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Friday, December 12, 2008

3 Handmade Holiday Ornaments

I really enjoy Christmas tree ornaments. I’ve been collecting them since I was a teenager. Some were made for me as Christmas gifts from the crafty ladies in my family, some are store bought, and some I made myself. Let’s take a look at a few of my favorite handmade Christmas tree ornaments.

I still have my 12 inch bachelorette Christmas tree**. I put it up on the second floor landing of The Condo. This tree is now our Rennie Tree. It has some of the ornaments that Husband and I collected and displayed when we performed at renaissance festivals. Back in the day, our large tree was The Rennie Tree decked out in purple lights, gold ribbon, and Elizabethan animal ornaments. To fill in the holes in the that large tree, I bought some frame ornaments from Restoration Hardware and put photos of Husband and I in our many characters on the tree. For more filler, I string a few jingle bells on ribbon from my sewing stash. After all these years, they still look good. These ornaments sum up my personal decorating style -pair and pull off a combinaton of the expensive with the clever but very inexpensive.

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I revamped these plain glass heart ornaments last year. Where they came from neither Husband nor I know. Nevertheless, they’ve been sitting in the bottom of the ornament box forever. They never made it on the tree because the clear glass blended into the tree too much. Last year, I decided to make our large Christmas tree the Toy Tree of Whimsy and wanted some new red and apple green ornaments to tie into the red and white color scheme we have going on in the living room 24/7 356 days a year. Since I have enough ornaments to decorate probably three Christmas trees, buying new ones didn’t seem like a good idea. I roughed up the plan glass hearts with a Brillo pad and repainted them in the colors I wanted with craft paints and added ribbon hangers. I always hang my ornaments with loops of ribbon. I think it looks a little more elegant, it’s one less thing to buy since I always seem to have ribbon in my sewing stash, and more importantly I hate accidently stabbing myself in the foot by stepping on a wire hanger that’s embedded itself into the carpet long after Christmas is over. (Inserting a “No wire hangers!” joke here is optional, but not required.)

In Demark, it’s tradition to use hearts and the national flag as Christmas decorations. As a third generation Dane, I couldn’t help myself and painted one of the heart ornaments as a Danish Dannebrog heart.
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I didn’t make this ornament, but love it just the same. A friend made this for us. I am amazed at her handiwork – she made all of these shapes using just glue and glitter! I could never do the job so neatly.
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Do you have any favorite ornaments, handmade or store bought, decorating your home this season?


**Yes, we have fake Christmas trees. In The Condo, we’re all about reuse, and that goes for our Christmas trees, which we’ve had going on 10+ years and plan to use long after that. An artificial tree saves us money too. More importantly, it saves my nose, because I’m allergic to tree pollen.

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