Friday, November 30, 2012

This Year's New Ornaments

Our Christmas Tree is an eternal work-in-progress.  Almost everything on it is handmade and I have added a new set of ornaments every year for the sixteen years we have been married.  I don't use every set every year so it's always a little bit different.  This year I was stumped.  What could I add that would fit with the rustic, homey feel of everything else we have?  I mean I've already done snowflakes, glittery snowballs, snowmen, stars {in several forms}, angels, gingerbread men, Santas, book page ornaments, candles, and jingle bells -- sixteen years worth of ornament ideas is a lot!  Then I came across this FABULOUS idea at Clean & Scentsible the other day.  Chalkboard Art Ornaments.  Of course!  I've been a little bit obsessed with chalk art all year.  It's got a cool vintage style to it that would blend perfectly with my other ornaments.  Plus, I can make them kind of big and chunky.  Our tree is pretty big {we use the top 9 feet of a 12-footer} so anything too small just looks cluttery and gets lost.

Aren't they super fun?




Let me tell you what NOT to do: 
Painstakingly perfect each design with regular old chalk until you absolutely love it and then spray them with clear acrylic sealer.  Your chalk designs will more-or-less disappear.  Then you will want to cry as you redraw the designs, which will not turn out as well because the clear acrylic sealer left the wood surface kind of . . . bumpy . . . and weird.  Not that I know.  I'm just guessing here . . .

Now let me tell you what TO do:  
1.Pick up these cute shaped wood pieces for 97 cents each at Walmart.  I'm sure they have them at other craft stores, but you can also pick up something for dinner if you go to Walmart and your family will like that. 

2. Paint them black with any old flat black paint you have.  It does not have to be chalkboard paint.  Matte black craft paint will work beautifully. 

3. Free-hand your designs on the ornaments in chalk.  If you're not as cheap as me, a chalk marker would be your best bet.  If you are cheap like me, regular old chalk works fine.  Keep a wet rag and q-tips on hand to fix your mistakes as you go.  {Because it's harder to center the word HALLS in an oval than you would think.}  If you use the chalk marker, you're done right here. 

4.If you use regular chalk, you need to spray your designs with hairspray to set the chalk.  With the hairspray it looks like your design disappears, but it comes back as the spray dries so don't panic.

5. Hot glue bows to the tops to hang them with and you have some fancy-pants new ornaments for your tree!

I LOVE them so much!  I really want to do a black and white tree this year and only hang up our other white ornaments with these ones, but my kids FREAKED OUT when I said that this morning because it would mean them not putting their personal ornaments up.  {We give them each a new ornament every year so they'll have a collection to take with them when they move out and have their own trees.} Sis told me to "put a pin in that idea" until she moves out.  Boo.  How did I get such sentimental kids?  Where is their artistic vision?!  Just kidding . . .I really like our tree when it's all decked out with everything on it. 

I'm so excited to start crafting for Christmas and making gifts.  I'll be sharing some easy fun home made gift ideas in the days to come.  Have a great weekend, friends!

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4 comments:

  1. oh i am so glad u did this post. last year i did the same thing with my son's teacher for her pressie for teacher appreciation. he hand wrote her a message. i used the clear sealer and about cried, bcuz i wasnt getting a second chance at HIM writting it. now i know what to use to seal this years!

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  2. Love this! Your tips are fantastic. I had no idea that I could use plain blackpaint. I also llove the shapes idea. I agree, Walmart so you can kill 2 birds with one stone. You are a genius!

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  3. I have two trees. One for the munchkin and one for me. :) All the cute, sentimental but not particularity pretty (or fancy or doesn't fit with my theme) go on that one and then I have my "fancy" tree. It's the best of both worlds.

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  4. I LOVE these and might copy the idea for our tree this year. And we, too, have one tree for the whole family in the livingroom, and one little tree upstairs in the playroom for our daughter. She'll ahve a "water for elephants" theme tree, which I came up with as she wanted all these very colorful circus-like ornaments ... let's see how it turns out. ;)
    Jule from inside 9B

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