As the Christmas season draws near, so do a host of family traditions. Whether you are a staunch believer in waiting until after Thanksgiving or perhaps you always trimmed the tree on Christmas Day, chances are you had a host of handmade ornaments to hang.
My favorite ornaments were the ones handmade by my grandmother. Every year, she made over 50 ornaments to give as gifts to friends and family. When my grandmother passed away, each of her six grandchildren got two gallon-sized ziplock bags full of Grandma’s homemade Christmas ornaments, many of which were leftovers from ornaments we grew up with that will now hang on a second generation of trees.
As you may have guessed, I inherited my grandmother’s passion for crafting and creativity, in addition to her love of Christmas. Every year, I am always on the hunt for ideas to make Christmas ornaments, and with decades of handmade ornaments already hanging on my tree, it’s no easy feat to find something new! This is why I was so excited for the release of Jingle All the Way by Debbie Busby.
These whimsical folk-art style ornaments are full of homemade nostalgia. Not only will they create a showstopper for your Christmas tree, but many can be easily personalized and used as the perfect finishing touch to your gift wrapping. There’s even an embroidered gift card holder for those of us who want to add a little something special, even though your teenage niece would much rather have the gift card!
For this year's ornament, I decided to make gingerbread cookie cutouts. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to raid my grandmother’s button stash to embellish my ornaments. I also loved the suggested “clothing” variations Debbie suggested. Living in the college town of Knoxville, TN, with abundant orange scrap fabric, I decided to use some orange gingham for the apron and bowtie of two of my gingerbread ornaments. Without an abundance of wool felt to choose from in my area, I got by with polyester felt from my local craft store. By using craft felt, scrap fabric, and embellishments from my personal stash, making these ornaments became an excellent, affordable way to make a homemade treasure to share with family and friends.
I was especially grateful for the stitch diagrams Debbie included in her book. I wouldn’t count myself as someone who regularly embroiders, so I found these diagrams to be very helpful. Being able to practice my stitches on a small-scale project like this gave a quick satisfaction since the ornaments came together in a relatively short amount of time. While I don’t plan on making the prolific numbers of ornaments my grandmother used to make, I can still make a good many of these ornaments without feeling pushed for time.
Do you plan to make any Christmas ornaments this year? Do you have a treasured handmade ornament that always hangs on your tree? We would love to see it! Share your ornaments with us by tagging C&T Publishing in your posts, or join us on our Makers Mingle Facebook Group and post your pictures there.