Friday, December 2, 2011

Crafty Christmas: Twig Star Ornaments

Christmas countdown: Christmas is 3 weeks away!

I find that clutter-free gifts are often the best ones to give, which is why I'm such a fan of consumable gifts or gifts that instantly have a use/place in homes. Ornaments are one such gift that has an instant place: the recipient's Christmas tree!

Twig star ornaments can literally be made for pennies and require minimal to no crafting experience.

Here's what you need to make these:
  • Sticks
  • Fabric
  • Glue gun
  • Glue gun sticks
  • Hand saw
You can gather sticks from a park or backyard, and you can use up scraps of fabric. If you have no fabric scrap pile, you can buy as little as a quarter yard from Joann's. I bought a yard a few years ago and still have fabric left after making these ornaments every year (except this year; I skipped on making them this year). I have made at least 50 ornaments (with, as I said before, fabric remaining). I think I paid $3.50 for my yard of fabric.

Here's how you make the ornaments:
  1. Saw each stick so each piece of stick is 5 inches in length.
  2. Gather up all the new sticks and arrange them so skinnier sticks go together, thicker sticks go together, etc. Group them in sticks of 5.
  3. Heat up the glue gun. While it's heating, arrange your first batch of sticks into the form of a star to decide where you want each stick to go.
  4. Once the gun is heated, glue each stick to each other, so the sticks together form a star.
  5. Repeat with all remaining groups of sticks.
  6. Let the stars sit overnight. While they are fully drying and adhering together, cut your fabric into lengths of about a quarter inch wide. You'll need about one strip of fabric per ornament (cut the fabric strip length-wise from the main piece). Cut however many strips you need for however many ornaments you're making.
  7. The next day, wrap each end of the star in some of the fabric. Glue the first bit of fabric to the star, then wrap the end. Then, glue the end of the fabric to the wrapped fabric.
  8. Repeat with all stars.
  9. Then, take some of the stripped-fabric and make a loop for the star to hang from a tree. Tie the fabric at top.
This is a super simple, frugal gift idea. I've made them for grandparents, parents and, of course, myself, and I've received rave reviews. One word of advice though, and that is to make sure you're using sticks that do not have bark that appears to be loose or bark that would eventually pull away. I've had the best luck with gathering sticks from parks. One year, I gathered some sticks from my parents' backyard, and the bark eventually pulled away.

Share with us: What homemade ornaments have you made this year? Leave a link to the project in the comments section if you found the ornament tutorial online!

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