It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas!!

I have been making ornaments with my grandchildren and having so much fun! I only have two of them here with me this year, but we are making something new every day. These ornaments are made with Styrofoam balls and felt. I use metallic rick-rack for the trim but you can use anything you like. You can also use fabric instead of felt, but you have to be really careful not to use too much glue because it will soak through the fabric a lot easier than it will the felt.

You will need:
2 1/2 inch Styrofoam balls or the size of your choice
Felt squares in the color of your choice
Tacky glue or other craft glue
Gold or silver rick-rack or trims of your choice
Ball-head straight pins

You will need to make a pattern first. Measure around one of the styro balls. Divide the measurement in half for the length of your pattern, then divide the same measurement by 6 for the width of the pattern. The pattern itself with be a wedge shape, with points at the top and bottom and wider in the middle. It will look something like the one at the right. If you use a 2 1/2" ball, you will use these measurements, too.

Cut 6 of these from felt. Starting with your first piece, glue it to the ball, stretching it a little from top to bottom, causing the sides to hug the ball. Don't stretch too much, or you will make your pieces too skinny. Start the next piece with the tip on the first tip and the edge right next to the edge of the first piece. Glue all 6 wedges to the ball and put a straight pin with a little tiny head at top and bottom where the points meet. Make your "seams" as neat as possible, or you will have trouble covering them with your trim.

Now cover your seams with the rick-rack or other trims, and place a ball-headed pin to hold the ends in place. You can decorate the balls with more pins, placed in designs, or with sequins or other embellishments. You can hang a beaded loop at the bottom, too, which makes them look very special. Glue a loop to the top for hanging and you have a very nice ornament.
No one truly knows the origin of the Christmas ornament, but it is known to have originated in Germany in about the 15th century. Trees were decorated with things from nature, such as nuts and berries, birds and nests, flowers, etc. As time went on, more and more reflective surfaces were used, making it more about light. This was understandable, considering the bleakness of winters in Germany. The light also represented the Light of Christ, who is the reason for the season.

Whatever the origin, whatever your beliefs, Christmas ornaments are fun to make and they make a nice family tradition, too. Your children will remember them for the rest of their lives.
A tradition my family had that was connected with the ornaments on the tree started with a common children's game. We used to lay on the floor around the tree, and play a version of "I Spy". One of us would describe an ornament we could see and the others had to guess which one it was. We did this for hours sometimes, and my kids still have nice memories of the time we spent together doing this simple thing.
Remember, it doesn't make much difference how much your ornaments cost, what matters is that they have meaning for you and your family. And whatever you do, enjoy your family for the holidays. 'Night, Gramma G.

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