Monday, December 16, 2013

Handsome Little Snow Men

Last year I decided to make some home made Christmas ornaments.  (Psst...follow that link if you want to see how I made cupcake ornaments.)  Any way, since I was finished my Christmas shopping early this year and everything is already wrapped and under the tree I was feeling a little lost.  I was feeling like I should be doing something and if I didn't find something quick to occupy my time with, the odds were strongly in favour of me spending more money on presents I shouldn't be buying.

So I decided to look up more home made Christmas Ornament ideas on Pinterest (Ya ya, I know it's probably redundant by now to even bother mentioning that site - but credit where credit is due.) and I found a bunch of ideas on this site.  There are a couple listed there that I'd like to attempt, but my first choice was the snowmen.  Mainly because I had 5 burnt out light bulbs around my house and all the supplies (Sally Home-maker, I am not!).  So I spent not one new cent on this project.  And I'll have you know, I got razzed for being so cheap that I wouldn't pay two bucks for a box of light bulbs, but I'm saving the environment yo!  Upcycling garbage at its finest right here.

So here's what I used:

  • Burnt out light bulbs (or not burnt out light bulbs if you really hate the environment)
  • Ornament hooks (I took these off of pre-existing ornaments I had with both a hook and string loop)
  • Acrylic Paint (white, black, and orange preferred - but art is so subjective so use what you have)
  • Yarn for the scarves
  • White Sticky Glue (I really feel like that name is redundant.)
  • An old black stretchy glove (because the kids hands have grown and really they don't keep'em warm anyway!)
  • Textured sparkly snow paint (for added effect but most definitely not needed to get desired effect)
  • Buttons (small, tiny ones)
  • Rubbing Alcohol (not sure if Vodka will work or not, but it's worth a shot!  Wacka wacka!) and cotton pads or paper towels
  • Scissors (because your teeth just won't suffice this time)
  • Paintbrushes (different sizes but relatively small overall)

Step one:  Clean the bulb with rubbing alcohol.  Supposedly it helps the paint adhere to the glass better.  I don't know this fact to be true, but I did it none the less and I'm feeling confident about my paint job.

Step two:  Apply a coat of white paint to the entire glass part.  Yes, good luck finding something to hold the bulb after you paint it while it dries.  I cheated.  I held the socket end and used my blow dryer to dry the paint quickly.  I suppose I should have added that to the list of supplies.

Step three:  Apply a second coat of paint.  Repeat with the hair dryer.  I did this 5 times on 5 bulbs.  Two coats seemed to suffice.  You could probably do three but that would be overkill.  And ain't no one got time for that!

Step four:  Cut the finger tips off the mini stretch gloves using scissors.  And apply a coating of Sticky Glue to the entire socket of the bulb.  Then put the socket into the finger tip.  Easier said than done, but by the second one, I'd figured out an easy way of getting the job done without copious amount of glue on my fingers.  Turn the finger tip inside out and stick it on the end of the socket with your finger in the finger tip, then slowly pull the sides down turning it right side out again and covering the glue.

Step five:  While the glue is out, apply two dabs of it to the front of your little man and stick on two buttons.

Step six:  If you plan to use the 'snow paint' apply it now, liberally to the bottom.  Then attack that shit with your hair dryer.  You might as well blow some hot air on your newly glued buttons at the same time.

Step seven:  Use a fine tipped brush and apply the eyes with black paint.  Then using a different brush (because you don't want to have to stop to keep cleaning brushes) paint a sideways slightly tilted orange triangle.  Then paint a little black coal mouth.

Step eight:  Slip an ornament hook through the knitting on the 'hat'.

Step nine:  Using whatever colour of yarn you have on hand (I used four different colours, two strands of each) and braid a mini  'scarf'.  It gets cold hanging around on that tree waiting for Christmas you know!

Step ten:  Apply some sticky glue around the back of the snowman edging down as you come around to the front and stick the scarf right in it!  Then apply a little dab to unite the two ends of the scarf and voila!

I'm not going to lie or be modest here...I'm pretty sure my little snowmen are way better than the ones I got my inspiration from.  But of course I'm sure someone will top these ones too.  This was a relatively easy craft that I started and finished in two hours, tops.  I've already given two away.  I've decided to keep one and pass the other two along.  I'm still debating tackling another idea from that site.  So hold tight, you might get another tutorial!

What are you doing to find your Christmas spirit?

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