July 25, 2016

Easy to Create Christmas Ornaments

Children can quickly and easily
throw together this Victorian style
ornament for friends and family!
One of the things I look forward to is creating the opportunity for my children to make their own Christmas ornaments to give as gifts to family, friends and special people in their lives. I've done this since the kids were born, even if I only helped them hold a crayon or add beads to a wire they bent into some interesting shape. It allows them to have a special feeling of accomplishment, to get creative and to look back over the years at the great memories they have created.

A few years ago I was also able to help my Tiger Cub Scout den do the same for their families. My challenge was the boys have different abilities and attention spans, so I needed something fairly quick, and I wanted something that would be special for the moms. It was as I was unpacking my tree ornaments, the idea hit me.

 Many years ago, my mom and I took a class at a littler herb shop on old US-12. The ornament we created was something akin to old world or Victorian charm, and it used many easily accessible gardening and craft items, specifically the very easy to find plant lamb's ear.

 Lamb's ear is a fuzzy, sage green perennial that is found in many yards and gardens throughout Ann Arbor. The great thing is, that even with this snow, you can clip the leaves to use any time of the year even now! Since the Lambs Ears are now in full growth, AND it's Christmas in July, I suggest picking the leaves now and wrapping the Styrofoam balls. You could then make the ornaments later or go ahead and create them now. Honestly, these could be hung up year round - they are so natural and pretty!

Regardless, this is a quick, easy project, to keep the kids occupied. The Victorian style garden ornament fits the bill.

2 1/2-inch Styrofoam ball
12-15 lamb's ear leaves per ball
Straight pins
Assorted dried or artificial flowers or herbs, beads, pearls, gems, buttons
Ribbon Hot glue and glue gun or white glue

Step 1) Begin by pinning the lamb's ear leaves, vein side down onto the Styrofoam ball. Smooth each
leaf as it is placed.

Step 2) Add additional leaved slightly overlapping with their tips meeting at the bottom of the ball covering the Styrofoam with the stem side at the top. Ideally once covered, the balls would be slipped into the kegs of a pair of tights or pantyhose and allowed to dry for several days. It will work without drying but looks much nicer if allowed to dry!

Step 3) Once covered, glue or pin assorted flowers, naturals, pearls and beads to the top of the

Step 4) Add ribbon or bow to top to hang ornament. Either pin it or add glue, then pin it for security.

Step 5) Add a gem or filigree to the bottom of the ornament for a finishing touch!

The boys loved the project and easily finished it within 20 minutes with the help of an adult helper. It would be a easy kids activity though even with limited assistance. Do you have any other easy ideas for the kids?

This article was originally published on annarbor.com.

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