Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oodles of Ornaments.

Pinterest has outdone itself. There are SO MANY ORNAMENTS. I could hardly keep myself from calling off work and ornamenting instead. Except that I was in Austin for work, and it would be harder to find all my crafty supplies there. Anyway.

Here's my inspiration, all from Pinterest:



I started with the bottom right. I took my roommate's wedding invites (for her upcoming wedding in the summer). I forgot to take a proper 'before' picture, and I blurred out the location, so that's why they still look a little weird.



Cat would kill me if found out I put these less than perfect pictures of her invites up, but I promise that they're super fancy and classy in the complete package. And these are the most innocuous pieces, so I assure you that I'm not ruining any surprises.

Moving on. As you can tell from above, I started cutting the invite into horizontal strips. I then wrapped those strips around a pencil to make them curl.




This caused the invite and its backing to come apart. Cat reinforced the invite and backed her reception card with gold paper to make them heavier. I took apart the pieces and wrapped them individually after this.



I then popped the top off of an ornament and stuffed in the curly-qs. I swirled the pencil around in there to make sure all of the details I wanted to be visible were actually visible. I also spray-painted the tops of the ornament a champagne color we had on hand. I didn't want the silver to contrast so heavily with the gold in the bulb. After these dried, I used the ribbon from the invite to loop through the ornament.



Next, I tried my hand at the paint swirl ornaments. There's a great tutorial on these here.

I used three craft store paints: Folk Art in Metallic Gunmetal Grey, Dazzling Metallic Elegant Finish in Festive Green, and Americana Gloss Enamels in True Blue.



I then dropped a glob of paint in the ornament, slowly spun it around, then let it dry overnight.

The results were not flawless. The green paint did not work. Overnight, all of the paint crawled to the bottom, leaving creepy green streaks and a full puddle of paint. I tried to re-swirl, but the result was the same. It seems like the paint just wasn't sticking to the plastic bulb.



The blue and silver bulbs worked, though.



Next, I took the idea of the newspaper/book print ornament, and translated it to - what else - maps. I decided to make a map ornament for each of my sisters. My younger sister lived in Philly for a few years, and loved it. I cut up the blown-up map (the road atlas I purchases had a blow up of Philly, with nothing that I'd be missing on the back, so I didn't have to make a copy) into strips. I then mod-podged my ornament, and stuck the strips to it. I paid attention to different names/streets and made sure they were visible. I repeated this process for Lexington for my youngest sisters. Then I coated the ornaments with more mod-podge and sprinkled clear glitter on top so they'd catch the light.



Finally, I sprayed them with clear acrylic finish, so glitter wouldn't be all over the place every time they were touched. I hung them on a dowel rod balanced over a mixing bowl to let them dry.

My last ornament was inspired by the bottom left picture. This should've been the easiest ornament, but I was having THE CLUMSIEST day. I took an ornament in one hand and my glitter glue in the other. Then I started drawing lines all over. Some connected, some smeared, some were thin, some thick. I totally forgot that this thing would have to dry. For a while, I just held it. It wouldn't be long. Then I caught up on two episodes of The Office. It still wasn't dry. So I watched Parks and Recreation. Then I dropped the ornament on the couch for no real reason other than my brain and fingers must've had a miscommunication. It didn't roll, and the bottom wasn't ruined. But now there was glitter glue on the couch. I soaked it with a washcloth and got that out, all while bobbling with the other hand. So then I had glitter glue on my hands. I decided I should try and put a string on it and hang it somewhere (this was before my dowel rod and mixing bowl genius). Stringing something is very hard with one hand. I didn't drop it again, but I gave up and decided I'd just hold it. So I watched Community. Then Cat came home, showed me her necklace and other purchases, went to change, came back out, and asked why I was still holding the ornament. I explained and she told me I would be holding the ornament all night. I didn't like that idea, especially as I was far beyond the usual finger cramps. My fingerprints were going numb. At this point, I remembered the wooden dowels. I fished one out of my tool box with one hand, got the ornament on it, and declared victory. I just had to find a resting place. I took out a cereal bowl and knew it was over. Nope, glitter in the bowl. I took out a mixing bowl. Nope, the dowel's too short. I spied the stand mixer. Perfect! And so the glitter glue bulb got to dry and I got to make a companion.




Whew. That long-winded story to say that I will now be planning on where to dry said ornaments before I start. Maybe I'll take this logic into other crafts too. I'll probably forget though

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