Monday, November 7, 2011

Christmas Tree Ornaments

Crazy as it is, Christmas is upon us once again.  By the beginning of November I like to have at least a basic plan for gifts, since a few years back I switched to making bags of homemade things in lieu of store bought gifts for most of my family.  One thing I like is homemade ornaments.  There’s a whole range of homemade ornaments on our own tree- We have hand carved wooden ones from my father in law, mixed medium ones from my sisters in law, crocheted ones handed down from my husband’s grandmother, and re-purposed items turned into ornaments (a tradition in my family).
Old toys make great ornaments!

hand carved boot and beautiful dove from my father in law

Fun wire and bead ball from my sister in law

Heirloom crocheted balls and my crocheted snowflakes

Handcrafted ornament from my sister in law

There are also two things I made on our tree.  Last year I taught myself to crochet from watching youtube videos so I could make snowflakes.  I found these great instructions on MarthaStewart, and cranked out enough for two styles for each of my recipients.  There are also these adorably hokey reindeer I figured out based on ones on our tree growing up.  My favorite part is that it’s the perfect size to hide a Hershey's kiss inside!

You will need

Googly eyes ($2.99)

Brown or tan pipe cleaners ($.99)

Brown yarn ($2.99 for 364 yards)

Plastic craft grid ($1.99)

Small red pom poms (about $.99, we've had them for years)

Large needle- either a tapestry needle or a plastic canvas needle, not a yarn needle, it's too big ($1.29)

Glue (craft or Elmer's) ($1.49)

Cut out three 10 x 10 squares out of the grid, snipped at the lines so there aren’t stubs on the edges.  Cover all three grids on yarn, working diagonally over the crosses.  Connect the three squares, tucking all the yarn in, knotting and tucking as needed to secure the ends.   On the mouth, go around the edge to cover the plastic around the edge, going through the corner three times to cover the whole corner.  Poke the pipe cleaner through the top sides and bend to shape the antlers.  Glue the eyes and pom pom nose on.  A little ridiculous? Sure, but wonderful all the same.

I kept going onto the second square for efficiency's sake, then bound two sides to form 1/2 the mouth

This shows the back of the squares.  Notice the yarn has been threaded though the yarn on the back so I could sew up the whole 1/2 mouth in one go.

1/2 the mouth and the back

Third square, two sides bound to form the other 1/2 of the mouth.
Looking at the side, while holding the mouth shut.

All sides bound and put together, ready for the trimmings!

The antlers are stuck through the back towards the top.

And done!  the antlers are just twisted, and the nose and eyes are glued.
 Try It:

If you had to buy everything new, you're looking at $12.73 to make oodles of reindeer. At this point in my crafting career, I had to buy nothing.

Buy It:

Well, I doubt you will find this for sale, but ornaments span the whole price range depending on what you're looking for.


Really, this is a decision based on aesthetics.  For me it's Try It, because I really love funky ornaments, but I realize it's not for everyone.


  1. I think that bead ball was from Martha Menk... check on it. She does a lot of wire crocheting.

  2. That ball is not crocheted. I'm 90% sure it's from one of my sisters in law, but it's possible.