Saturday, November 30, 2013

Up-Cycled Christmas Ornaments

Our first Christmas tree and ornaments, as a married couple, were literally plucked out of the garbage. Okay, not literally, more like rescued. My husband's townhouse neighbors (back when he was single) had a water leak in their garage. The artificial Christmas tree, lights, stockings, stocking holders, and ornaments were near the water and despite everything being protected in plastic bags, they hastily chucked everything out on the curb. Although the decorations weren't my first choice, I couldn't really argue with FREE. The tree was white with red, gold, glitter, and pearly white ornaments. Some of the glass balls were a little scratched (from rubbing against one another in the bag), but I stuck them in the back or turned them inward.

Now that I've acquired some new ornaments and swapped the white tree for a traditional green one (my sis is totally rock 'n' the white tree), I had some old ornaments on my hands. For whatever reason, I couldn't throw them away and now I'm glad I didn't. You may have some scratched, dingy, just plain ugly, or 'those aren't my colors anymore' ornaments laying around too. Why throw them away when you can transform them into something new? It totally takes away the guilt too.

So I have to admit, I had NEVER used Modge Podge in my life until last fall. I know. I know. Hard to believe. I guess I just couldn't think of anything I wanted to decoupage. I can see now I was really missing out. This stuff is awe...some!

Here's what you'll need for these Up-Cycled Ornaments:

 Glass or plastic ornaments, scratched up/ banged up / not the right color

 Decoupage medium, regular or satin (I like satin)

 Fine iridescent glitter, preferably Martha Stewart "crystal fine"

 Wrapping paper, thin and interesting design, cut into strips

Pretty 1/8 inch ribbon or twine

1. Keep the hooks or put hooks on the balls so you can hang them while they're drying. Prop up two coffee mugs or cups and place a dowel/pencil in between to hang the ornaments to dry.

2. Working in small sections, apply decoupage medium or plain school glue on ball and lay strips down, smoothing down the edges as you go. I found this newspaper print wrapping paper at Target for $1. If you can find it, Sheet music or French script would be very pretty. Let dry completely (several hours) before going on to next step.

3. Cover entire ball with decoupage medium. This is where you use the good stuff. They have so many kinds at the craft store. The antique finish would be really neat. Let it dry until no longer tacky.

4. Apply another thin coat of decoupage medium and sprinkle with fine glitter immediately. The crystal glitter works best because it just makes the surface sparkle without taking away from the design on the paper.

5. Add a ribbon and some other baubles and Voila!

Looking for something less labor intensive? Try covering each ball in glue and rolling them around in German glass glitter. VERY FANCY. You can't go wrong with glitter.  I also turned some moss balls into ornaments by attaching ribbon, a bell, and some buttons.

The lesson for today, Kids, is be creative and not throw something away just because it's scratched or ugly.  Make something new it and/or use it in a different way. I love bowls of bulbs placed throughout the house. It's an even better way to showcase special ornaments or when you don't have a full set.  They're not just for trees anymore.

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