Method 1 Tree Ornaments
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1Make frosted pine cones. These pretty ornaments are surprisingly easy to make at home with some plain, natural pine cones. Pick out nice, even pine cones with a pleasing shape and lay them out on newspaper. Next, take white spray paint (such as Frost White) and spray one side of the pine cones. Let the paint dry for a few minutes, then turn the cones over and spray the other side. Finish the ornaments by hot gluing short loops of white satin ribbon to the base of each cone, so that they hang point-down.
- You can spray more thoroughly for a bright white look, or at an angle from the bottom to give the appearance of snow on the edges of the pine cone eaves.
2Make vintage ornaments from old metal pieces. You can make old-fashioned looking ornaments to add a bit of Victorian class to your Christmas tree by hot gluing ribbon loops to old baking molds, commonly found at antique malls and retro shops. Make several using different, ornate shapes, and hang them at different points all around the tree. For even more variety, tie ribbon loops to old iron and bronze skeleton keys and hang them, too.
- Skeleton keys can be spray painted white or finished with cheap clip-on holiday brooches to make them stand out more, if you wish.
3Hang metal frame fabric ornaments. Cheap, small nickel frames are a great choice, since the metal has a nice, lustrous finish. Buy a few frames suitable for wallet-size pictures, and collect scraps of festive cloth. Open the back of each frame and stretch a piece of fabric across the backing board. Pin, stitch, or hot glue it in place on the back, and then hot glue a ribbon to one corner of the frame and hang it diagonally.
- If you have plain white fabric and markers, you and your children can make a fun project out of stretching the cloth and then decorating each ornament with drawings and words, before closing and hanging them.
4Fill clear globe ornaments. Clear, thin glass globe ornaments are cheap to buy, and though they look pretty on their own, they're also ideal for customizing at home. Throw a pretty object, like a peacock feather or a piece of petrified wood, inside each one, and then hot glue the top shut.
- Adding a single object is only the beginning for these versatile ornaments. You can add craft snow and a miniature model tree or snowman to make a tiny winter scene, or paint glitter onto the walls of the ornament to make it sparkle. Be creative!
- For a truly dramatic effect, use a small rubber band and a round or oval-shaped piece of paper or other blocking material. Strap the oval smoothly to one side of the ornament, using the rubber band to hold it in place across the “equator” of the ornament. Suspend it from a hook, and apply a coat or two of glass frosting spray paint. Once the paint is dry, remove the band and oval for a picture window effect with a thin clear band bisecting the rest of the frosted orb.
5Make custom drum ornaments. Festive little drums are a classic holiday motif. Make your own cheaply and quickly by buying small, round wooden (or cardboard) boxes from your local craft store and decorating them with a band of thick ribbon around the body, or thin ribbon around the outer edge of the lid. Hang them by gluing a thin piece of ribbon underneath the lip of the lid at either end.
- Vary drum sizes and ribbon colors and patterns to make a festive little set of unique drums.
6Turn seashells into fanciful ornaments. Seashells are great as ornaments on their own – just hot glue some gold or silver cord to them to make a hanging loop – but they're easy to dress up, as well. Try painting one or both sides of a shell with thin glue, and then thoroughly coating it in colored glitter to make an iridescent shell. Paint glue on in separate stages to create different areas of colored glitter for a two-tone effect, or paint a thin line of glue to make a glittery edging effect that's great for spiral-shaped shells.
- If you have a sea urchin shell, try gluing a bundle of tinsel underneath it once it's been dressed in glitter, to make a “jellyfish.” Hang it from the top and center so the “tentacles” hang down.
Method 2 Other Decorations
Frame an ornament. This striking and elegant wall decoration is easy to make with fifteen minutes and some basic supplies. First, tie a pretty tree ornament to some ribbon and make a loop. Take an empty wooden picture frame (painted to match the ornament, if you like) and make sure the ribbon is long enough that when you hold the top against the top back side of the frame, the ornament hangs in the center. Once you're satisfied, mark that spot and hot glue or nail the ribbon in from the back. Hang the frame on the wall to show off the ornament suspended in its center.
2Make snow puffs for the mantel. These are spiky, unique looking ornaments that recall snowflakes and dandelion fluff in equal measure. Start with balls of craft foam and lots of flat toothpicks. Sit down and stick the toothpicks into the foam balls all over, as closely together as possible. Once the entire ball is covered, adjust the toothpicks until they're all about even, and then spray paint the whole thing white. They look great sitting on top of other objects or just scattered as a set of three or four across a shelf.
- Use different-sized foam balls to make varying sizes of puffs.
3Decorate for dinner with holiday napkin rings. Thread thin ribbon through the tops of one or two small globe ornaments, and then tie the thin ribbon through the center of a bow knot in a piece of wide ribbon to serve as the napkin ring itself. Use two different colors, such as blue and silver, for a pretty and classy look.
- As with all napkin rings, this works best on cloth napkins; however, if you skip the ornaments, you can make even a plain table festive by tying utensils together with satin bows.
4Wrap candles for an instant centerpiece. Wrapped candles are quick, easy, and impressive to look at. Start with a candle in a dedicated glass holder, or use a pillar candle set in a properly-sized wine glass or other piece of glassware. Next, wrap the base or center area of the glass with something festive. Bits of sleeve cut from old winter sweaters look cozy; a fat velvet ribbon with a bow is festive; sprigs of cedar glued around the base are warm and elegant.
- Consider using pretty Mason jars, such as diamond-patterned jelly jars, as candle holders for an extra-homey look. You can even turn the ring of the jar upside-down and set the jar inside it for a more elaborate display!
5Decorate a plain wreath. There are an endless number of crafty things you can do with a wreath-form base to create your own custom Christmas wreaths: glue fruit and nuts to them, wrap them in fabric, cover them with globe ornaments – but there's no easier or more fun way to create a quick custom wreath than to start with a plain fir- or pine-bough wreath from the store and let your creativity take over from there. Try adding gift tags with the names of your family and friends, or sticking floral elements (the kind that come on plastic spikes) in to add fruits and leaves.
- You can also decorate your wreath just like a Christmas tree. Instead of hanging the ornaments, tack them to the boughs straight through the tops. Use a couple different sizes and colors to create a look that's at once homemade and professional.
I want to decorate my staircase but would prefer to not spend much money. Any suggestions?
You could could Christmas lights around the banister.Thanks!
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