Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Top 10 Tuesday - Project in process - Hand painted Christmas ornaments

 At Christmas Village a few weeks ago, I fell in love with these hand-painted ornaments. Everywhere I looked, I kept seeing cuter and cuter versions of them. I could have bought some, certainly, but I kept thinking that I could make some of them myself.

Here are 10 Christmas ornaments that I think would be adorable to make in this way: Santa, snowman, gingerbread man, elf face, stocking, angel, present, Christmas tree, ornament, and reindeer.

I also think you could personalize your ornaments to your family. The 10 personalized ornaments that would work for our family include: ballerina tutu, football, doxies (wiener dogs), schnoodle dogs (schnauzer/poodle mix), boxers, bully dogs (American bulldogs and boxer mixes), owls (because I love them), cameras, map places I've traveled, and Big Red (WKU mascot).

There are several other things that I can think of for friend ornaments; here are a quick 10 off the top of my head: chihuahuas, German shepherds, Maltese, Wildcat (UK mascot), sunflowers, skateboards, bicycles, gamer shapes, cats, house shapes.

You can see some of these patterns in the pictures below, but many of those are just my own ideas.
 The shapes seemed quite simple, and the decorations on each were simplistic too. I thought they were made out of burlap initially, but I now think it was more of a duck cloth or twill.
This Santa is really my favorite of all the ornaments I photographed. Notice the hand painting and the decorative stitching. I just kept thinking, "I can do this."
How cute would that ballerina tutu be for me to make my daughter, for example? (She teaches dance at a local studio.)
Look how sweet the school buses and baby faces were!
I really like the elves and football too. 

The question became: how do I make patterns for myself to use if I'm going to try to make these ornaments? The answer was simple really. I googled images of holiday items and various breeds of dogs that my friends/family have and printed them. Once I'd done that, I laminated each and cut them out as accurately as I could. (I had some former students hanging around my classroom just before Thanksgiving who had nothing to do, and put them to work on my project too. Free labor is the best - lol!) Of course, I could have cut these out of vinyl on my Silhouette Cameo (if I knew how). That would have been quicker and easier, but I also think it would have been more expensive in the long run.  

Side note: wouldn't a hand painted monogram be fabulous? I guess I would need to use my Silhouette for that one for sure.

 My apologies for the schmutz on my table; I thought I'd cleaned it well before taking these pics. Oops!

Some of the patterns are really too large to use as ornaments, but I thought I might use them to make pillow or clothing appliques. Laminating the patterns meant that they were easier to work with and I don't have to worry about getting paint or marker on them.
 Here are several holiday shapes that I've already cut out using my patterns. Some of them are single ply and some are double ply. For the single ply ones, I can always cut out a back for them after I'm finished painting them. For the double ply items, it'll be easy to glue or stitch them together and then stuff them with cotton batting. (The schmutz in these pictures is from the duck cloth - I promise my table is cleaner than that. Hahaha!)

 I decided to set up in my dining room because the light was better there on Sunday afternoon and because my desk in my 'studio' is beyond cluttered. Why clean it when I can just set up elsewhere? Lol. My super organized friends are cringing at this as they read.
 I put the first coat of paint on my Christmas tree and reindeer. Note that I painted both sides of the ornament, but idk if that was really necessary or not. I'm not happy with the way they curled up on the edges.

 I also put a coat of paint on a ballet tutu while I was at it.
The curling edges were driving me nuts, so I used several bottles of paint as weights to hold down the edges. We'll see how that works. I plan to work on these again later this week, so I'll update you when I can.

Finally, I also bought a package of adorable vintage Santas in hot iron transfer form in the embroidery department. I think I'll use these as painting guides on some natural muslin I bought and them turn them into pillows or wall hangings. Won't that be a cute idea? Again, I think these are too big to use as ornaments and too intricate for me to try to stitch before Christmas, but the transfer patterns will make great painting lines for me.
There you have one of my Christmas crafting ideas in progress, or at least at the beginning stages of progress. I'll check back in later with what I'm able to actually accomplish. Fingers crossed that I don't jack it up terribly! 


  1. These look really fun! Looking forward to seeing the final results!

  2. i was just gonna ask you if you got irritated that they curled up, then i read the part where you said you weren't happy. i like that you keep it real. i wonder if you used gesso on them first if they still would have curled? i don't know.