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the Christmas Utopia Aisle

gold holly glass ornament

From about mid-July through Christmas, there comes into existence the Christmas Utopia Aisle at Michaels. You know what I’m talking about… It’s the aisle of floor to ceiling Christmas garland, tree picks, and zillions of branches of holly and pine needles and poinsettias in big, irresistible bins of sparkly Christmas colored rhapsody, all amidst a glittery haze. (It’s possible I’m being a little dramatic.) But still, for some reason it seems like even when you try your very hardest to avoid it, you still end up covered in red and green glitter and looking like some kind of Christmas strip-… um, dancer…by the time you escape from the other end of it.

christmas utopia aisle

Last year as I danced…er, strolled… my way through the Christmas Utopia Aisle, I had a super simple, 15 minute ornament idea for the little Christmas tree picks like these:

christmas tree picks

I am always trying to think of ways to use these…you can only stick so many into the Christmas tree and still have room left for ornaments, and most of the stems are too short for a floral arrangement or anything like that.

Plus, they are cheap. The “retail price” that Michael’s tries to fool you into believing is the real price is usually under a buck, and 2 days after they put them on the shelves, they are already “on sale”. A month after that, they are another 50% off. And if you stock up after Christmas…forget it…you can walk out of the store with a bag full of that stuff AND a commission check from Michael himself just for taking it off his hands.

See? Check out this price tag…

cheap christmas tree stem ornament idea

Some of these little stems and picks are so pretty. I am particularly fond of the little berry ones. It occurred to me that they would look really pretty inside a clear glass ornament (which can be found conveniently located right next door to Christmas Utopia Aisle, as it happens).

Just snip the berries from their stems using wire cutters…

cut berries from stems

until you’ve got enough. I wanted to fill the ornament about a quarter of the way (but filling it all the way up would be awesome too), and I used a mix of different cranberry and red shades…

holly berries

And just pop them into a clean glass ball ornament. When you are picking out your stems at the store, make sure that your berries will fit through the top of the ornament size you choose. You could also buy the plastic ornaments that open completely up, if you have something bigger you’d like to put inside.

berries inside glass ornament

Isn’t this pretty? (as in, pretty pretty please ignore my nails.)

fill glass ornament with holly berries

Just to dress it up a little, I decided to add a little red flower from another stem to the top of the ornament. The only problem with these is they are put together with bulky plastic-y stuff, which will keep the flower from sitting flush against the glass.

back of christmas flower

So, just snip off  the plastic piece from the back…

cut plastic piece off of silk flower

And then the piece in front will come right off, leaving the flower petals:

take flower apart

In place of the plastic piece, and in order to hold the flower together and cover up the hole, just sew a bead into the center:

sew bead in center of flower

Then glue the flower where you would like it at the top of the ornament (use a glue that dries clear, so that you can’t see any icky stuff from the other side of the ornament once it’s dried):

glue flower to top of ornament

A simple piece of ribbon tied in a bow does the trick for the hanger (put a little bit of clear glue in the knot to make sure it’s secure).

handmade ornament ribbon hanger

red holly berry ornament

 

Here is one I made last year, using glittery white berries and leaves:

white berry christmas ornament

And then I thought up this one just today, in gold…I used the leaves from another floral stem:

gold floral branch

I cut the leaves apart, and snipped off the little glittery berries…then I glued them all back together the way I wanted them arranged, at the top of an ornament I filled with matte gold berries:

gold holly berry ornament

Pretty classy! (unlike that Christmas dancer…)

gold holly glass ornament

Just one more reason I love these clear glass ornaments. Any other ideas for filling them?

 

{ 33 comments… add one }

  • Laura Haines October 19, 2011, 9:39 am

    You do amazing work.You are so crafty.

  • Elaine October 19, 2011, 10:59 am

    I am an ornament girl too, but not at your level. Your ideas are so simple and elegant.

    • ornamentgirl October 19, 2011, 11:09 am

      Thank you so much, Elaine. :) I have a notebook of other ornament craft ideas that I really hope I can get all written up into posts between now and Christmas…

  • Dana October 19, 2011, 10:44 pm

    Just lovely! :)

  • Peggy October 20, 2011, 12:40 am

    These are great too! Can’t wait to put my tree up every year, and it will have some of your beautiful ornaments this year. Thanks so much for sharing your great ideas.

