Friday, December 23, 2011

Homemade Ornaments

About 2 weeks ago I decided to let Deci make all her grandparents homemade ornaments. I remember making paper mache balls with balloons when I was younger and thought I could Google how to make an ornament and it would be easy and fun...well fun, yes but not as easy as I imagined.  I thought this would be something I could let Deci do all on her own but it ended up that I did all the hard work. To make Paper Mache Ornament Balls you will need:
-Small Balloons
-Glue or white flour
(Optional- Paint and yarn)
First start by blowing up the balloon the size you want your ornament. Then coat the balloon with Vaseline.
 Next cut newspaper into strips about an inch thick and about 3 inches long.
Mix either: 3 part water, 1 part flour
or 2 parts white glue to one part warm water. 
The flower/water mixture didn't work well for me.  After 2 days the newspaper was still wet and soft.

Dip the newspaper strips into the mixture and remove excess liquid with fingers. Place strips onto the balloon.  Make about 6 layers. Set aside to dry for at least 24 hours. Ours took almost 48 hours to completely dry. This part by the way was the hard part.  I let Deci do the first one, but she has 4 sets of grandparents (not counting great grandparents) so I ended up making the rest.
 After they are dry, paint away if you wish. This was the fun part for Deci.

 Let the paint dry and then cover with a layer or 2 of Mod Podge. (This is optional)  It goes on creamy but drys clear.
 After this drys, pop the balloon and pull it out. Then figure out a way to hang them on the tree. This was another hard part.  Ideally it would be good to use what most ornaments are hung on the tree with as pictured below:
 I had a few extra laying around from broken ornaments. For the other ones I used thick yarn. I just looped it and tied a really thick knot at the bottom. Then pushed the knot in the hole at the top where the balloon was sticking out.
 I think they turned out really cute but like I said, they took me a while to's just lots of steps on waiting for it to dry. I mailed these out yesterday so grandparents, don't put up your Christmas ornaments just yet.  You will have a late Christmas gift that should be at your house by December 29th. :)

If you are looking for an easier homemade ornament to do with your kids check out my friend Bryan's blog HERE and follow these instructions from his guest blogger. We started making these ornaments this morning.
 Mix flour, salt and water. (I didn't have the alum the recipe calls for)
 Roll dough out and use cookie cutters to make shapes. Use drinking straw to poke holes in the top for string. Then bake in the oven for 2 hours at 250.
These were so easy to make and Deci had so much fun. She even said, "This was a good idea mom!" She loved playing in the left over dough after.  These take 2 hours in the oven though so ours are still baking away.  I'll post pictures soon after we paint them. (oh and leave more room on your baking pan than we did. They swell in the oven and ours are starting to stick together.) I only wish I would have found this recipe earlier...I guess I can save them to mail next year. :)

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