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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Crafting with kids...Floating Christmas ornaments

Ever wonder what to do with those clear glass ornaments you see at the craft store around Christmas? Why not make a dated photo ornament to bring back memories of Christmas past every year! These make great crafts for school age kids around Christmas time.  (Thank you, Sarah, for allowing me to highlight your little cutie in this post.)

What you need:
- plastic or glass ornaments, 2 5/8" *
- clear acetate or a transparency with the design printed on it *
- your photos printed out *
- 1 3/4" punch (I used the EK Success punch)
- red sticky tape or other clear adhesive
- scissors
- glue dots (I used medium but mini would be better. These were used to attach the bow to the glass)
- various ribbons for hanger, bows, embellishment
- clear bag for packaging
- tweezers are very useful
                                            * more info below

The Down-and-Dirty (just the instructions, ma'am):
1. Cut out the design from the transparency, cutting slightly within the black line.
2. Punch out your photo and adhere to the back of the transparency with clear adhesive. There will be a thin line of red beyond the photo to frame it. Adhering the photo to the back of the design makes the ornament two-sided, one side will be the picture; the other, the year. The white from the back of the photo helps to highlight the design in red.
3. Remove the top from the glass ornament. Roll up the transparency - carefully - and place it into the glass ornament. Rolling the transparency with the photo on the outside seems to work better. You may need to use the tweezers or a thin instrument (we used the handle of a plastic spoon) to arrange the insert correctly. Replace the top when you are happy with the appearance.
4. Embellish as desired. I used a bow on the front, and a thin gold ribbon as a hanger. Place into a plastic bag (this decreases the chance of breakage) and tie another ribbon around it. Ta-da, you're done!

*The Nitty Gritty, or all the other info that you may need to know (or maybe not?):
glass ornaments.  I got these at Hobby Lobby for 50% off, so $4 for 12.  Or get these these: clear glass ornamentsIf you can find plastic ornaments, this is even better. Micheal's usually has them early in the season for .99 each (often marked 50% off). I had a few but did not buy enough so I had to get the glass ones instead. We did break one (out of 20, not bad!)
transparency with the design. I will be providing a link to my design at the end of the post. Or you can design your own.
   I designed this one in Make-The-Cut and exported it to a jpg file. I checked on the prices at Staples, and they charge 1.99 for a color transparency or .99 for a black one. You may want to check prices at other office and print centers as there may be a better price elsewhere. I was fortunate in that my school had a laser copier that we used to print out both the transparencies and the photos. Color photo copies at Staples are .49 if you need that as well. They can print from either a copy or from a flash drive.
You can see in this photo (above) that I intentionally made the outer red ring slightly larger than the 1.75" photo so there would be a red border. The clear allowance beyond that allows for imperfect cutting (the kids did their own cutting, even the 5 y.o.) and makes the photos appear to float in the ornament.
     No access to a color laser copier? No problem! You can use any clear acetate and attach the photo directly to it. See the clear acetate window on the box of ornaments? Yuppers, that works too, if you are just attaching a photo. Just don't try to run it through the copier!
I bought these bows at the Dollar Tree last year. We attached them to the ornament with a glue dot.
I also made some bows from red grosgrain ribbon for some of the ornaments.
I used PhotoShop Elements to print out the photos and was able to get 20 per page. But printing out wallet size photos (2" x 3") will also work. Many printers have a setting to allow you to do this, I know that Canon has a printing utility that will allow you to do this.
     And here is what you've been waiting for, the link to the jpg file for the transparency sheet. Enjoy! I would love to see your projects if you make them!

This post may contain affiliate links but all items were purchased by me and all opinions are mine alone!

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