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Making Dried Gourd Christmas Tree Ornaments
Ornament Making Party a Christmas Tradition
Each year, I set aside one evening during the Christmas season to spend making ornaments with my children and/or grandchildren. I've been doing it since my kids were little, and they're all grown up now, some of them even have kids of their own. Sometimes the holidays can get to hectic, it's hard to get everyone together, but we always make a special effort to make time for Ornament Night.
Even When We Travel We Have our Ornament Party
We do something different every year. In past years we have made and painted salt dough ornaments, we have decorated tiny wreaths to hang on the tree, we have made reindeer ornaments from wooden clothespins and we have made beaded ornaments from kits I had purchased. We've made so many different types of ornaments, sometimes it's a challenge to think of something new.
Our Dried Gourd Christmas Ornaments
Last year I ordered some small, dried gourds on eBay thinking we could paint and embellish them for our yearly ornament project. There is a wide variety of sizes and shapes available at reasonable prices, and they are very light-weight which is a good quality in a Christmas tree ornament. I chose the banana gourds and the pear gourds which I think worked out very well.
Dried Starfish and Sea Urchin Ornaments
In a change from our usual habit, instead of spending Christmas at home the whole family traveled to my daughter’s house in southern California for Christmas. She lives near the ocean, and she had picked up some dried starfish and sea urchins to contribute to our project. It was nice, they added a little of the beach flavor to our sunny California Christmas.
It Was a Last Minute Ornament Party
My husband and I had spent the day driving from northern California in hectic holiday traffic. It was not until 9:00 p.m. on Christmas eve, my grown girls, my niece and I sat down to create our ornaments.
Use What You Have on Hand
It turned out that supplies were a bit limited. We didn't have a lot of paint colors, or very much glue, so we had to make do with what we had. My daughter was determined that we would not miss out on our traditional ornament night, so we forged ahead.
Santas and Snowmen, all Shapes and Sizes
Santa Clause was a popular figure that evening. Skinny and fat, short and tall, starfish and gourd, it's surprising how each version of Santa has it's own personality. I especially love the starfish Grinch Santa at the top right of the photo below.
Snowmen were another of our favorites. They are so easy to make. Simply painting your figure white, giving it a face and putting a scarf around the neck makes an amazing transformation.
Some Non-Traditional Christmas Creations
Most of our ornaments stuck with the traditional, but we had a few unorthodox creations, like the blue whale, and the starfish wearing a shell bikini and a Santa hat. I think the golden pear (right next to the Grinch) made from a gourd is very elegant.
Last Minute Trip to the Craft Store
We ran out to Michael's craft store early Christmas morning to see if we could find something to spruce up our creations a little bit. Lucky for us it was open and we picked up some sheets of foam beards, boots and hats which we added to wonderful effect.
Gourd Starfish and Urchin Santas and Snowmen
Adding Details is Very Important
The little foam hats and the beard and eyeballs we got at Michael's craft store, they add a lot to the simple figures.
Do you make your own Christmas ornaments?
We are Glad We Kept the Tradition
Even though ornament night was squeezed in at the last possible moment last Christmas, I would still call it a smashing success. All of our artwork was universally admired by all who saw it.
Stockings are huge at Christmas time in my family. Even the adults all get one. I usually give everyone a homemade ornament in their stocking.
© 2013 Sherry Hewins