  • Stacy October 21, 2011, 3:18 am

    Do you happen to know of any online store where you can buy the glass bulbs in bulk?

  • Linda October 23, 2011, 4:41 am

    I love the ornaments! Too bad I have just finished my new ornaments for this year. I think I will make a few and put them on some of my wraped Christmas Presents.

  • Natalia November 15, 2011, 1:09 am

    Thank you for great ideas.

  • Terri June 29, 2012, 11:10 am

    ok, missy—how many christmas trees do you put up every year?!!! you must need several for all your ornies!!

    • ornamentgirl July 2, 2012, 10:49 pm

      lol Terri, I actually just have one normal sized Christmas tree, and then (don’t laugh!) a mini pink feather tree that I put up in my bedroom for all of my Barbie ornaments. :D

  • Mary October 20, 2012, 11:07 pm

    Each ornament is prettier than the last, the gold is just beautiful. Can’t wait to make a few in gold and silver! Wanted to say thank you for the great tip for glitter ornaments, my daughter and I made 40 last Sat for her bridal shower and they were done in no time and they look beautiful.(And love the pink tree and Barbie!)

    • ornamentgirl October 21, 2012, 9:43 pm

      Thank you so much, Mary! I’m glad to hear that the glitter ornaments turned out so well for your daughter’s shower…that’s an awesome idea! :)

  • Krisitna November 6, 2012, 12:05 am

    Maybe filling a clear glass ball ornament with Christmasy tinsel? That would be easy and festive!

  • Marya December 11, 2012, 3:35 am

    Thanks so much for sharing – I LOVE it! We’ve linked up to you in our post “Clear Ornament Inspiration.”
    http://youpinspireme.blogspot.ca/2012/12/clear-ornament-inspiration.html

  • Janis August 8, 2013, 3:04 am

    I love the frosted cranberry ornament. How did you frost them?
    Jan

    • ornamentgirl August 8, 2013, 8:43 am

      Hi Janis… Actually, they already came that way! They had little picks of both the unfrosted and frosted berries. I love the frosted ones, too. :)

  • Maria September 3, 2013, 10:55 pm

    Can I use clear plastic balls for any of these or just for the glitter ornaments
    Thank you

    • ornamentgirl September 3, 2013, 10:59 pm

      Maria, you definitely could. Some of the plastic ornaments open up around the middle, and if you don’t like how that looks, you could cover it with a piece of ribbon or something else that would wrap around easily. :)

      • Maria September 3, 2013, 11:37 pm

        thank you so much, I’m just trying out your ideas to put on my tree or maybe as a gift. I would love to do some personalized ones but I ‘m not sure how to do the letters, maybe paint them on or ………..
        thank you again!

        • ornamentgirl September 3, 2013, 11:46 pm

          You’re welcome, I’m glad I can help! You could try painting, and usually right in the same aisle as the clear ornaments (at Michael’s and JoAnn’s), they’ve got paint and stencils that are perfect for using on these. That would make the lettering MUCH easier.

  • Sharon September 22, 2013, 4:43 am

    LOVE THE IDEAS, so crafty!!!! I am having trouble finding Ostrich feathers, any idea where I can get some. I want to make the pearl ornament (among others)

  • Theresa November 23, 2013, 3:30 am

    JUST LOVE ALL of your ideas… gosh, this Christmas is going to be and ornament girls celebration. I need to know about the ostrich feathers too, please. Just a thought, how about a single poinsettia flower inside?!?

    • ornamentgirl December 1, 2013, 9:27 pm

      I think a single poinsettia inside would be GORGEOUS. Did you need to know where I bought the ostrich feathers for the feather and pearl ornament? I bought those from this site: http://www.tonyhill.net/. They’ve got just about any kind of feather you can possibly think of. I hope that helps! :)

  • Mel the Crafty Scientist December 10, 2013, 11:40 am

    Just wanted to let you know I featured this project in my roundup of glass ornament crafts here too. : )
    -Mel the Crafty Scientist

  • Kelly February 22, 2014, 4:27 am

    Love your ideas, patterns and helpful tips! Great site!

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