Handmade Christmas Ornaments

So, every year I like to make a new batch of ornaments for the tree. I don't mind store bought ornaments but in truth, I'm usually too cheap to fork over good money for things that may or may not fall apart after a year, and I like the idea of there always being something handmade on the tree.
When my girls were younger it was fun making ornaments together. We've made cinnamon ornaments many many times. We've made glittered snowballs and crystal stars, we've made dough ornaments and painted ceramic ornaments. We've even made ornaments out of tin can tops. And for the most part they have lasted year after year and are some of our favorite ornaments.
 Alas, my girls are teens now.
So, this year I was on my own for making ornaments.

So, of course I chose to make ornaments out of toilet paper rolls.
Something they would have turned their cute little noses up to anyway.
I'll show you!
Ironically, these toilet paper roll ornaments have become my favorite so far. No, they don't smell like cinnamon like the cinnamon ornaments we make every year, but they're pretty because they're simple and (I think) elegant. I found the idea on Pinterest. Here's the link:
Couldn't be easier! I added a little white glitter to the edges after gluing it all in place. Just do a Pinterest search for toilet roll ornaments and you'll find so many ideas!
Another easy and fun ornament to make is out of little mirrors. We found these in Hobby Lobby for under $3 for a pack of 10. Use a 40% off coupon and they're almost free. I'm just saying.
What I love about the mirrors is how they reflect the colors and lights from the tree. Just put a ribbon or string in between two mirrors and hot glue the two sides together (so there's a mirror on each side).
Another fun Pinterest project I found was making paper owls. I knew I wanted a woodsy animal theme somewhere on the tree but couldn't find any owls I really liked at the stores (or that were in my budget) so I decided to make my own.
Originally I wanted to find wood cutouts of owls and paint them white and gold and cover them in glitter. But, of course all the wood owl cutouts were sold out that day, so I settled on these paper cutouts. I then went on Pinterest to see if there was a way to make them look more owly. I spray painted them glitter gold and added white glitter to the white ones (they came white in the pkg, which I think was like 20 for $1).
But they needed eyes or feathers or something.
I used an exacto knift and cut the eyes and feathers and suddenly they looked like owls!


We decided on a real tree this year and since we have tall ceilings we got a 9ft fur. I didn't think we'd have enough ornaments since we've never had a tree this big, so even with my owls and mirrors and paper roll flowers I decided to make just a few more things.
Every year I also try to have a food element on the tree. For many years it was strings of popcorn and occasionally we'd add strings of cranberries. The popcorn, BTW, will keep fairly fresh year after year if you store each string in a separate Ziploc bag. Ours lasted about 6 years.
But my TEENS pooh-poohed my cranberry/popcorn string idea for this year

So, I decided on dried orange slices instead. I just sliced about 5 medium size oranges and blotted them dry on paper towels. I then put them on a cookie sheet in a low heat oven (275 degrees) for several hours, turning them occasionally till they were nice and dry. Then put ornament hangers in them and put them on tree. Very easy and cheap and adds a lovely natural element to the tree.  

The last ornament I made were these little pillow hearts. I wanted to make them out of recycled flannel but time got away from me and I ended up settling for a yard of red plaid.
I cut them into hearts, sewed up the sides, stuffed them with leftover pillow stuffing, and added a hanger out of some leftover yarn.

These took the longest of all the ornaments I made this year, but I think will last the longest as well. Plus, it's plaid! Who doesn't love plaid?
My oldest is a cat lover so she made a few of these in square shapes (using some of my leftover fabric), stuffed them with stuffing and CATNIP, and sewed them shut. She then wrote each of her cat's names on them (we have 3 cats, lord help us) and put them in their stockings. Every year we make some version of these catnip pillows and the cats go nuts drooling on them and carrying them around the house for days afterwards. It's truly an easy to make treat for them! I think it's because my daughter puts A LOT of catnip in them!
Now, on to baking!
Merry Christmas!!