Homemade: Ornaments Of Christmas Past

I’ve been making Christmas ornaments ever since I was a teenager. My mother and several of my aunts made them too, so you could say it was a family tradition. Here’s a selection of some of the ones I’ve made over the years.

homemade satin ornament from the 1970's (click on any image to enlarge)

In the early days, I was much into sequins, beads and ribbons. I dreamed up all of these early ornaments myself, working until I got something that was pleasing.

sequined bell from the 1970's

Later on, I tried my hand at painting on pre-made wooden shapes. I never quite got the hang of that, but I did make a couple of ornaments that turned out halfway decent!

painted ornament from 1990

At some point in the early 1990’s I got into woodworking. I used a pattern from a magazine to make the scroll saw dove in the photo below.

scroll saw doves from the 1990's

After a few years absence from making ornaments, I made one in 2005 to hang on the first Christmas tree my wife and I decorated (before we got married). This was a paper-mache birdhouse I painted. The roof shingles were scales from a pine cone I found while we were out walking. I was headed towards my ‘natural’ phase!

birdhouse from 2005

From that point, it has now become a tradition to make at least one new ornament every year. In 2006 I painted and decorated a small gourd to make a snowman.

painted gourd ornament from 2006

Who could have guessed that in 2007, we would be married and moving into our own house! And so the ornament making tradition continued. I made the below ornament in 2007 by covering a glass ornament with multicolored pieces of tissue paper.

paper covered glass ornament from 2007

In 2008, I returned to a natural theme and made this one from seeds (squash and collards).

seed ornament from 2008

For 2009 I tried a new medium and covered this paper-mache star with pieces of metal leaf.

paper-mache star covered in metal leaf from 2009

And in 2010 I made this mitten from felt, decorated from bells, ribbon and glitter I had on hand in my craft supplies.

2010 mitten ornament

Which brings us to 2011. And yet another new tradition. This year my wife and I are collaborating on making some ornaments.  We are combining our skills – and supplies, learning as we go on this project. With a couple of days to go, it’s crunch time! If all goes well, we’ll have the finished ornament(s) just in time for Christmas. And you can be sure I’ll be back with photos!

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5 Responses to Homemade: Ornaments Of Christmas Past

  1. Goodness, your talents never cease! I love the little bird house with the pine cone shingles, and the seed ornament from 2008 is wonderfully creative. Can’t wait to see what transpires for 2011! Happy Holidays!

  2. Mike says:

    Really neat ornaments…I love the seed one. The grandson and I made a Christmas star for his Dad today…that would be the first ornament either of us has ever made. Maybe it will become a tradition.:) Merry Christmas.

  3. debsgarden says:

    I love your ornaments, more valuable with each passing year! I like a Christmas tree filled with memories, and no doubt yours is. Merry Christmas!

  4. Robin says:

    Your ornaments are beautiful! I was showing my little neighbor all of the homemande ornaments that we have on our tree.

    I have some old ones made with sequins too!

    Have a Wonderful Holiday!

  5. Liz says:

    Those ornaments are just lovely. Great character pieces! Have a happy holiday season.

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