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This month it's all about handmade thank-you gifts.
I think a handmade ornament is a lovely thing to give someone as a thank-you. It's great for a hostess gift too, with the holiday party season coming up.
I will be sending this particular ornament to my friend Genelle - not as a thank-you, but as part of an ornament swap for Charity Wings.
Here's how I made this Christmas ornament - it went together pretty quickly!
3" Smoothfoam ball
Craft paints - light green, dark green
Medium gauge wire
'Tis the Season beads
'Tis the Season snowflake charm
Ball-head straight pins
Beading pliers - flat and round-nose
1. Poke a skewer into the ball's starter hole and slowly push it straight through to the other side, to turn the ball into a bead. Leave the skewer in the ball to use as a handle while you paint it light green; let dry.
2. Sponge-paint a coat of dark green on top of the light green and let dry. This gives the ball a nice texture, like forest greenery.
3. Apply a coat of decoupage medium to the bottom half of the ball (use the center seam as a guide), then sprinkle with glitter. Let dry.
4. Press a strip of decorative self-adhesive ribbon around the center seam.
5. Push several ball-head pins into the top half of the ball - I spaced them rather randomly to look like little snowballs on the green. Twist and remove the skewer.
6. Thread a few beads for the bottom of the ball on to an 8-9" length of wire. Use the round-nose pliers to make a twisted loop at the bottom. Thread the wire up through the bottom of the ball and add a couple beads to the top. Make another loop at the top, leaving about 1/8" of wire between the top loop and the top beads.
7. Push the ball up on the wire so the 1/8" space is above the beads at the bottom, then tie a little bow with chiffon ribbon on to the wire.
8. Use pliers and a jump ring to add a charm to the bottom loop - and your ornament is ready to hang!
For lots more great ideas for holiday decorating, check out the Smoothfoam blog!