Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Last-minute Christmas ornaments

So in my last post I mentioned that I was done with all my Christmas preparations. And that was true; I was done. Promise. At least it was true until I found out that I needed to make last-minute changes to a couple of presents (technically one was a birthday present, but the celebration is on Christmas, so it's close enough). I took care of that yesterday morning -- while avoiding anything resembling a mall or department store -- and then after finishing another project in the afternoon I decided that what I really needed to do was make last-minute Christmas ornaments. Did I have time for that? Not really. But did I have fun making them anyway? Yep. And here they are:

Two star-shaped Christmas ornaments made with layers of silver paper, burlap and stamped kraft paper.
Supplies (all Stampin' Up! unless otherwise noted):
Stamps: Bright and Beautiful
Paper: Silver paper (retired); kraft, Naturals White card stock
Ink: Silver pigment (ColorBox)
Accessories: Burlap Fabricpage (Canvas Corp), Stars Framelits dies, Frosted Finishes embellishments, Vintage Faceted Buttons, large pearls, silver detail embossing powder, silver elastic cord, Eclectic Paper-Piercing Pack, paper-piercing tool, 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue (Beacon), Scor-Tape (Scor-Pal), Dimensionals

I made ten ornaments total; one to keep and nine for family members. That's a lot of die-cut stars to crank out through the Big Shot machine.

Star-shaped Christmas ornament made with layers of silver paper, burlap and stamped kraft paper.
I used the three largest star-shaped Framelits dies: the largest for the silver paper, the next size for the burlap and the backing (see below), and the third-largest for the stamped image. I was worried at first that I would run out of the burlap. I had one 12" x 12" page, but when I cut out the first star, I discovered that it was actually two sheets of burlap sewn together, so I just separated each pair of stars after cutting them out.

I also made a discovery about the kraft card stock: It has a "right" side and a "wrong" side. If you look really closely at the card stock, you'll notice very faint lines on the back. It's barely noticeable, and wouldn't made a difference if you were using the card stock for a mat or a die-cut or punched accent. It may even be okay for basic stamping. But when I started to emboss the stars, the images that I had stamped on the back of the card stock did not look right. I think the detail embossing powder might have settled into those faint lines. At any rate, they just looked a little strange, so I stamped and embossed those stars over again.

A star-shaped Christmas ornament made with layers of silver paper, burlap and stamped kraft paper.
I only had seven of the Frosted Finishes embellishments left from last year, so for the last three stars, I used a large Vintage Faceted Button. I added a large pearl to the center of the button to give it a more finished look, but I really wish I had some large rhinestones to add to the shine. I did glue the pearls into the buttons to make them a little more secure.

The three layers are attached together with Dimensionals. I wasn't sure how well the Dimensionals would adhere to the burlap, so I tested a little scrap first. They seem pretty secure for now; I guess we'll find out next year how well they stand the test of time.

I also pierced a border along the edge of the largest star shape of each ornament. Without the paper piercing, the silver paper looked too flat and boring compared to the texture of the burlap and embossed layers.

Back of the star ornament, stamped "Created by Andrea, 2014."
I wanted to attach a string to the ornaments without punching a hole in one of the points. My solution was to cut a piece of silver elastic cord and use Scor-Tape to adhere the ends (untied) to the back of the largest star at one of the points. Then I cut a piece of Naturals White card stock with the second-largest star die -- I used the smaller size for the backing star so it wouldn't cover up the pierced holes -- stamped and signed it, and adhered it to the large star, securing the ends of the cord. (This is actually easier to do before you add the layers on the front.) The backing star also makes the ornament a little sturdier, since the silver paper isn't as heavy as card stock.

I already have my ornament on my Christmas tree and the other nine packaged up and ready to deliver. So I think now I'd really done with all the Christmas preparations. Just in the nick of time. Thanks for stopping by!

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