There are literally thousands of different ornaments you can make, some with things you might already have at home, some with a little help from your local craft store. Some things you’ll need for typical ornaments is thin craft wire, pipe cleaners in different shades or types, beads, clear ornament balls, hot glue, stretch cord in silver, gold, white and clear, holiday fabrics, fishing twine, bows, and ribbon.
One of the easiest types of ornaments to make is made from pipe cleaners and beads. For Christmas ornaments choose pipe cleaners that look like tinsel, in silver or gold. For non-holiday ornaments choose pipe cleaners of white or solid colors.
The first order of business is to shape the pipe cleaner in a manner that will allow you to make the desired ornament. For example, if you’ll be making a cross ornament, you’ll need to glue one small pipe cleaner piece to a larger one. Place the beads onto the sticks and glue the last one in each row. For the top portion of the cross, cut a 4″ long piece of elasticized thread and fold it in half. Place both ends inside the bead and squirt glue in to secure. Now slip the bead onto the cross, making sure not to let the strings come out of the hole. Some suggestions for pipe cleaner ornaments are Star of David, snowflake, candy cane, or just various shapes like diamonds or stars. Shape the pipe cleaner, thread the beads, and attach the hanger.
A different kind of ornament is made with any type of lid, such as ones found on a coffee jar or even a pop bottle. Cut a piece of holiday fabric and attach it to the flat side of the lid. Spread glue around the sides of the lid and attach a holiday-colored, wide ribbon. For the concave side of the lid simply spread glue all over and then sprinkle on glitter. Use a stretch-thread hanger and a bow to cover where it attaches to the lid.
Another kind of ornament is made from clear ornament balls, found at craft stores or online. The balls look like the typical colored Christmas tree balls, but these are clear. Print any picture or photo from your home printer, cut it to size, then roll it up until it will fit into the ball opening at the top. Slide it down inside then use a pencil, with eraser, to manipulate the picture into place inside the ball. Attach the top hardware and hanger.
Use fishing twine, or something similar, to make icicles. Start by stringing a small bead then gradually allow the beads to get larger. The beads needn’t match in shape, but should match in color. Clear beads are best for icicles. Try a pattern of two small round beads, then one star bead, then a larger round bead and a larger star bead, etc. You’ll find many interesting beads to make a variety of icicles.
All sorts of ornaments can be made using craft wire. It works like the pipe cleaners: shape it, string the beads, then attach hanger. An easy way to shape the wire is to use images from a book. Find a picture of a dolphin, for example, then outline it using the wire. After you are satisfied with the wire outline, move the book out of your way and go on to decorating the dolphin. There are many different ways to do so. String beads onto the wire, wrap the wire with ribbon, or use a picture cut-out. To use a picture, shape the wire to outline the dolphin picture, but make the wire image only slightly smaller than the actual image. Use decoupage glue to attach the wire to the picture and wrap around to the back. Attach hanger. You can also laminate the picture and then attach the wire.
Ornaments that are great for any time include crosses or photo ornaments. Make them as stated above then hang crosses on a suction cup to place in a window. Or, use teeny-tiny picture frames to make ornaments for anytime. Place a picture of sea creatures in each frame then attach suction cups to make a nice bathroom window ensemble. This can be done in any room in the house, with various pictures. Make a tiny ornament out of every member of the family’s photo, then use suction cups and hang them on one window of the den.
Some things to remember about ornament making: be sure the beads you choose have a large enough opening to pass the pipe cleaner, craft wire, or other base through. If using pipe cleaners the beads will need very large holes. If using thread or craft wire the beads can have a tiny hole. Think of unique ways to use ornaments: attach small ones to picture frames, dangle matching ones from your drapes or tie-backs, glue one to the front of a vase or another object, or use them to decorate wine glasses. There are tons of ways to use ornaments without needing a special holiday as an excuse.