle decorations to the soft peppermints right after they come out of the oven

The candy cane on the right is a remelt after it broke the first time

Duck Tape Ornaments - Interesting

I didn't get any pictures of the finished product, but we bought clear ornament balls (I think we got the last of the plastic ones at the Waterford store) and Duck Tape with Christmas print.  We improvised on the instructions, but essentially cut the tape into narrow strips and covered the balls.  I found that a razor blade works infinitely better than scissors for cutting so that task fell to me.  Since Kelsey already had a collection of different colors and patterns of tape she'd done little with, she taught Amanda how to make a wallet and the girls got off on a wallet-making tangent.  Amanda made a wallet for me and one for her mother.  I found out more than I wanted to know about Duck Tape creations as AC Moore has an area with instructional books and sells paper-sized sheets of Duck Tape for the serious taper.  My phone book now has a protective cover of multi-colored Duck Tape.

Kelsey's shows off her Duck Tape Wallet

Marbeled ornamentsPretty - Will actually hang on the tree

I chose three colors of small bottles of enamel paint; red, gold and green.  Taking a clear glass ornament ball, I squirted each color into the ball and let it run down the sides, four lines of each color.  Gold worked great, but the red and green globbed up and fell to the bottom.  I gave up on green and did the other three balls in just red and gold.  The balls are rotated every ten minutes so that the paint slowly merges and covers the entire inside of the ball, creating a marbeled look.  They take days to dry completely, but so far I like them.   This was my project as I thought it'd take too long for the kids to get their finished product.

Kelsey's ornament filled with glitter and snow, my marbeled ornaments

Filling Clear Balls with Stuff - Pretty - Will also hang on our tree

We didn't follow any of the instructions provided on the website for these, but borrowed the general idea and the kids came up with their own things.  They used glitter and fake snow.  This would have been less messy if I had a funnel that hadn't been mangled at the tip as it was hard to get material that sticks to everything to go down.  I ended up making a funnel out of paper so the snow would flow better.  Raised paint was used to put designs on the outside of the ornament.  I expect we'll be haunted by glitter and snow until summer.

I really liked all the things you could do with the clear ornament balls.  They're much more professional-looking than the reindeer made out of brown pipe cleaners from last year which ended up as cat toys.

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