There was a brief moment where I thought I might make it to Europe this December. And to me, Europe in December is all about enjoying fabulous outdoor Christmas markets. But alas, the need to care for my three children kept me at home. Not surprising!
But I cannot complain. Over the years I have had the good fortune of visiting Germany and Austria in many a December (a combo of work travel when I was a marketing manager for an engineering firm, and personal travel with my extended family). I love shopping the markets and drinking the Gluhwien (spiced or mulled red wine). I often purchase Victorian paper scraps and Dresden foils in the markets. This year, since I will not be on European soil, I will have to be content with drinking homemade Gluhwein and making ornaments with some of my earlier purchases. After making a couple ornaments earlier this week, I decided this ornament project would be a great activity to share on Christmas. Read below to learn how to make homemade Christmas ornaments!
Photo above: Me with my Dad at the outdoor market in Nuremberg, Germany
I love having a fun ornament craft for everyone to make together on Christmas day. I try to find a craft that is easy enough for even the young kids to make. Victorian style ornaments work very well for this. Two years ago, we made Victorian Ornaments using spun glass discs. This year, I found crown fasteners that are made to secure lamella tinsel roping (it looks like metallic pipe cleaners), into stars. I have always loved nostalgic ornaments, and homemade Christmas ornaments.
With all the Victorian paper scraps available, even for those of use that cannot make it to the Christmas markets, there are endless opportunities. You can get all the materials you need at D. Blumchen & Company. They have some great examples of completed ornaments, but I will give you full instructions too to make your own Victorian style ornaments. Blumchen also carries other tinsel supplies like tassels and additional types of roping for those that want to get more creative. If you want additional options for the Dresden foil stars and Victorian paper scraps you can go to 32 Degrees North.
Crown Fasteners – 6 prong
Lamella Tinsel Roping 1/4″ wide
Dresden Foil Stars
Victorian Paper Scraps
Needle nose pliers
I will give instructions on a modified rosette, because it shows some useful modifications. For example, I had 6 prong fasteners, but I wanted more than six points on the star. I also did not have a silver star that was large enough to show behind my Santa picture. Below, if you follow the steps, you will see how I was still able to achieve my desired look.
1. Bend 1/4″ at on end of your silver roping. Make another bend at 2.5″, 5″, 5″ and 2.5″. Cut the roping 1/4″ from the last bend (making a final straight piece that is 1/4″ long). So in this complete step you are making straight segments that are 0.25, 2.5, 5, 5, 2.5 and 0.25 inches long as in the image of the silver roping above. Cut your blue tinsel in the same manner, but with the bends at 1/4″, 2″, 4″, 4″ and 2″. Trim 1/4″ from last bend. Your two pieces of roping should look like the ones in the photograph above. Note that they do not look the same! They are different sizes!
2. Set the silver roping in the 6-pronged crown fastener so the two ends are inside the fastener and the prongs separate the roping into 3 equal loops as shown above. I forgot to take a photo of the 6-pronged fastener before I put the roping in it. Sorry! The fasteners can be seen for sale here! You will get the idea if you click the link…
3. Add the blue roping in the same manner using the spaces made by the three remaining prongs (image above).
4. Use your needle nose pliers to push the prongs down flat, being sure to trap the ends of the roping securely.
5. You can now shape your petals however you like. I made my silver petals longer in step 1 so I could do additional shaping to the silver petals relative to the blue petals.
6. You can now use your glue gun to add your Dresden foils and Victorian Paper Scraps to your rosette. My silver Dresden foil was too small so I cut it in half to position the two halves better. You can fully decorate both sides, or I prefer to just add a medium sized star to finish off the back. You can glue a gold string into your ornament or loop one around the petals.
If you have the chance to make these ornament part of your holiday, I know they will make wonderful keepsakes. Either way I wish you a Christmas / Holiday Season full of joy.