It took me a while to finally sit down and put this post together, because this week has been a little crazy! I started out the week shopping with Hawk while Seth was in school. I probably would have put off shopping until this weekend so Seth could come with us, but he has a pajama party at school on Friday and needed a new set of p.j.’s, STAT. So, we made a Target run, where I bought winter clothes for the kids (there’s snow in the forecast this week, what?!), gifts for my mom and Eric’s mom, and snagged some beautiful glass ornaments from the new Hearth and Hand collection (and was considerably proud that I didn’t load up my buggy with all. The. Things while I was on that aisle…) to hang on my tree.
Tuesday, I was in meetings most of the day with two different teams from church. One was brunch-y and all ladies and fun, while the other was a planning meeting and therefore a lot more all-business. Which brings us to mid-week, and yesterday morning I woke early to finally tell you about these fun little ornaments I made last week…
…Only to discover that my site was having a SSL certificate hiccup and I therefore could not safely get into my WordPress dashboard. Insert snarky comments about technology and an easier life here, and this quick little paragraph is done!
Let’s talk Christmas trees now, shall we?
My family always begins the Christmas season at the tree farm, where we select and cut down a fresh Christmas tree. This typically happens the day after Thanksgiving, and we spend that evening watching holiday movies and decking the halls. I always love pulling out the ornaments each year because it’s such a treat looking through them and remembering the memories associated with each of them!
Our tree this year is earthy, modern, colorful, eclectic, bohemian… basically just like me. 😉 But our ornament collection took a real hit last year (Hawk was three years old last year, and the broken ornaments littered my kitchen floor every morning. It was tragic!) and our tree was looking pretty bare when we finished decorating. I add new ornaments to our collection each year, but this time we needed more than usual. Fortunately, I had a fun idea for some bohemian inspired feather ornaments up my sleeve, and we wound up with some beautiful new ornaments with a relatively small price tag!
Here’s what I used for this project:
- duck feathers (purchased at Hobby Lobby)
- metallic craft paint
- hot glue gun
- small paint brush
- wooden beads, assorted sizes and colors
- suede cord in Christmas-y colors
- small brass jingle bells
- thread or baker’s twine
Begin by laying the duck feathers out on a flat surface. I placed a piece of wax paper underneath, or any sort of newsprint or kraft paper will work. Pressing you finger against the quill of the feather to hold it steady, paint the feathers with the pattern you’ve chosen.
While the paint on the feathers is drying, cut the suede cord into however many 6-8″ strips you will need for the number of ornaments you plan to make. Then, use the glue gun to apply a bead of glue around the opening on a large bead. Affix a smaller bead in a contrasting color to the large bead and hold them tightly together while the adhesive hardens.
After the paint on the feathers has dried (this can take 1-2 hours), stick the quill of each feather into the opening on the smaller wooden bead. Using the glue gun, run a bead of adhesive around the base of the quill.
Turn the ornament over and apply a dab of glue into the opening of the larger bead. Put both ends of a 6-8″ strip of suede cord into the glue while it is still hot, and hold them there until the glue has hardened. You can apply another dab of glue to the top of the ornament to hold the strap from the top for extra security, if you prefer.
I used a doubled length of green thread to tie jingle bells around the strap of each ornament for a festive touch. I actually intended to use gold thread because I was sure that I had some! But when I gathered my supplies together, I was unable to locate my gold thread (it has been a while since I used it, alas…). This is where I let go of my inner perfectionist and embrace the “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful” philosophy. I have plenty of supplies to make more ornaments, and the next batch will be tied with baker’s twine, because Christmas, right?!
Our Christmas tree is really filling out now! Those Hearth and Hand ornaments look amazing, but the handmade ones will have a special place in my heart. We’ll probably make some salt dough ornaments before the season is over because it’s been a few years since the last time we did and many of those have broken!
I’ve got a few more holiday projects planned, and I will be sharing those on my Instagram feed. Be sure to follow me there and check out my Instagram Stories to see what we’ve been up to! Have you been working on anything creative this holiday season?