Sunday, November 15, 2015
A Gift a Day Gift Thirteen: Nativity Scene Christmas Ornaments
One of the things that I've found survive the holidays around here is home made stuffed Christmas ornaments. My son might steal them off the tree and play with them all over the house, and as a result I might be finding them in July in his toy box, but they do survive. So, I keep my eye out for things I can make stuffed ornaments out of.
So, I figured that overstuffed Christmas ornaments for the tree was a great gift for my son this year.
I ran into a panel project at the used store early in the year that I thought, at the time, was Christmas ornaments (it was stapled together, so it was kind of hard to tell). For 1.50 for the panel, I figured it was worth getting.
I went to cut out the ornaments, or what I assumed was ornaments, only to realize that the panel wasn't for ornaments but a 3D overstuffed nativity scene. They had instructions for putting bases on the nativity pieces and using cardboard as stiffeners in the pieces, etc.
Well, with my son, who likes to slap things down, that would have ended in tears early, so I instead figured out a way to take the pieces, cut them and sew them carefully and now we have some nice, but very big in some cases (the Three Kings are really big) overstuffed ornaments for the tree. I'll keep the tree up for a few extra days past Christmas this year to allow my son to enjoy the ornaments, but I know he'll like this gift a lot.
These ornaments will also do double duty as I'm planning on doing some Godly play with my daughter to tell the story of the first Christmas and the ornaments will make good puppets and visual reinforcement. It'll be a fun Christmas Day activity.
To make Christmas ornaments cheap? Use felt, double stacked and draw some Christmas like designs on it (you can also use cotton fabric, I've made a lot of ornaments from a package of fat quarters when they go on sale cheap at Jo Ann Fabrics over the years). With yellow I make star and bell shapes. Green is great because you can just make at tall triangle put a rectangle on the bottom of it and voila you have a rustic Christmas tree. No worries if they don't come out straight. That's the charm of rustic looking ornaments. Just make sure you add a second line so you have your seam allowance around the ornament. I usually cut out both parts of the ornaments at once (right sides together folks). You can hand sew the ornaments or machine sew them, leave a little opening to turn them and then stuff them (don't have fiber fill? Get creative. I mean these are Christmas ornaments. Fabric scraps down to confetti size can work as filling. Laundry lint is a trick a friend told me about a while back. Really even paper towels or scrap paper could work as it's not like these have to hold up to wear and tear!).
Another really fun thing that I make from time to time that is suitable for gift giving? I will take cinnamon sticks that are kind of old for baking applications and cut them in half with a serrated knife (or a small saw would work better, but I hate to use my husband's tools for fear of breaking something, so I use a cheap serrated knife and flinch and hope I don't wreck it *ahem*. Note to self: Buy a saw for my household tools one of these days) and than stack them like you would a bundle of logs. Than take some ribbon and wrap around your "log bundle" and loop the ribbon at the very top to make a tree hanger before gluing everything in place. If you have it, little bits of moss or colorful dried flowers added to where you put the loop on the cinnamon logs makes a wonderful bit of garnish for the ornament.
And voila you have a really beautiful Christmas ornament that will also smell pretty. And it doesn't take much to make. Really there's no reason you couldn't make this with sticks from your yard, even, if you could find ones that were nice and straight. And it really does make a cute ornament for someone's tree.
Total Cost to Make Gift: 1.50 for the original panel. The batting came from the crafting supplies I found in storage earlier in the year, so I had it on hand.
Total Time to Make Gift: About three hours between having to CAREFULLY cut the ornaments out, line up the lines (since the ornaments have fronts and backs to them) and sew them just right so that they looked right.