Sunday, 9 October 2016

Let's make... Christmas tree decorations [part1]

Troedyrhriw Angel
I love Christmas and start thinking about it around August time. This is because when I was growing up money was tight and so my Dad would clear a shelf in the pantry during August and purchase something Christmas related in each weekly grocery shop from then on. Seeing that shelf get fuller and fuller made me so excited... pickled onions, piccalilli, After Eights, Mr Kipling mince pies etc. and so it grew.

Sadly, many of our  precious childhood Christmas decorations are now lost. However, one item we do still have is the beautiful angel that sat atop my maternal Grandmother's tree for most of her long life. Some years ago I photographed her and then made a Christmas craft range that proved very popular [I will post about that very soon and put a link here]. I call her Troedyrhriw Angel because that is the village in Merthyr Tydfil [South Wales] where my Granny lived.

However this first of two festive DIY posts will show you how to make a selection of Christmas tree decorations from basic household items! And, they're pretty easy to do so most are suitable for children if supervised. This is what we'll be looking at in this post:

Glittery bells made from plastic egg box cups
 Curved bells made from actual egg shells! 
Shiny hanging discs made from sweet wrappers

How to make the egg box bells
Plastic egg box

It's tricky cutting the bells out but persevere and, as well as the cups, cut out the
middle tower sections as these can be used also
Next you need to punch a hole in the top to thread the ribbon or string through. Best way to do this is to get a wad of cotton wool or kitchen paper and firmly place into the bell. This lessens the chances of the plastic splitting. A small sharply pointed instrument is needed to make the hole, like a large safety pin or the fine end of a pair of scissors [adult supervision needed here]. 
Next comes the fun but fiddly bit! Decorate the cups and towers with glitter glue
 or you can of course, use glue and dip or sprinkle regular glitter
When dry, and I mean FULLY dry, thread a length of looped ribbon or string through the hole. If using glitter glue [recommended for best results], this can take hours to dry so best kept away from impatient little fingers over-night.
Some finished bells

 How to make the egg shell bells
A used egg-shell is very delicate so must be handled with caution all through this process. The first thing to do is to punch a small hole in the tope of the shell to hang the looped ribbon or string through. The same process of cotton wool or kitchen paper stuffed into the shell as used with the egg box bells, can be applied here to protect the shell from cracking. But be aware, even more care must be taken due to the fragility of the shell! 
The above image shows a shell with a layer of glitter glue already painted on the inside. Multiple layers of the glitter glue will need to be applied. Firstly, to build up the depth of colour and secondly, to make the shell harder.
The above image illustrates that you can choose to glitter up one side and paint a colour on the other, it is entirely up to you. Once fully dry, thread the looped ribbon through. This is probably the most tricky of the three decorations and the most time consuming, as to get results like the ones shown below, at least four layers of glitter glue and two of paint will need to be applied. That said, I think it's definitely worth the effort...
How to make the sweet wrapper discs  
Sweet wrappers! Who wouldn't have a few of these lying about the place?
Firstly find a template for your discs [I used a jam jar lid], then pencil around them onto pieces of old cardboard and cut the circles out. Then, cut out the same size circles on the sweet wrappers. Remember here, that you'll need a circle for each side. For these I chose gold paper for one side and different colours for the other. An especially nice idea for children to make these as gifts, is to leave one side blank or cover with plane paper, and write a Merry Christmas message on.
Next, stick the wrappers onto the cardboard and then [if desired] you can decorate round the edges with glitter glue. When fully dry, create a hole for the ribbon, a proper paper punch is by far the best way, and as long it's not too thick, should work fine on the cardboard.
Festive DIY craft post part two will follow soon....  


No comments:

Post a Comment