It’s December. Officially Christmas time! I’m just a little bit excited and overly optimistic that we’ll have a white Christmas this year. We had snow before Thanksgiving. That has to mean something!
A few weeks ago, I agreed to be part of a homemade Christmas ornament exchange for Arkansas Women Bloggers. My mind has been running ever since. I’m not artsy. I don’t sew. I don’t paint. What I picture in my head rarely translates to real life. I really had no idea how I was going to pull this off. Regardless, I had to see this through.
Long before the days of Pinterest, mom and I made paper sack ornaments. We cut out various Christmas-y shapes from craft paper, sewed them together, stuffed them with a little bit of cotton batting, and painted them. They turned out pretty stinkin’ cute! I wanted to use the same concept this year, but wanted something a little more practical (chocolate is practical, right?) and definitely wanted to include Arkansas somehow. Here’s what I came up with. Let me know what you think!
What you’ll need for the Arkansas ornament:
Craft paper (you can buy a roll at Dollar General for $1.50)
A state template. You can print these off the internet. Mine was about 4″ at the widest point.
Acrylic craft paint (red, gold/yellow, white and black). You can get these at Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, or Michael’s for less than $1.00.
Sewing machine threaded with white thread
Dove chocolates aka Peace on Earth
How to make:
1. Cut a strip of craft paper about 10″ wide. Fold it in half and iron it until smooth. If your iron has a steam feature, turn it off!
2. With the craft paper still folded, carefully trace around the template. Leave a few inches between each “state”.
3. Cut the traced states apart leaving at least a one inch border.
4. Paint the inside of the state red and allow to dry.
5. If you’re the artsy kind, you can most likely freehand the front of Santa’s jacket and belt, but I used a ruler so I got straight lines.
6. Paint the trim of Santa’s jacket white and allow to dry. Then paint the belt and buttons black. Allow to dry.
7. Use gold or yellow paint to carefully paint the belt buckle. I went the width of the jacket trim.
8. When all paint is dry, start sewing along the state border. Your paper should still be folded, so you’ll want to start sewing on the side with the fold. After sewing around three sides, carefully push candy into the ornament. Continue to sew the ornament closed.
9. Use a Sharpie to trace around the border. It helps to clean up the ornament and cover up the seam.
10. Cut around the edge of the ornament leaving a small craft paper border. If desired, you can color the border black for a bolder look. When trimming, leave a small tag at the top for the ornament hanger.
11. Finish the ornament with ribbon, bells, and any other decorative touches you’d like to make. I attached a poem to mine to make the ornament more personal.
NOTE: These ornaments are only good for one year. Unless you have more willpower than I do and are willing to leave the chocolate alone. I created an ornament with a pocket that would keep it from being destroyed when getting to the chocolate, but it was LOTS more work. Considering that the expense is minimal, it doesn’t bother me that the ornament will be torn open or cut into. 🙂