Those who read my crafting articles know that I’m fond of beading. However, I know that not everyone shares my love of beads, but that many people would still like to make their own Christmas ornaments. Of course if you would like to bead Christmas ornaments you know you know I’m ready to give you many suggestions as to where you can find free patterns, but if you want to try something else for your tree, or as a gift, look no farther as I have a few ideas here for you.
Consider coloring clear glass ornaments – from the inside. The company “Dreaming in Color” (formally known as Luminarte) has made coloring glass Christmas ornaments as simple as coloring Easter eggs. Using their simple solution and colorful mica powders, you basically create you ornament in a few easy steps. The company gives excellent directions on how to make the ornaments so I won’t repeat what you will find there except to say that the process is a bit messy. Get a plastic tablecloth to cover the area where you will work. Also, I found their suggestion about using a small paper cup to drain the simple solution unsatisfactory. I wanted something sturdier, so I used some inexpensive glass ice cream sundae dishes. Their narrowing shape was exactly what was needed to hold the ball as it drained, and these dishes are now official craft dishes.
It is worthy of note that because the company recently changed its name – and I believe its corporate structure – it isn’t as easy to obtain its products as before. You can still get everything you need directly from the company, but the turn around time in shipping might be slow. Ask how long it will take to receive your product if you are in a hurry. Also, don’t worry if you can’t find the correct Simple Solution for glass. Although Simple Solution No. 1 is what the instructions say to use, I’ve used both No. 2 and No. 3, and my ornaments turned out fine.
As stated above, the “dreaming in color” website has instructions how to apply the product. You can also find an excellent tutorial on Joggles.com. One thing I must say about this project – have a lot of glass ornaments ready because it can be addicting!
Another idea for making your own ornaments is to cover glass ornaments with polymer clay. If you look at the pictures I’ve attached you’ll see two different polymer clay ornaments. One is made from premade canes, the other from homemade canes. Both were very easy to make and both were a lot of fun!
There are literally hundreds of tutorials on the internet on how to make canes from polymer clay, so I’m not going to cover that. If you’ve never used polymer clay before now, you may want to use premade canes that you buy in a craft store. You will need to buy a tool for cutting the clay because you can’t use your knives that you use for food, and you will need something to cook the clay. I have an old toaster oven that is no longer used for food. That is the key – it must no longer be used for food!
What you want to do is cut slivers off the canes. These slivers should be about as thick as a dime. Then arrange them on your ornament. Press them on the ornament – they should stick on fairly easily so long as you haven’t let the clay dry out. When you get it all on the ornament you can bake the clay. What I did was cut apiece from a cardboard toilet paper to make a holder to hold the ornament up straight. I realize it sounds counter-intuitive to put cardboard into the oven, but trust me, you’re only the ornament in at 200 degrees, so the paper isn’t going to ignite. It is important, however, that the ornament sits upright while it bakes.
Let it bake in a well ventilated area for approximately 20-30 minutes. Feel the ornament – if it feels firm then it is done.
Yes, I’m sure you can buy your ornaments much more cheaply than you can make them. But the fun you can have making them is well worth the price. Besides, what price can you put on art?