A friend called and wanted help organizing a holiday sale for about 10 artists (I’m included) and the group wanted to have a Christmas tree decorated with each artists’ handmade ornaments. I thought, “Great, another project! But why not?”
Several days later my ornaments are ready with directions so you can make some too! It was such fun and did not take much time! They could also be insets in boxes, gift tags, book covers and more. A great stress reliever too!
Materials: cardboard, tin foil, 2” wide silver electrical tape, a blunt tool (could be a medium ball point pen), a punch, acrylic paint, paper towel, brush, water, latex gloves, silver thread
1. Select cardboard (from backs of notebooks, inserts from packing, lightweight cardboard boxes) or heavy cardstock will work. Remember you have to be able to cut it but you don’t want it so flexible it bends too easily.
2. Select some shapes – circles, squares, triangles, rectangles. Be careful with irregular shapes - they are hard to wrap. (Remember that your tape is 2” wide and if you do not want the edges of the tape to show, the shapes need to be a little less that 2” in one direction. Or just incorporate the edge of the tape into your design)
3. Cut the cardboard using your selected shapes. It is efficient to make several at one time.
4. Take the foil and cut it slightly larger than your cardboard shapes. It needs to cover both sides of the shape. I like to crinkle and then flatten the foil to give more thickness. Cover the shape – both sides. Fold the foil over the edges as you wrap. Cut the silver tape and put it on top of the foil –both sides. Option: Put the tape on the cardboard and omit the crinkled foil. BUT- I really like the depth I get from all the layers especially when I get to the paint part. Also be careful where you place the tape because the edges will show so be sure it is straight for creating a border or be sure you can work it into your design.
5. Lightly draw your design on the tape. Keep it simple to start. When you have it like you want it, press your tool (something not as sharp as a pencil – I use a tool with a little ball on the end or a ball point pen) into the tape and go over the design to make highs and lows prominent. Because I have the crinkled foil under the smooth tape, there will be a few lumps and wrinkles. I like to incorporate them into the design to get an old handmade look.
6. Put a different design on the back or leave it plain.
7. Use acrylic paint or alcohol dyes. Experiment. Any color will enhance the relief. I used a blue acrylic paint with a little grey in it. I also used a moss green and did one in rose. Just play a little and see what you like. Put the paint on and let it sit a couple of minutes. You don’t want it to dry because you want to wipe off the high places leaving the recesses with color. A soft cloth or paper towel works great. If your design is too shallow, you may take all the paint off. Start again with a lighter hand.
8. Let the paint dry and then make a small hole with a needle, punch, nail, etc.
9. Put your silver thread through the hole. Tie a knot.
10. Hang that gorgeous ornament! Happy Holidays!