Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Da Ordaments

The Monday before Thanksgiving, Bub fell in love with an cute little Christmas tree at Target. Three feet tall. Pre-lit. On sale.
I warmed to the idea of the lil tree as we finished our Targeting. "You and Little Bit can put it in your room," I told Bub. And then, "We'll make all our own ornaments for it!"
My Bub, lover of crafts, lit up. We spent some time that afternoon searching for kid-friendly ornament projects online. Actually, we only spent about ten minutes as I was quickly overwhelmed by thoughts of glue guns, glitter, spray paint, and other ordament fixings.
Yes, I know it's "ornament," but my kids prefer to say ordament so ordament it is.
Bub was distracted from the ordament crafting plan by an urgent desire to visit "his website."
After Thanksgiving, we decorated our big tree and set up the little one in the boys' room. Every time I thought about making ordaments for it, I just felt kind of tired. "Yep," I'd tell Bub, "we're going to make some ordaments soon."
And here's what we did without a glue gun, glitter, paint, clothes pins, or small pieces of felt. You can do it too. If you want.
First we chose a few of our favorite Christmas books . . . like this one.
Then I got out my beloved full sheet labels (awesome for all kinds of crafty and useful purposes, but paper and glue can work for this project too).
We tried to choose a page in each book that featured as many cute and appropriately-sized characters and scenes as possible. Then we used our all-in-one printer/copier/scanner to copy the pages we chose.
Then, we cut out characters and scenes from the full-sheet labels. I say "we," but I did it because I didn't trust anyone else to do this delicate work. Then we pulled the backing off the cut-outs and stuck them on the glossy side of a piece of a piece of poster board. (Again, you could glue your pretty pictures to the poster board).
Then the boys took turns picking pictures so that they each had their "own ordaments."
Then we cut the poster board around the pictures. I let Bub cut out his all by himself because I am breezy and laid back like that.
Next came the part of the project where one's creativity can "run wild" as the boys decorate the back of the ornaments with crayons in carefully selected holiday colors. Note Little Bit's concentration on the task at hand. Pretty remarkable for him, I have to say.

No photos of the next steps, but they are as follows: Make slight crease in top of each picture and cut small slit. Slide cheap silver ornament hanger through slit. Use wire-edged ribbons saved from last year's packages and have mommy tie it around the ornament hanger. Write names of boys and the year on each ornament.
Make sure you have a quality-control supervisor.
Rush upstairs and start hanging the ornaments on your cute little tree.
Like this one of Little Critter (yes, I know, I need a new camera. Please tell Santa.)
Reverse side of the Little Critter ornament. (Remember what I said about telling Santa I need a new camera. Thanks!)
Don't feel like hanging ornaments? Live up to your sweatshirt by jumping on a toddler bed while holding a toy stroller.
Wow, look what my brothers made!
Bub for sure has the ordament-making bug now. I have to say I'm happy to oblige. Maybe we'll print some favorite photos on the labels and turn them into tree flair. He's already mentioned that he wants a Tom and Jerry ornament. The boys could also draw their own pictures or color in some clip-art or coloring page images. If nothing else, we'll have a record of what the kids were interested in in 2010. And, so as not to leave Sweet P out, maybe we can take photos of her and of some of her favorite toys and habits (exersaucing, for example). Perhaps a photo of JJ, our elf on the shelf. Maybe we'll do it again next year and the year after and have a cute little tradition on our hands. We shall see.
The point is we're having fun and these ordaments are easy and relatively low mess, as projects go.
Speaking of projects, did you read the Arthur (featured above) book when you were little . . . the one where Arthur accidentally uses salt instead of sugar in his cut-out cookies. The cookies are way too hard to eat (and probably would taste like crap), but the day is saved when they realize the cookies can be used as ornaments. The book, which we don't have, includes a recipe for salt-dough ornaments. Anybody tried making those? I'm thinking that's one I should wait on for a few years . . .
Any holiday crafting in your corner of the world?


PITA said...

So cute and yet so crafty! NTB. And that little stinker...pretty stinkin cute if you ask me!

Anonymous said...

Kudos to you for the fun activity for the boys. Crazy as it seems, those are the things that they will remember as "special" when thinking of the holidays when they were little. All three stinkers are pretty stinking cute. NTB m

Heather said...

GREAT idea! And way better than glitter glue and all that mess, especially at this age.

We love Arthur in this house, though sadly I think we missed this book. That's okay, though; I don't really feel like making salt dough anything.

Kudos to you for getting your kids involved...made for some great memories.

(I'm emailing Santa about your desire for a new camera STAT!)

E... said...

Love this idea -- We may use this concept to make ornaments to put on packages and to give to teachers this year! Just have to make sure the scanner is working. If not, it will be hand drawn for us!

Anonymous said...

We're ornament-making over here, too. We have one child super-enthused with the IDEA of making ornaments and a younger version who acted as if he could care less about the whole thing but made 10 in a row without stopping. I'm hoping that a few will grace my tree, but the majority will grace the tops of our teacher gifts. I have a feeling I might be making many of them myself. Ours are foam ornaments purchased from Michaels. What can I say? I'm not exactly the most crafty of souls. Even this is a step. Rita

The kids' tree turned out to be very, very cute!

LAP said...

I am super impressed but now am feeling like a slacker. Nothing crafty over here lately. I'll take your success as inspiration...

CaraBee said...

Oh Mep, you're so crafty. At first I thought you were going to say you cut up the actual books and I almost had a heart attack. But scanning them in! Genius! I love this idea and will be using it myself!

The Little Critters were my favorites as a kid. Oddly, I don't have any to read to Sophie. I need to rectify that.

sarah d said...

You are a craft genius! I love it!

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

How cute! you're so breezy and laid back, it's true.

Salt dough ordaments are easy peasy. Just some paint after they're cooked and voila!

Anonymous said...

I think we used to make salt dough ornaments when we were little. I seem to remember the taste...


Lady Jennie said...

Wow! Way to go Mom!

dusty earth mother said...

Holy crow, Mep. I think you might have to brag about this one. That's some patience and perseverance. And I thought I was being fancy, making popcorn strings this year. Well, STRING, anyway. I've made one so far.

Stacia said...

How fun! My kiddos always make ornaments for their grandparents, so we'll be working on those in the next few days ... Mom's got to find her craft mojo and consume massive amounts of Dr. Pepper first.

PS: I know a couple of kids in my house who need that stinker sweatshirt. Need. It.

Regan said...

They will simply crush in arts & crafts in school and summer camp.

Mrs.Mayhem said...

First of all, I want a quality-control supervisor like yours! What a cutie pie!

Second, what a clever and creative idea! Those ordaments are so cute!

To answer your question, we just made ornaments with a salt dough recipe. My kids & I have been making them for 11 years, so I have no idea where the recipe originally came from, but I don't think it was a book. I've been planning to write a post on Wednesday with the instructions.

Maggie said...

So fun and the ordaments turned out fabulously! I seem to remember many preschool years making the salt dough ornaments and they were lots of fun. Another recipe is to combine equal parts cinnamon and applesauce and form dough. They air dry into yummy smelling/tasting ordaments:)

cake said...

yeah, i am "breezy and laid back like that" too. might explain why my kid doesn't care too much for crafting...

oh, and cosmo still says "ordament" this year too, but i dare say i detect the "d" slipping away...like "hostable"...and "automagnet"...sniff.

Wesson Family said...

Super Cute! (craft and kids!)

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