Every year since as long as I can remember me or my family would make homemade Christmas ornaments. One of our longtime family friends Jane S. made homemade salt and flour hard ornaments that she painted. My mother still has some of these original ornaments that have withstood moving, insects, rodents, and moisture. Jane made several for her own son and family friends like she did for us. From whimsical little Santa Claus and elf figures, to diamond shaped jewels, gifts, and reindeer, these ornaments stood out to me as young boy. I was completely in awe how both Jane and my mother made these ornaments, similar to these pieces seen on .
I understand baking and cooking, papier-mache and other modeling forms used to make home made crafts. Still, however, I thought as a young mind at about 5 years old, “so i can mix stuff and cook it, and paint it, and put a hole in and presto, an ornament.” Papier-mache alone is another concept I think rules the world as its not just for piñatas. Being hispanic myself piñatas are very familiar in my childhood memories. My mom once made me a piñata for my 5th birthday that I shared in kindergarden. It was a big blue bird complete with wings, blue eyes and a yellow beak. I remember her making it and thinking it was kind of messy. Starting off with the balloon made me laugh, but then the bird body took shape. I wouldn’t grasp the concept of papier-mache in the art world until my first summer recreation in the 6th grade where we made papier-mache art pieces and then did I understand that papier-mache is what many art crafts are made of basically.
The home made ornaments that I grew up with were not limited to salted white flour dough baked in the oven. My mom, Carmen, taught both me and my brother how to sew by hand and on a sewing machine, although as I have mentioned previously, I prefer to hand sew, hands down, over the use of a machine. In the lean years, although I didn’t realize we were living in lean years. My mother saved bits of pieces of things we would normally through a way and showed my brother and I how to make snow man ornaments. She saved half and half creamers from a local off the freeway diner, we frequented called, Cindy’s, and then from a hobby store bought a pack of 2″ inch styrofoam balls and a pack of mini plastic glue on eyeballs.
Using regular elmer’s glue and magic mark pen she made little snowman ornaments. I was totally hooked on crafting from that point on. She colored the plastic half-and-half cups and the cardboard squares black using the big pen magic marker. Next she glued graduated styrofoam balls to the cardboard after the ink dried. We all glued the the eyes on and hats to the snowman, and then decorated the buttons using the pen to draw coal buttons. She often used red or green ribbon to make a scarf for the snowmen. The cardboard squares allowed the base to all the the snowman to stand on a table, but sometimes she would attach string or ribbon to the snowman’s hat to make a hanger for the Christmas three.
This is a great idea to teach kids how to be resourceful and make ornaments from scratch. Happy Crafting!!!