Simple Ornaments Make Signature Style Design Statements

December 5, 2011

We are greeted by a Caribbean Christmas season in the tropics! This is how one McDonald’s decorates for the holidays – their signature Happy Meal boxes dangle from a palm tree! What better ornaments than these happy red boxes – a brilliant contrast of eye-catching red marketing material and the fresh green of nature. Environmentally visual – those little cardboard art pieces dance in the breeze.
During the summer months, we created a play area beneath our large blue spruce tree. The low branches provided an eye-level decoration area just the right height for the smaller kids. So we drew images and colored them with crayons and cut them out and laminated them between two pieces of waxed paper – like you would when pressing fall leaves in autumn. We then punched a hole in each and tied them to the branches with a loop of ribbon. They created a lively, colorful personalization art exhibit in this secret hiding place and defied the weather there in the protection of the big tree for a remarkably long time.
We have wild gourds in our area of the high desert in New Mexico. They are nearly perfectly round and about the size of tennis balls. After the magnificent white blossoms have passed, the new gourds each harvest season are hard and fresh, but the previous years’ forgotten fruit nestled amidst vines are in varying stages of drying out. These dehydrated orbs are perfect for painting, decoupage, or applying decorative embellishment. I preferred to paint a simple red poinsettia on them –using fast-drying and easy clean-up acrylic paint – leaving the background color of the natural gourd exposed and then glossing them with gel gloss medium. Drill a hole in the top and glue in an eye screw and Voila! The finished ornament weights practically nothing and is quite durable. I’ve even used a hair pin – not a bobbie pin, but the old zigzaggy hair pins that when squeezed together and forced down into the drilled hole spring back with just enough tension and held by the zigzag of the metal make an even easier hanging mechanism! An ornament hook or a ribbon and you’re ready to hang!
What creative homemade ornaments might YOU create as your signature style?


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