Tuesday, November 24, 2009

DIY Christmas Ornament

Sometimes, you want to make something cute so that you can tell people that you made it, but you don't want it to be so complicated that you end up not starting the project at all. Well, here you go!

You're welcome.

I always see the cutest photo frame ornaments when I'm out this time of year, but they're usually pretty spendy. This one cost me a dollar and some scraps. Yee-freaking HAW!

I don't know why I said that. It was in my head and needed to be let out, I guess.

First, you're going to need a little frame. I got this one at Joann in the little junk baskets by the checkout lanes. They had black, silver, and gold.

Next, you're going to find a scrap of chipboard and cut it down to 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches. Chipboard is FREE, people. Think cereal boxes, backs of notepads, packaging inserts, etc.

Next you're going to commiserate with me as I curse Blogger for insisting on turning my photos sideways. Then you're going to take a ruler and mark your chipboard precisely down the middle for referencing purposes.

See? Now, when you stick the chipboard into your 1 1/2" square punch, you'll know EXACTLY where the square will be centered.

Of course, then you'll quickly realize that you're a complete idiot (meaning me, of course) because there is no way in hell a punch is going through chipboard. Duh.

So, next you'll draw on another reference line...

...and punch the square from a scrap of paper, and use THAT as a template from which to trace your window.

Next, you'll cut out said window. You could use scissors, but I'm a freak and use my exacto knife for pretty much everything.

Ta da!

Next, you'll realize that eensy weensy window is WAY too small to contain all the marvelous cuteness that is a photo of YOUR (meaning my) baby and it needs to be bigger. Silently say words of a cursing nature to yourself.

Use a ruler to draw on new guide lines. I ended up making the window approximately 1 1/2 by 2 inches.

Pause to admire how your child has chewed the tip of your pencil and wonder if he's been spending too much time hanging out with the dogs.

And there are my attempts! Practice makes perfect!

Next, you're going to cut a piece of patterned paper just slightly larger than your chipboard frame. I was going to use something really Christmas-y, but then decided I liked this tiny red dot paper better. It has no name printed on the back, but suffice to say, it's pretty old. I think it was from a pack of Making Memories paper that I bought at Target a few years ago, but I can't be completely sure.

Cover your chipboard with adhesive. You can use a tape runner, glue stick. etc. I ran mine through one of my Xyron sticker maker machines because it happened to be exactly as wide as my frame and I'm lazy. Whatever you use though, make sure that all the edges are completely covered in adhesive. This is VERY important!

Stick your chipboard frame down onto the wrong side of the patterned paper. Cut a rough X from corner to corner of the opening.

Using a big nail file, an emery board, or even just a scrap of ordinary sandpaper, sand the edges of the chipboard in a downward motion. I got that giant emery board at Sally Beauty Supply and love it. It's rougher than a regular emery board because it's meant to be used on acrylic nails. They're CHEAP too.

It will trim your paper to exactly the right size and leave you with much nicer edges than scissors or an exacto knife would. It's also less steps than tracing and cutting and trying to align the pieces while hoping your adhesive doesn't dry out first!

Don't forget to do the inside of the window too!

Next, print out way too many little rectangles that read "2009" on a sheet of white cardstock. These were just a 1 1/2 by 1/2 inch text box that I made in Microsoft Word. I figure I can use the other ones for something else.

Cut out one of those rectangles, leaving a tiny border of white around the edges.

Stick that to the bottom part of the frame. If you're a rebel, you can flip the whole mess over and put the date at the top. I won't care, I promise!

Now, pick out some coordinating ribbon and cut yourself 6 1/2 inches. I used a nice dark green and cream gingham.

You're going to glue it to the inside of the frame backing, just like you see in the photo.

Now, put the whole mess back together and you're ready when you get your holiday photo this year! If you wanted yours to have more of that "Pottery Barn" look, you could always just use plain white cardstock instead of patterned paper over your chipboard and either use a silver frame, or spray paint one red. Either way, you end up with something that's cute, easy (especially since I already went and made all the mistakes for you so you can skip them), and looks really nice too! These would make great gifts for grandparents as well.

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Blogger Samara Link said...

This is a great DIY, Sara! I really like it! I can see making a few of them for Christmas gifts. Or instead of personalizing it with the year ... do it with names -- first of last. I love the step-by-step. Thank you! I may try to make some of these over the weekend. Will let you know if I do.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Hooptee said...

love it! Adorable.

7:10 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

This post just gave me a fantastic idea for gift toppers on all of our family Christmas presents this year! Thanks!! I love your blog!!

9:14 AM  

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