Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ornament Exchange

I want you to know that I truly do enjoy Thanksgiving.  Seriously.  It is a warm holiday and a great time to truly celebrate gratitude.  God has blessed us richly.

But . . .

I adore Christmas music (especially now since I discovered that I can play it so easily – with variety – on Pandora). 


And . . . well, my crafty sister is hosting an ornament exchange over at her blog. 

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Needless to say, we have entered the season that we honor our Savior’s birth a bit prematurely.  But then again we should act like every day is Christ’s birthday, anyway.

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So, the plan is that you make an ornament and send it in the mail to another family that my sister, Michelle, will pair you up with.  In return, another family will make and send you an ornament for your Christmas tree.  Head on over to Michelle’s blog to read all about how to make this happen in  your home.  She needs to know that you’re “in” by November 20th, 2010.

christmas crafts 069(They’re supposed to be sheep . . . but a duck slipped in.) 

I hope that the ornaments don’t have to be perfect.  I must admit my crafty perfectionism is struggling to ship our ornaments out, partially because my kids made them.  MEANING, I savor their little handicrafts, for a time. And the other partially . . . because . . . well . . . they look like kids made them. 

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If I ship them across the USA, though, perhaps seeing the joy that went into my children’s creations, will make our ornaments hang in a high place of honor upon some green boughs.  You better bet that I am including a link to this blog post in our package.  (Hi! to whoever got our ornament!)

Here is how I recommend this goes down in your house. 

Have an ornament making party.  Invite a girlfriend over who has kids that get along well with your brood.  Better yet, have the person coming to your house come up with the craft.  (For example, I hosted . . . my sister played the roll of art teacher . . . and my mom supplied the lunch.)

Set all the little kids down at one table.  I highly recommend you give each child a tray to collect glitter, glue, and whatnot. 

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Don’t know what to make?  Here are two ideas for you.  You probably already have the supplies to make them.

Fuzzy, Fat Yarn Sheep


  • small square cardboard
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • yarn
  • felt
  • black pipe cleaner
  • anything else – bonus

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1.  To make the body, loosely wrap the yarn around the width of cardboard square until it has been covered at least three times. (The more yarn used, the fluffier the sheep's {or duck’s} coat.)

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2.  When finished, slide the yarn onto your fingers, gathering all the loops together.

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3.  Using your other hand, put a rubber band around the loops, cinching it in the center like an hourglass.  (We used string and made a knot.)

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4.  Cut the pipe cleaner in half and thread the two pieces through the center of the sheep's body, so that they stick down on each side like legs.

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5.  Cut through the loops on both ends of the hourglass and fluff up the pom-pom.

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6.  If the yarn pieces are uneven, "shear" the sheep with the scissors.

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7.  After cutting a face shape out of the felt, glue it onto one end of the sheep. Smackdown totally sheered the sheep’s face for a flat surface to glue his triangle.

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8.  For a hanger, cut a 10-inch length of ribbon, fold it in two, and knot the two ends together. Thread the unknotted end of the loop through an embroidery needle, then pull it up through the center of the sheep.


And for our second craft – geared for the younger children in our group . . . but clearly enjoyed by my niece.

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Glitter Balls


  • Styrofoam balls
  • glue
  • glitter/sequins
  • tray (recommended)
  • disposable plastic containers (recommended)
  • ribbon
  • egg carton (recommended)
  • toothpicks

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1.  Use Styrofoam balls of various sizes. Insert toothpick into the center of each ball in order to hold your ball to later uniformly coat it with glue and glitter.

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2.  Put glue into a bowl, dip the balls into the glue, and sprinkle with glitter.

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If you happen to have bags of glitter instead of handy glitter bottles like sane people, let me recommend that you borrow a jar from your spice cabinet. 

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3.  Place them onto wax paper to dry.  However, we found that poking a hole into an egg carton with the toothpick was even more effective.  Plus, we could also place initials by each child’s craft.

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4.  Attach ribbon at the insertion site of the toothpick, once glue has dried, with a hot glue gun.

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Be brave!  You don’t have to be overly crafty.  Create a new memory or Christmas tradition with your children.  Head on over to Hi Mama and sign up to be a part of our Ornament Exchange!   Sign up by November 20, 2010 and mail your ornament by December 6, 2010.

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