Saturday, December 3, 2011

DIY Christmas Ornaments

I just LOVE the month of December! Even though Christmas takes up just one day, the entire month feels festive and magical to me. One of my favorite parts about Christmas growing up was decorating the tree. I loved going up to the attic and taking down the boxes with all of our beloved ornaments and putting them up on the tree one by one. My sister and I each had our favorite ornaments and would give them the best spots on the tree. :)

I've never had my own tree in the city because my apartments have all been much too tiny, but my current apartment in Fenway has super high ceilings and a foyer area that is just perfect for a Christmas tree! So with the help of my boyfriend, I spent the entire day today picking out a tree, buying ornaments and decorations and listening to Christmas music. I couldn't be happier with how it all turned out!

I chose to go with a silver and gold theme and bought all of my ornaments at the Dollar Tree and from Not one of my ornaments cost more than $1 and most of them were under 50 cents each! :) I also decided that I wanted to make some of my ornaments, and I'm going to give you my step by step instructions below along with giving you the links to where you can buy the same materials I used.

What you need to make the garland balls...
What to do...
  1. Cut each garland strand roughly in half. You will use about half a strand per ball. 
  2. Wind the garland around your hand in a circular motion. You want to make it about the same size as the ball so it fits neatly inside when you snap the two halves shut. You'll need to play around with it a bit - there's really no science to it! If you feel like the ball looks sparse in some areas, cut 1 or 2 smaller pieces off of the garland you're using to fill up the empty spots. 
  3. Once you like how the garland looks, snap the two halves shut. Make sure they are closed tightly! Trim off any stars that are poking out of the ball. 
  4. Now it's time to attach the cute little bow! Stick the wire through the hanging hole at the top of the ornament and wind it around the bow so it's on there tightly and won't fall off. 
  5. Stick an ornament hook to the top and you're done! :) They look so sparkly once they are on the tree near the white lights. 

What you need to make the glitter balls...
What to do...
  1. Lightly dip your paintbrush into the Modge Podge and paint a VERY thin coat on the inside of each ornament half. The Modge Podge dries clear, but the thinner the coat, the more the sparkles will stand out! 
  2. Dump a good amount of glitter into the ornament and close it tightly. Make sure you hear the ornament snap shut or else you will have a big glitter mess all over the place after the next step....which isn't so bad if you really like glitter, I guess!!
  3. Shake the ball up so the glitter coats the inside of the ornament. (I had some glitter left over inside the ornament that wouldn't stick - I could tell because I could hear it when I was shakingit, but I wanted to make sure it was fully coated so I used more rather than less.) 
  4. Add the bow and ornament hook per my instructions above and voila! You have glitter filled ornaments. :) Once the Modge Podge is dry, the ornaments are super sparkly! 

These photos really don't do the ornaments justice at all - my camera won't capture how sparkly they really are! Here are some more photos of the ornaments on my finished tree along with the rest of the cheap ornaments I bought!