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Wooden Christmas Ornaments - a neat summer project for all ages

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Several years ago, I discovered the Darice wooden Christmas ornament shapes at JoAnn's. I learned through trial and error that you cannot paint on both sides of a single piece of wood without smearing and other disappointing results, but you can make a sort of wooden sandwich cookie by using two Darice shapes, some mounting tape, yarn, and a little glue. With these, you can make versatile ornaments.

For young children, you might have them cut out and paste pictures on the front of each flat ornament. Working with older children, or amusing yourself, the wonderful world of drawing and paint exists. The steps are below:

First step for painting - primer
First step for painting - primer Catherine Hill

First step for painting - primer

For any type of painting, you need a PRIMER.  You  can use many types for wood; I myself used up the remainder of the Indoor Kilz when my house was repainted.  The best primer for artwork is Gesso, which comes in several different brands and types.  Each piece of wood should have two good coats of Gesso to provide 'tooth' for the painting.  (Run your finger over a dried piece of Gesso, and it feels like sandpaper, or maybe little teeth!)  Gesso also comes in white or black, but white is best as a background for painting.

Gesso works on all wooden or paper mache objects, including bird houses.

Using mounting tape
Using mounting tape Catherine Hill

Using mounting tape

Here I have put three strips of mounting tape available at any craft store on the ruined side of an ornament I am reusing.  (Secret:  You can reuse wood or canvas by just putting several coats of Gesso over the picture that disappointed you.)  You will notice these double-sided strips are placed to make sure the wooden ornament placed on top of it is secure.

Wooden cookie sandwich
Wooden cookie sandwich Catherine Hill

Wooden cookie sandwich

Here I have placed the second ornamet on top of the one in the last picture.  You can see the two thickness of wood with the mounting tape between them.  This will give you a double-sided ornament that will turn with the breeze.  You can also use this type of ornament for mobiles or open windows.

Chaining a crochet edge
Chaining a crochet edge Catherine Hill

Chaining a crochet edge

For younger children, you can just tie three pieces of yarn together and let them plat the yarn.  Older children might enjoy an introduction to crochet.  What I have done here is chained a row, the first step in crocheting anything.  Measure around the ornament to determine how long you need the chain to be.  When you have a chain of the proper length, tie it off at each end.

Applying the glue
Applying the glue Catherine Hill

Applying the glue

Aleene's Tacky Glue, shown above, is advertised as the preferred glue of crafters. - This is when they are not swearing at it.  Like all glues, Aleene's tends to dry inside the squeeze bottle cap.  Be prepared to use a pin or an exacto knife to keep the cap clean.  Here you can see the glue I have spread onto the crochet chain.  Note: This glue dries absolutely invisible.

Applying the chain
Applying the chain Catherine Hill

Applying the chain

Now press your chain around the ornament, leaving the area around the hole bare.   You will have to press the chain down a few times and sometimes use a little more glue, but it will dry rather quickly.  Cut off the long ends of yarn where you tied off.

Making a hanger
Making a hanger Catherine Hill

Making a hanger

Since I was reusing old ornaments that had holes gummed up with Gesso, I used only a single strand of yarn for the hanger.  I threaded the yarn through a plastic needle to get it through the hole.  Working with new wooden ornaments, you should be able to thread a whole crochet chain through the hole, unless the yarn is very thick.

If you threat a crochet chain through the hole, you can then use a plastic needle and yarn to sew it together.  Since I was only able to thread a single strand here, I simply tied it in a double knot and let the strings hang.  This does not detract from the ornament.

One side of the finished product
One side of the finished product Catherine Hill

One side of the finished product

Here is one side of the finished ornaments.  This is a colorful combination of two crafts that catches the eye and makes great gifts.  They are also light enough to be mailed to a loved one at very little cost.

Reverse side of ornaments
Reverse side of ornaments Catherine Hill

Reverse side of ornaments

Here is an ornament with two faces and two looks.  You can put contrasting pictures on each side, or make one side a photo and one a painting.  Let your imagination run wild!  Draw everything you feel about Christmas.  Kids and adults alike can enjoy this as a group activity or by themselves.

Next time you're bored, get ready for Christmas.

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