Monday, December 21, 2009

Crafty Little Trimmings For My Tree

Call it crafting, re-purposing, it whatever you like.  I like to think I'm kinda crafty, and I sometimes have these big streaks of creativity.  Sometimes, my ideas work out pretty good, and that's ok with me.  Sometimes they don't, and that's ok too.  I don't know what it takes to flip on my "crafty" switch (I really wish I did though!).

Several years ago, one of my crafty friends had been hanging on to wine and champagne corks, thinking that one day she'd find a use for them.  Well, I guess she never did, and eventually she asked me if I'd like to have them for a project with my preschool students, so of course they came home with me!  It wasn't long before my students and I created several crafts with them.  But I still had quite a few corks left over.  I started out with...are you ready for this...a half-filled brown paper grocery bag, so there were a lot!  Now hold on a minute.....I know what you're thinking...they weren't all from her house.  Most of them came from the church.  And they came in all shapes and sizes.  Perfect!

A few years later, I started to think about all of those wine corks.  What could I use them for?  Then one came to me!  I thought I'd try to make little ornaments with them.  So I got out my paints and crafty supplies, and what follows are my results.  I made dozens of each, and sold them at craft fairs.   My crafty friend and I used to go in together on booths.  All of my ornaments had their own personalities because it was impossible to make them exactly identical!  Some of my Frosty's had little stranded wire arms that I bent into "twig" shapes and spray painted dark brown.  Some of my Santa's had bigger beards than others for a little variety.  But I had to hang on to these two guys though...they were the first two I ever made.



My little Santa was made from a standard wine cork.  First, I painted his suit red. Then I added Snow-Tex for his beard, and painted his face with twinkling blue eyes.  Well, they're about as twinkling as I could make them!  I used scraps of felt for his hat, and added a tiny pom-pom to embellish it.  For the hanger, I cut a paper clip in half, dabbed a bit of glue on it, and pressed it into the top of his hat.

Frosty was made using a champagne cork for his body, and a wine cork that had a plastic "rim" for his hat.  (I don't know what kind of wine comes with this cork/plastic top...if you do, please, please tell me!)  I painted his hat black, turned it upside down and glued it to the champagne cork.  Then I applied a nice coat of Snow-Tex to his entire body.  I added the black buttons, eyes, smile, and his carrot nose with a bit of glue.  To make his nose I used the clipped end of a round toothpick that I had painted orange.  The hardest part was waiting for the Snow-Tex to dry.  I tied a narrow tartan ribbon around his neck for a scarf, and added a black pipe cleaner with a tiny sprig of plastic holly to the brim of his hat.  The little black bits that look like coal are actually plastic aquarium gravel.  I used the cut paper clip for Frosty's hanger, and added a tiny little red satin ribbon to hang him with.

It's just weird how I stumbled upon that idea to use the aquarium gravel!  I happened to make a stop at the local pet shop for dog food while I was in the middle of this project.  It's my habit to always look at all of the animals whenever I'm there (I can't help myself!).  When I got to the fish dept. I noticed the gravel in their tanks...and I had a brainstorm!  (cue the big streak of creativity!)  It looked as if it would be absolutely perfect for Frosty!  They didn't actually sell this gravel there, but the guy at the counter was happy to scoop out a bunch from one of their tanks for me.  He asked me what I needed it for.  So I told him.  He was quite amused!  So was Frosty.  It worked out perfectly.  And don't worry, the gravel received a good scrubbing before I used it!!

I've been seeing the beautiful ornaments that so many of you have been creating, and I just had to contribute.  And I barely made it!  I've been so busy and ohmigosh time is quickly running out for any last minute preparations!  But I have written up all of my Christmas cards, embossed the envelopes, and sent them out last week.

Christmas is now just around the corner - - someone please tell me how this happened?!?!



Andora said...

Those are really pretty...Wish you and your family a Merry Christmas...

Callie said...

Very cute and creative! Merry Christmas!

Janet, said...

Those are cute ornaments! I made a reindeer ornament with corks. Make his antlers with brown pipe cleaners and stick them into the top of the cork, paint the cork brown and glue on googly eyes and a red pom pom nose. It's fun to create ornaments from ordinary items.