Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Photo ball ornaments

There are dozens of ways to get your favorite  family pictures on your tree. I particularly like this one.

Materials and cost:

One dozen clear glass ball ornaments - $5.99 at Hobby Lobby and 50% off that puts the cost at $3.00
12 photos - I use 4x6 prints I can get for $.19 each for a total of $2.28
One pair of scissors
One pair of tweezers
Elmers glue - bought at the back to school sales for $.20, 1/10 of a bottle used for a cost of $.02
Gold Glitter - $1.49, 50% off for a cost of $.75 and half used for a final cost of $.37
Red ribbon - $1.99 per roll, 50% off for a cost of $1.00, .25 roll used for a cost of $.25
Hot glue gun
Glue Stick - $.17, I used half of one for a total of $.08

Total cost - $6.00 or $.50 an ornament


Cut the photos to fit inside the glass balls. This takes some trial and error. My later ornaments had a nicer fit than the first few.

Once the photo is cut, take the top off the ornament and roll the photo to fit through the opening. Be careful not to crease the picture.

Once the photo is all the way inside the ornament, use tweezers to gently unroll the picture and get it into place.

Once the photo is where you want it, place the top back on the ornament. You can use glue if you want it permanent. I did not.

Now, I suppose you could get really tricky and put a photo facing the other way as well. You could also use cotton, feathers, etc in the back of it to add a decorative flair and cover the back of the photo. I chose glitter. I wish I had gone with silver to match the ornament top, but I went with gold.

I put the glitter into a shallow plastic container to contain the mess a bit. Using the glue, I put designs along the back of the ornament. You can use stripes, stars, dots, scribbles. I played around with a few different things. Then dip into glitter and tap to remove excess.

Once the glue is dry, cut lengths of red ribbon about 4-6" long. I didn't measure. They are about as long as my hand. Use the glue gun and put a dot of glue at the top of the ornament as a place to secure the ribbon.

Bring the ribbon around the front, and tie it once.

Bring one end around in a loop, and use hot glue to secure in center, as one half of a bow

Bring the other side around, secure with glue, and your ornament is finished!

"Gilded" walnut ornaments

These adorable little ornaments are a throwback to years ago when people would decorate their trees with gilded fruits and nuts. Inside these cute, simple little ornaments is a fortune to be found when the nut is cracked open.

Materials and costs:

1 lb walnuts in their shells - $1.99
Gold paint - $1.49 per bottle, .25 bottle used for a total of $.37
1 sheet of paper - $.01
Gold ribbon, $1.99 per roll, 50% off making it $1.00 for the roll, 1/3 roll used for a total of $.33
Hot glue gun
1 glue stick - $.17
Green ribbon, $1.99 per roll, 50% off making it $1.00 for the roll, 1/3 roll used for a total of $.33

Cost for 16 ornaments - $3.20 or $.20 per ornament


Very carefully split walnuts in half using a sharp knife. Use a butter knife to pull out nut meats and clear the shells.

Paint the outside of both halves of the walnut with gold paint and allow to dry.

Cut paper into thin strips about half an inch wide and 1.5 inches long. Use a marker or pen to write fortunes on the slips. These can be as simple or as complicated as you want. I went with simple.

You could also use carefully folded money or small trinkets depending on how elaborate you want to get with it.

Roll the fortunes up into tiny scrolls, and tie with a short piece of gold ribbon. Tuck into the walnut shell.

Using the hot glue gun, place a dot of glue at the top of one half of the shells. Loop the green ribbon around and secure both ends to the shell with the glue.

Use the glue gun to run a bead of glue around the edge of the shell, and carefully seal both halves of the shell back together.  They are now ready to hang on the tree! On Christmas morning, let the walnut hunt commence and seekers can crack the nuts open to find their fortune.