On the heels of my family tree post last week, today I want to share an easy way to handcraft a child’s keepsake ornament. Placing things inside a clear plastic bulb is popular, but you’re typically limited to only small items that will fit through the top opening. This method allows for much larger and more interesting fillings.
You will need:
• clear plastic bulb
• 2 or 3″ diameter wood discs
• ultra fine point sharpie
• Xacto knife & sharp scissors
• paint, scrapbook paper, Mod Podge
• hot glue gun
• pipe cleaners
• trinkets personal to your child
Start by finding a small version of something that will remind you of your child this year. Songbird has been big into My Little Ponies since spring and Bug has a serious obsession with all construction equipment. The fox is an ornament for the daughters of a friend so they can always remember the year they were smitten with “The Fox Song.” If you haven’t heard of it, be one of the 287 million cool kids that have by clicking here. Very popular with the under 10 crowd.
Clear plastic bulbs come in two sizes (80mm & 100mm), so decide which will best fit your trinket. Find them at both big box and various craft stores; costing about $1 each.
Find a cup or similar jar opening that is slightly smaller than your wood disc.
Center the bulb inside the cup and (holding firmly) trace a circle with a ultra fine point sharpie.
Use your Xacto to first roughly cut out the bottom of the bulb, staying away from the line you drew. Then go back with your detail scissors to make a clean cut around your line.
I chose to enhance my wood disc by painting the edges and then using Mod Podge to adhere traced scrapbook papers to either side. You can use any type of paper, really. Or just paint the whole thing.
Once the disc is dry, arrange and attach your trinkets. I had Songbird color in a hand-drawn rainbow to add bulk to her arrangement. The fox was slightly too long if place directly on the disc, but by boosting him up on some mulch he fit just fine. Test your trinket set up with your cut bulb before hot gluing into place.
To attach the bulb, put your hot glue gun on low; high temps can melt the plastic. Carefully and quickly place 4 equally spaced dabs right on the edge of your disc and place the bulb while the glue is hot. Let set till firm.*** Do not make a ring around the whole thing. Trust me, it looks terrible.
To cover the glue dots, use evenly spaced glue dots on the outside to attach a coordinating pipe-cleaner. You could also use ribbon, but I found that a fuzzy texture hides the glue better. For the fox ornament I gave some soft garland a hair cut!
On the bottom, be sure to record your childs name, date, and any other info you want to remember.
Hang and enjoy. These are a new handmade holiday tradition that I’m already excited to re-visit next year!
If you don’t have time to make one for this year’s tree, don’t fret. Score the bulbs on sale after the holiday and make a 2013 version to hang up next year!