Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Paper Christmas ornament

A paper Christmas ornament project can produce some surprisingly beautiful tree decorations. With minimal supplies, you can create sophisticated and glitzy Christmas ornaments. Paper Christmas ornaments are wonderful fun for kids. They can use their creations to decorate a small tree in their own room. Depending on the age of your kids, you may want to supervise the activity.
Here are a sampling of supplies you might look for when planning your paper Christmas ornament shopping trip. Craft, party, and art supply stores carry these items:
poster boarda small utility knife or scissorsa jar of acrylic clear gloss mediumcolored markersmetallic markers in gold, silver or bronzeposter paintglue gun and glue stickssmall beadsglitterrick-rackstickerssmall dried flowerssmall lace doilies
Gather your purchased supplies together on your work table. Choose a shape, such as round, diamond, star, snowman, or gingerbread man. Draw your master template on ordinary paper, and cut it out. Place on poster board and trace around the outline. A tree decked out in paper Christmas ornaments looks best when each shape is uniformly sized. Use your utility knife to cut the poster board
Using colored markers, decorate the shape as you like. Look at your gathered supplies, and let your imagination guide you. You might color a round shape in a single color, place a lace doilie on top and paint with the acrylic gloss. Snip a mini-bouquet of dried flowers, and quickly center on the ornament before the gloss dries. A single color also works well with a sticker in an Angel or Santa motif. Paint with the acrylic gloss and immediately sprinkle with gold glitter.
Acrylic gloss serves a couple of purposes in a successful paper Christmas ornament project. It serves as glue for lightweight decorating elements like glitter, and is transparent.
Gather some fresh flat green or red leaves. Hold the leaf on the paper ornament with your fingertip and apply the acrylic gloss, gently removing your fingertip to completely seal the leaf under the gloss. The leaf will retain its original color for years, as it is not exposed to oxygen.
Another unusual paper Christmas ornament is made with colored sand. Put sand in several small containers and get out your food coloring. Use a small amount of water to wet the sand. Leave until the desired tint is achieved. Drain the water and allow the sand to dry. Coat the poster board with acrylic gloss and quickly sprinkle your choice of colored sand.
Small children should not use utility knives or glue guns. You can help them cut out and glue their creations together. Glitter is also not recommended for young children – they have a tendency to end up on fingers and eyes. Glitter can be applied last, after they've painted their paper Christmas ornament masterpiece with acrylic gloss medium.
I'm sure you'll have dozens of ideas of your own to create many beautiful paper Christmas ornaments. Have fun!