A Creative Dream

A Creative Dream

A little blog about the life of a somewhat lost dreamer....looking for my grace in this crazy world.

09 December 2016

A match box Christmas ornament...part one, the outside...

This post grouping originally appeared in as five different posts.  I've joined several of them together to make two rather long posts.  First, we'll do the outside...

I had an idea for a little ornament/winter shrine/cutsie-tootsie made from a matchbox... and I finally finished it... so what else would I do but share it with you just in case you want to make something similar?

You start off with an empty match box (of all things, huh?), gather some old book pages (another shocker coming from me, I know), acrylic paints, a little bit of Sculpey, wire (28 gauge and jewelry head pins), glue (white glue and super glue), seed beads, larger glass beads and bugle beads, some brass snowflake charms, ribbon... I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but we'll catch it as we go.


First, let's work on the outside of the match box. It was covered with a portion of a book page. I like torn edges, so I semi-
measured how much I'd need (you can see it was a bit longer than I needed). Spread a thin layer of glue on the paper and tightly wrap it over the outer match box cover. You want to be careful here and get rid of any air bubbles. I used my trusty Formica chip to smooth as I went and didn't have any issue, just be sure to smooth, smooth, smooth. Let it dry well, and tear off any extra page.

 

 




Once the glue was dry, I added a coat of a medium blue acrylic paint and let that dry...








 

 






I have a stamp that looks like a checker-board, and thought that might look interesting, so I painted it white and stamped it on the box.










And while the paint was still wet, I sprinkled micro-fine glitter all over it and tamped it off. (It was at this point that I got a healthy dose of the glitter all over me too...) Again, it needs to dry a bit before I do anything else.




Everything is dry now, glitter is stuck in the paint... and now, let's finish up the outside of the ornament... This is what the outside of the match box looks like now. I think it needs some "snow"... so it seems some splattering is in order.



Using the white acrylic paint, and watering it down a bit load it onto a brush, and then, putting the match box in the line of fire, tap it gently across one of my fingers. It spreads splatters over whatever surface is near (seriously... be careful of the things you have near). You can also do this using a tooth brush, you just rub your thumb over the bristles rather than tap the paint brush.) Of course, allow it to dry a bit before moving on.


 





I found several different styles of alphabet stamps a few months ago, and thought I'd use them to stamp "let it snow" on the ornament. Using letters from all three of the different fonts, I thought I had enough room to stamp the words, but obviously messed that up as the word snow trials off the side.

Everyone scream with me now... ARGHHH!!!







Ok, after a few deep breaths and curse words it was time to deal with it... maybe a few snowflakes and more "let it snow"?
First... the snowflakes. Mine were painted on, I've painted for so many years I feel more comfortable using a brush than most other tools, but if you are creating something similar, and are not comfy with a brush, use a gel pen...









A bit more stamping, a few more snowflakes... and you'd never know it wasn't planned this way... would ya?




 







After giving it some thought I decided the hanger was going to go from side to side (left to right) so the hanger needed to go in this section of the ornament.  

I used a very small hole punch to put two holes in the sides after I marked an equal distance down from the top. 








A pretty long length of thin light blue ribbon was run, from inside the match box, through the hole, through a brass snowflake charm I had, and through a white glass bead, finally tying a knot in it. Clip off the excess ribbon and there you go. Repeat on the other side and the outside of the ornament is finished...
 

Next, the inside...


08 December 2016

A Formica chip ornament...

This was first published back in 2010, but, since I've had a couple of emails requesting it again, here it is...

 


Off I go to my local home improvement store and their counter top samples. You know the ones I am talking about? The are in the kitchen area...they are small tiles of laminate with a hole punched in them so they can hang. Great for using to make small, very simple, ornaments.






 

First step was to remove any stickers that were on them. When that was finished, I lightly sanded both sides to make sure the finish wasn't going to be an issue. I used a coat of Gesso, and then used two coats of white acrylic paint to create the surface I'd paint on.





 

Then a light blue wash to make the sky area, after that has dried, the trees and the snowman bodies were added. Just about then I realized I would have to do something with the back. Really, I should think these things out before I begin. Of course, if I did that it would take all the challenge from it, and what fun is that?
 

 


I printed the sheet music for "Jingle Bells" and then tore it into random sized pieces. Those pieces were then randomly glued to the back. Once it was dry, the same blue wash went over it. Unfortunately, I forgot to include photos of the back while I was taking them.
Details were added to the snowmen, and I dated each of them in the lower right corner.



