ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Kids’ Easy How to Make Clothespin Christmas Ornaments with Photos

Updated on May 30, 2014

Christmas Toy Soldiers / Band Members

Hanging on the Christmas tree, this clothespin ornament keeps watch.
Hanging on the Christmas tree, this clothespin ornament keeps watch. | Source
Several perky Christmas ornament people.
Several perky Christmas ornament people. | Source

Family Bonding Activity

This is an easy project which can be done over the course of one or two days. My childhood family made these clothespin people and it was quite a bonding activity. Additionally, it was a real-life assembly line experience, with each of us having a specific job. I found it to be so enjoyable that I repeated the project with my own children when they were elementary school age. It warms my heart to look at the Christmas tree and see the fruits of our community creative effort.


My parents called these clothespin people “Christmas toy soldiers.” I am more comfortable calling them Christmas band members (as in playing instruments and marching to music). Your family can choose a name and perhaps even a theme: Christmas clowns? Christmas community helpers? Or, do you have enough talent to make replicas of your own family members? Create what you find beneficial and rewarding. Whatever you make, they will become sentimental treasures.

Basic One-Piece Wooden Clothespin

This is the building block of the project.
This is the building block of the project. | Source

Supplies to Make 20 Ornaments

6 or more people – child and adult mix

Paper to protect work surface and paper towels and water for cleaning fingers

20 Wooden one-piece clothespins

12 feet of Embroidery floss, string, fishing line or dental floss cut into 20 7-inch pieces

Red watercolor or poster paint and 1 or 2 paint brushes

Royal or navy blue poster paint and 1 or 2 paintbrushes

2 or 3 navy, black, or brown fountain pens or gel pens

Red pipe cleaners cut into 20 5.5- to 6- inch pieces

Elmer’s or other clear-drying glue

20 Red pompom balls the same diameter as the clothespin heads

(I think that many markers could be substituted for the paints, however, I can’t begin to estimate how many one would use.)

Highly recommended: paper clips or official Christmas tree hanging hooks and a clothesline.

Suggested supply

Christmas music or other favorite tunes plying to encourage the “workers”

Keep the finished Christmas ornament in mind throughout the assembly line fun!
Keep the finished Christmas ornament in mind throughout the assembly line fun! | Source

Process

This truly works well as an assembly line. Some of the stations could be staffed by two workers. As you read through the procedure, you will see that some steps do better preceding others in the interest of not smudging or smearing wet paint or ink.

1. Use red watercolor paint (or watered down poster paint, or marker) to paint the shirt portion of the clothespin person. Let dry for a few minutes.

2. Make the hanging loop: Tie the floss around the neck so that 2 equal lengths of string hang from the neck, then double-knot it in the back. Take remaining strings and knot together at the ends to make the largest loop possible.

3. Use blue paint to paint the pants of the person. The blue should color inside and outside the “legs” and just a little bit above the legs. This part requires the longest drying time. This is where hanging the wet-pant people on a clothesline can be a great way to save the paint job.

Details of the hanging loop.
Details of the hanging loop. | Source
The blue paint pants.
The blue paint pants. | Source


4. Fold a pipe cleaner piece in half. Re-open it and place the halfway bump on the front neck of the dry clothespin person. Use a finger to hold it in place at that spot while you wrap on side around the back of the neck and return to the front, then the same with the other side. This secures the arms. Also, they can be bent into any natural position desired.

Add Arms

The beginning step in attaching the pipe cleaner arms.
The beginning step in attaching the pipe cleaner arms. | Source


5. Use pen to draw a face. Pirate eye patches, facial hair, and false eyelashes all are welcome in my world. You decide upon the rules for your family and your Christmas tree.

6. Put one drop of glue on the top of the clothespin and affix one pompom. After this, more drying time on the clothesline may be needed.

For some reason, my sons and I felt the need to name especially unique faced people. That added to the fun and the creativity.

Faces as Special as You

See the Pirate eye patch?
See the Pirate eye patch? | Source
Look at that eighties look on the right - SO much HAIR!
Look at that eighties look on the right - SO much HAIR! | Source
I think we named this fellow Poindexter!  :D
I think we named this fellow Poindexter! :D | Source

When these are totally put together and dry, hang on the tree. To store, I recommend placing them in layers on acid-free tissue paper. If you just jumble them all into a box without tissue separating them, they tend to get into fights. ; P

The Rewards

Wonderful memories. Memories of having one’s artistic creativity recognized and valued. Memories of a time when all worked together without fighting, teasing, bullying, or other disharmonious interaction. Perhaps memories of a few silly moments. And for the adults who, if lucky, are permitted to keep all or some of these ornaments – the gift of time travel. You get to return to that wonderful day when you made these with your kids.

All photos and text copyright 2011 Maren E. Morgan, all rights reserved.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile imageAUTHOR

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      randomcreative, thanks. Yes, these are totally custom-izable.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Really cute idea and so easy! I love how you can customize them with different faces, fabrics, colors, etc. Thanks for sharing.

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile imageAUTHOR

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      DeborahNeyens, thanks. Great minds must think alike. Also, I like your sunflower avatar. Merry Christmas!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Cute. I just made Santa and Mrs. Claus out of clothespins over the weekend.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)