The holiday season is fast approaching and a favorite activity this time of year is to decorate for the season. For a lot of people the most important decorations are those that are put on the tree. There is just something magical about finding the perfect spot on the tree to hand a particular ornament. And what can be better than creating your crafts for Christmas, such as an ornament for your Christmas tree?
This tutorial will walk you through making a scented Christmas tree ornament by hand. While the process might seem complicated a first, it really is quite easy to do. You will want to start this prep part of the craft a few days before you plan on actually making the ornaments.
Supplies (for 6 ornaments)
6 ounces unscented Aroma Beads*
1 ounce candle fragrance oil of your choice*
Liquid candle dye in your choice of colors
Christmas themed cookie cutters
Flat baking sheet
A leather punch or several 4 3-4 inch flathead nails
Gallon Mason jars with lids
* The Aroma beads, fragrance oils, and dyes can all be purchased from a major candle supply company such as Peak Candle Suppliesas well as auction sites such as Ebay. Local craft stores such as Michael’s and Hobby Lobby sometimes carry these supplies as well.
1) The first part of the prep work you’re going to do is combine your fragrance oil with a couple drops of liquid candle dye in the Mason jar. Remember, the dye is concentrated dye so a little bit goes a long way. Make sure you stir them together very well or your beads will not have a consistent coloring.
2) Next add the Aroma Beads to the mixture. Close the lid completely and shake vigorously to ensure all of the beads are coated in the coloring and fragrance.
3) Place the jar in a window sill where it will get some warmth from the sun. It will take the beads several hours and even up to a couple days to absorb the mixture. During this time every few hours shake the jar again to make sure the beads do not clump together. Some fragrances will take longer than others to absorb.
If you are in a hurry you can place the jar on a cookie sheet in an open oven set to warm for about ten minutes at a time, but remember to shake them often! The beads are ready once they are dry. If they are still too wet when you use them they will smoke in the oven.
1) Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
2) Once your beads are dry it’s time to start making your design. Place the cookie cutter you wish to use flat on the cookie sheet.
3) If you have a leather punch you can skip this step. If not, place one flathead nail inside the cookie cutter shape near the top (this is where you will insert your string to hand the ornament from).
4) Fill the cookie cutter with one ounce of your colored Aroma Beads. You can be as creative here as you’d like. You can create multiple colors for the beads and use them to decorate with. For instance if you have a Christmas Tree cookie cutter, you can fill it with green beads, then place a few red, blue, yellow, and purple beads in a pattern to look like a string of lights.
5) Put the sheet in the oven and let bake for approximately 7 minutes. How long you leave in the oven depends on the look you are wishing to achieve. The longer you leave them in, the smoother and more glass like the ornament will appear. Check on them often and remove from oven when you like their appearance.
6) Allow to completely cool before removing from cookie sheet. Then pop them out of the cookie cutters. If you have any rough edges use the scissors to trim. If you used a nail, push down on it to remove it from the ornament. If you are using a leather punch instead make the punch near the top of the ornament.
7) Cut the length of elastic string you wish to use and slide it through the hole in your ornament.
8) The final step is to find the perfect place to hang it on your tree!
It’s important to note that since you are using fragrance oils be careful not to place your finished Christmas Tree Ornament on wood or finished surfaces as the oil will damaged these. If you plan on storing the ornament for next year place in plastic bags and store separate from other decorations. The ornaments may lose some of their scent while being stored. Instead of storing you can use them as air fresheners in your car.