Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cardboard Tube Christmas Wreath

I said when I posted the Cardboard Tube Snowflake Ornament tutorial that I had made a couple of crafts using my cardboard tubes. Well, here's the next one--a Christmas Wreath.

You will need:
Cardboard Tubes (toilet paper, paper towel, or wrapping paper tubes will all work)
Hot glue gun and glue
Green Spray Paint
1" Round Paper Punch
Red Paper
Festive Bow

Cut your cardboard tubes into one inch pieces and pinch the ends to make them oval.  Glue five of the tube sections together at the point to create a flower.

You'll need 9-10 flowers for a wreath made from wrapping paper tubes.  I ended up using 9.  Place the flowers in a circle and glue them together at two of the points to create a wreath.

After the glue on the wreath is dry, spray paint it green.  I was using cheap spray paint, so it took several coats to get full coverage.  The photo below is after just a couple of passes with the spray paint.  It really felt like I was spraying the box more than the wreath.

Once you've gotten a good solid green coverage, punch out some red circles to cover the centers of the flowers.  Hot glue them and a bow to the wreath and you're all set. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cornstarch Dough Ornaments

Last Christmas I saw a recipe for Cornstarch Clay to make ornaments. So, after I was done baking Christmas Cookies, I whipped up a batch and made a giant mess (as seen below).

The recipe is as follows:
2 cups Baking Soda
1 cup Cornstarch
1 1/4 cup Water

Stir all ingredients together in a stove pot and bring to a boil.  Cook the dough until it thickens to the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Then remove the dough from the heat (turn it out onto some parchment paper or onto a plate) and let it cool.  I found that the dough was the easiest to work with when it was luke warm--not cold and definitely not hot. When I worked with the dough too hot, the dough was too loose and stuck to everything.  When it was cold, it was crumbly. 

Once the dough is the right temperature, roll it out on a cornstarched surface (I used a silicone mat) and cut out with cookie cutters.

Be sure to poke your hole at the top of the ornament (I used a chop stick). You can then let them air dry or pop them in a 250 degree oven until they are dry.  I let them air dry and it took a couple of days before they were completely dry.

A few of the ornaments dried with cracks in them, so I filled the cracks with white Elmer's glue.  Then I used some fine grit sand paper to remove any deformities or jagged edges. I wanted to try to paint some of the ornaments, so I spray painted them all with a white primer and let them dry. 

When they were all dry from the spray painting, they were ready for whatever I wanted to do with them.  Some looked great white and could be hung on the tree right away.  Others I wanted to paint (like the Star Wars cut-outs), and I'm still working on getting those just right.

Some of the snowflake ornaments I thought would look cute with some glitter on them.  So I coated them with Mod Podge and sprinkled some white/clear glitter and just a bit of silver glitter on them. When the glue was dry from the first round, I applied additional Mod Podge over the glitter to keep them from shedding.

Admittedly, I've been working on these ornaments off and and on since last Christmas, so it feels good to finally get some of them hanging on the tree. It ended up being more work than I thought it would be.  However, if your goal is to make plain white ornaments, it's not too big of a project, and in the end, I like how my snowflakes turned out.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cardboard Tube Snowflake Ornament

Cardboard tube crafts have been really popular on the web lately.  Last Christmas, I saved all of the tubes from the wrapping paper I used up, and chopped them into 1 inch tubes using my paper cutter. (When you cut them, they get smooshed into ovals.) After I chopped them up, I threw them in a cardboard box and shoved them in a closet, and there they sat for a year.  

Last week I dug them out and made a couple of holiday crafts with them.  

You'll need:
A cardboard tube (a paper towel roll, toilet paper roll, or wrapping paper roll)
hot glue gun and glue
spray paint
mod podge and a foam brush for application

First off, I cut 6 (because thanks to my sister, I know that real life snowflakes always have 6 points) of the tubes in half so they are approximately 1/2 inch thick.

I then grouped 3 together and glued them at the points with a hot glue gun (you may be able to use other glue, but the hot glue gun is probably the easiest since it dries so quickly).  I had to pinch each grouping of 3 to make room for all 6 pieces.  Then I glued the two halves together at the center.

After the snowflake was glued together, I spray painted the snowflakes with cheap white spray paint. Spraying them makes any of the hot glue gun threads that you failed to clean off, pop right out against the cardboard--which makes it easier to clean them away.

After they were sprayed white, I spread glue on the sides and top edges of the ornament and covered the ornament in silver and white glitter.  After the glitter dried, I went back over it with some mod podge so that it wouldn't shed glitter quite as much.

The finished product is definitely an upgrade to the cardboard tubes that almost ended up as trash. Hubby even gave them the "they look store bought" seal of approval when he saw them hanging on the Christmas tree. :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Glitter Ornaments

Most projects you see posted on the internet are not as easy as they appear.  Sometimes, the simple directions turn into a disaster.  This is not one of those projects.  These glitter ornaments are just as easy as all of the online articles make them seem.  Just swish around some floor wax inside the ornament, and the glitter sticks right to it.

For this project you need:
Clear Glass Ornaments
Floor Wax (it's not really wax, but it's the stuff that makes your floors shine--not degreaser or cleanser)

The only "catch" to this project is that the floor wax stuff costs about $5 a bottle--and that's the cheap stuff.  Of course, you use very little in the ornaments, and you can shine the floor with the leftovers.  I bought this brand because it was less expensive than some others, it is safe for laminate floors (which I have), and has a pull spout at the top that will make squirting into the ornament easier.

Squirt about a teaspoon of floor cleaner in your ornament.  Swirl it around so that it has covered the inside of the ornament.

Then dump out the excess.  This bottle's opening was just the right size to rest it on top as it drained. :)

Next, use a funnel (or folded sheet of paper) to put glitter in the ornament.  I made one solid colored ornament with moderately fine glitter (from the dollar section at Michael's) and one with red and green glitter that came in a five pack from the dollar store.  I thought for sure that I would need to use the expensive super fine glitter that I have been saving for a special project, but the cheap stuff worked great.  The finer glitter covers a little better, but you can make it work with anything you have on hand. Swirl the glitter around  until it covers the entire ornament, add extra if you need to.  Then dump out any glitter that hasn't stuck to the sides of the ornament.

After your ornaments have been effectively swirled and covered with glitter.  Set them someplace safe to dry without their cap on for a while.

Replace the cap after an hour or two and hang on your tree. These ornaments are super easy and I'm really pleased with how well they turned out.  They sparkle beautifully on the tree.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Button Ornament

This is a super easy project. I bought two bags of cheap buttons at Wal-mart and attached them to the Styrofoam ball with stickpins. I wished I had more variety in the sizes and colors of the buttons, so if you had some lying around in a jar at home, that would probably work even better. I used a T-pin to attach some red and green ribbon to the top of the ball because the weight of the ball was too much for a regular pin.  The T-pin solved the problem and kept the ribbon from pulling free of the ball.