Every year, my husband and I (ie. mostly me) pick a color scheme for our Christmas decor. This year, we chose turquoise and gold (with a tiny bit of lime green added for a little extra pizzazz). The problem? We owned exactly two ornaments in any of those colors. In years past, we have always incorporated silver into our Christmas color palette. Not a speck of gold. Ever. So what’s a girl to do? Buy a whole tree’s worth of ornaments? You know me better than that
First, I swapped ornaments with my mother, who had tons of gold decor, but is decorating in silver this year. That’s what I call a stroke of good luck. I came home with a whole box full of goodies. Next, my daughter and I got down to the business of making our own ornaments. I was inspired by some owl ornaments I found on Pinterest.
Owl ornament tutorial
I’d been saving toilet paper rolls for weeks in anticipation of trying this, and it couldn’t have gone better. Since the available tutorial is in Spanish, I’ll walk you through the steps. Kids can definitely help with this.
1. At the top of a toilet paper tube, push down on opposite sides so they fold and meet in the middle. Squeeze the peaks that will be created by these folds. If you squeeze hard enough, you shouldn’t need glue, tape or anything else to hold it in this position.
2. Paint the tubes however you want. We used turquoise and lime green. Let them dry for at least an hour.
3. Use a black permanent marker to draw owls on the painted tubes. If you’re afraid of messing up, first draw lightly in pencil, then follow with marker. Here’s a tip: start with two large circles for the eyes and work your way out from there. You can also Google “owl illustrations” for some inspiration.
4. Thread a needle and tie it off. Push the needle through one peak at the top of the toilet paper tube (the owl’s “ear”). Then push it through the other peak and meet with a little length in the middle. Cut off the excess. Tie the ends of the thread to create a loop. That’s it!
We had lots of fun coming up with different ways to draw the owls so that no two are alike. One of mine is shown at left, and my daughter’s owl is on the right
Flower ornament tutorial
Wanting some variety, I decided to try another toilet paper/paper towel tube ornament design. I’ve had the image below from Design Sponge saved in my inspiration folder literally for years, but I’d never gotten around to trying it. That photo was the inspiration for this ornament. And it is super easy to make.
1. Paint the toilet paper or paper towel roll in the color of your choice (or leave it unpainted if you’d like).
2. Once the paint is dry, flatten the tube vertically as shown in the photo below. Then turn it horizontally and cut it into strips about 1/2″ to 1″ wide. You’ll see that the strips will open up into petal-like shapes.
3. Stack 6 or 7 flattened strips together. About 1/8″ from the bottom of the stack, push a threaded needle through all of the strips. You’ll need to do this one at a time, but keep them close together. I showed just two so you can easily see how they will attach. Loop around the bottom of the stack and push the thread through all the strips again. Pull the thread taut and begin to fan the petals out to form a flower. Push the thread through one side of the very first petal, but not through the second side. Make sure that the thread is tight and your flower looks as you want it and tie off the end of the thread. Cut off the excess.
4. If this is secure enough for you, you can stop here. I chose to reinforce mine by winding thread around the center of the flower, through the middle of the petals. See the closeup below to see what I mean.
5. The upside of this design is that you don’t need a hook to hang it on the tree. Simply open a petal and hang it on a branch. Easy peasy! Although I’m thinking I may go back and paint the inside of the petals too, so it’s all blue. Or I may be lazy and leave them as is
Miscellaneous other ornaments
I had lots of leftover bits and pieces from my daughter’s peacock Halloween costume, and I needed more blue on the tree. I made a couple of additional, very simple ornaments from costume remnants.
1. Feather ornaments.
I had some leftover pieces of feather boa from the costume. I cut lengths of boa at about 4 inches long. At the 2 inch mark (in the center), I simply tied a piece of string, looped it twice, pulled it taut, and tied the excess in a loop at the top. You want to know the best thing about this one? After I made these, I saw identical pre-made feather ornaments (same color and all) at Hobby Lobby for $7 a pop! I made 5 of them for FREE
2. Fabric strip bows.
All I did was cut 2″ x 14″ strips of fabric and tied them at the ends of a few branches (this was after I ran out of actual ribbon…lol)
3. Ribbon star ornaments a la Martha Stewart
Mine didn’t look like hers at all — they were more like tiny wreaths. Still I like them. To make them more like Martha’s, stiffer ribbon would be a better idea. I used slippery satin ribbon, so it was difficult to get each knot to keep its shape. Still, each of these took about 5 minutes.
The Finished Tree
This is the finished look. We filled out some more blue with a couple of packs of store-bought ornaments. So we decorated the whole tree for about $15. Woo hoo!
What about you?
Are you making any ornaments this year? What colors are you using to decorate for the holidays? Is your tree up yet? Send in pics and get featured at Green Your Decor!