Some of my friends suggested that we hold a Christmas ornament exchange this year. It’ll work kind of like a traditional ‘cookie exchange’ but instead of extra calories, we’ll each go home with some beautiful new ornaments!
I’ve encouraged all participants to work with whatever medium they love – paper, wood, ceramics, beads, yarn, glass…there are so many possibilities! We will all make twelve ornaments to exchange – if there are more than twelve people, we’ll draw numbers to determine who gets which ornaments.
Now that I’m back in business with my new soldering iron, I had a chance to work on my own ornaments for the exchange:
Okay – there are more than twelve, but was on a roll and I thought I’d make some extras to give as gifts while I was at it!
To make the ornaments, I stared with two microscope slides. For the front piece of the ornament, I used vintage Christmas music (given away by our church during the move) as the background. I carefully cut out vintage Christmas images from some clip art sheets to make a tiny collage.
Each ornament is different – for some, I added ribbon, flowers, leaves and other embellishments; for others, the image was large and ornate enough to stand on its own. The back of each ornament is a piece of red poinsettia flocked paper that I signed and dated.
I sandwiched the collage and paper between the glass and taped and soldered the edges. I soldered a swirly paper clip to the top as the hanger (tied with ribbon) and soldered one or two small silver embellishments to the outside of each ornament. By the way, some of the embellishments were actually gold-toned to start – I either tinned the whole piece (see…I’m getting the soldering language down now!) to make it silver or just added some small silver accents if there was other gold in the collage.
I also added one or more jump rings to the bottom of the ornament and then strung some beads on a beaded head-pin and attached it to the ring. I used a lot of vintage beads on my pieces to keep with the feel of the collages.
I also tried to venture out from the traditional red Christmas color and include some shades of soft blue and teal as well.
I hope the group likes my ornaments – I can’t wait to see what everyone else creates!