 


 

 
When the paint was dried, everything was coated with Mod Podge and allowed to dry. (Author's Note:  I would suggest using a good, brush on polyacrylic finish, like this one, rather than Mod Podge to prevent any stickiness later.) A second coat was applied and glitter sprinkled on while wet. Once all were dry, I tied them with red ribbons...and, taaaa-da.....Little snowman ornaments to begin spreading the Random Acts of Holiday Cheer....


07 December 2016

Snowmen...

I found a couple (dozen) of boxes of white Christmas balls in my studio, so I decided to use them for a project I have in mind. I should end up with several left over, so I think I will abandon them around town like I did the rocks.


But, I have a problem.  I've never really found a good method of packaging these little things to abandon them.  They're glass, so they break easily. 


I don't want them in some sort of packaging that will end up with someone calling the police about a suspicious package. So, bags or boxes that you can't see into may not be the best options.


It needs to draw enough attention that the ornament can be found. And, I need to be able to place whatever sort of packaging I use quickly, so I can make my get away without being caught, because that's part of the fun.


So, I'm turning to you guys... anyone have any good ideas?


06 December 2016

A quick Christmas ornament...

When Christmas is staring at you, and you need a couple more really quick gifts, these ornaments are perfect.  And, since they are one of the most viewed posts from back in 2012, I'm sharing again...

So, here's what I've got...a Christmas tree inspired by the ones I made for a cake the other day...and a little inspiration came because I watched the Rudolph special the other evening. This really is a quick and done sort of thing, it's simple, but I think they turn out darling. These are just the tip of the iceberg, you can decorate them with any and everything, just let your imagination run wild.

And, here's what you need for each tree, you need one 8"x8" piece of interfacing or of light weight cotton fabric (think muslin), three scraps of fabric to accommodate the pattern pieces, and one for the base piece, a 3"x3" light weight piece of cardboard, polyfil to stuff with, and buttons, beads, trims, and whatever else you can think of to decorate them with. If you want to make them for ornaments, you need a small piece of ribbon to make the hanger with (that piece of ribbon makes the turning of these things amazingly easier!!). Oh, and you need the pattern...which, luckily, you can find right here...
To enlarge the pattern, open your word processing program. Create a blank page, and set your margins to .5". Click on the pattern to the left which will open it up in a new window. Right click on it, go to your word processing program, and copy there. S-t-r-e-t-c-h it to fit the whole page, and voila, you have a full size pattern. Of course, you can make it larger, or smaller to adjust to suit you. If that seems like far too much work, just email me for the pdf file... acreativedreamer@gmail.com.

A note here about this pattern and all other "free" items I offer. They are my gifts to you for your personal use ONLY... please do NOT make them for sale (that infringes on my copyright unless I give you permission), and please do not post them on your blog without linking to mine if you want to share the pattern with others.
I drew the finished pattern on card stock to make it more durable, then cut it out to make my pattern pieces. On the fabric you've chosen, around each piece and cut out. Make sure to add a seam allowance around the outer edges...I cut the bottom edge of each piece on the line since it was meant to make it decorative. (I so love being able to crop photos...you have no idea how much mess you are not seeing!!!)

Starting with the lower layer, stitch into place on the interfacing or base fabric. Continue with the middle layer, and the top layer. Remember to overlap the layers so that you have none of the base fabric exposed!












It should look something like this...(did I mention how fast these things are to make?????)


If you are making them ornaments, fold a piece of ribbon and insert it (loop side toward the bottom of the tree), fold the cone in the middle and sew the seam up the back. Turn the tree (really, the ribbon hanger helps sooooo much in this step it isn't funny!). On the base, use a running stitch to go all the way around the edge, insert the round of cardboard (you may have to adjust it a bit depending on your seam size), and gather the running stitch so that your fabric fits tightly around the cardboard circle.


Stuff your tree with polyfill and attach the base circle using small stitches. Be sure it is stuffed pretty firmly before closing off the base, you want it to stand straight.
After that it's just a matter of using what you have on hand, and your imagination, to gussy it up to your likin'...






I kept mine simple (I like simple...it often translates to not only cute, but fast to make)...and tied on only buttons...this time. If you make a couple, be sure and send me photos of them, and I'll share with everyone (include your blog address if you have one so I can link to that as well!)

05 December 2016

A few good thoughts...

I just want you all to know I'm doing my part to share kindness too.  I painted my kind thoughts on rocks and abandoned several around my town yesterday while I was out...






Little acts of kindness make the world a much better place!