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.
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:
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, look at the price tag… I totally wasn’t lying!
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…
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…
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.
Isn’t this pretty? (as in, pretty pretty please ignore my nails.)
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.
So, just snip off the plastic piece from the back…
And then the piece in front will come right off, leaving the flower petals:
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:
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):
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).
Here is one I made last year, using glittery white berries and leaves:
And then I thought up this one just today, in gold…I used the leaves from another floral stem:
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:
Pretty classy! (unlike that Christmas dancer…)
Just one more reason I love these clear glass ornaments. Any other ideas for filling them?