Growing up, my mother would buy my sisters and me an ornament for the tree every year. I remember sometimes getting to pick it out myself from Hallmark's Dream Book. Her reason for doing this was so when we grew up and were out in the world on our own, we would have ornaments to decorate our trees with, along with the memories they invoke. Once I became a mom, I decided to pass on this tradition.
Every year since my son, A, was born, I tried to purchase an ornament that reflected his personality, a milestone, or one of his main interests. To this day, I can tell you why I bought each one in his collection. There was a time when A was big into dinosaurs, the Grinch (even when it wasn't Christmas-time), Scooby Doo, and SpongeBob, but there are other non-commercial ones like last year's track ornament.When E and I got together, I started getting ornaments for his two daughters, too. There were cell phones, ballet dancers, cheerleaders, guitars.
Instead of just giving the ornaments to the kids, I like to wrap them up as Christmas gifts and put them under the tree. I don't know that they appreciate the tradition yet, but I hope someday they do. When they were small, it was fun for them, but now that they are teenagers and pre-teen, the ornaments aren't the coolest, hottest gift.
I picked up three small frames at Walmart; they hold wallet sized pictures. Some might think they are too big for a tree, but I like to have a range of sizes for my ornaments. Also, after thoroughly researching the benefits of homemade Mod Podge versus the real thing, I decided to buy it. Supposedly, the homemade variety can yellow over time. I want these to last indefinitely, so I played it safe. I don't know whether the yellowing is true, but I didn't want to risk it. Especially since two of the ornaments have white backgrounds.
I started with T's ornament first. I Mod Podged zebra scrapbook paper to the frame; she has zebra car seat covers in her car, so I thought it would be a nice touch. In my supplies, I found the label, letter/number stickers, and little diamond accents. The numbers were originally white, I used a Sharpie marker to make them red. The label had little holes on each side, so I covered them with the diamond stickers to also make it look like they are keeping the label in place, like brads. At this point, I used several layers of Mod Podge to seal everything. I found some new driver scrapbook embellishments at Michael's, and the key and fob are exactly what I was looking for. I scraped off the dimensional foam tape on the back and used the Mod Podge to adhere it to the frame, but I didn't cover it with any because I didn't want to change the textures of the embellishments. The key is a rubbery foam and the fob buttons are enameled.
I also picked up a packet of band stickers when I was at Michael's for F's ornament. This year she started playing the clarinet. I printed off some sheet music for Jingle Bells because she is learning it for her upcoming band concert. I cut banners from a roll of teal ribbon to break up the white-ness and make the year and instrument pop. The inside of the frame is also lined with it. I did the label and diamond accents like T's, but the numbers here are rub ons. At this point I used the Mod Podge to seal everything and then I used it to glue the clarinet down after I scraped off the dimensional foam tape. I added the treble clef as an after thought; it looked like the ornament was missing something there.
If you follow my posts regularly, you already know my son joined the football team this year (Team Spirit Wreath), so it is probably obvious that would be the theme for A's ornament. I found the football field scrapbook paper and football at Ben Franklin Crafts. I cut the EP logo from the awards banquet invitation. (It was the first thing I thought of when I opened the invite since it was in color.) I Mod Podged the paper to the frame, but I had an issue with the edge around the picture hole, so I made a little matte from some red paper I already had that looks worn to cover up the tear and glued it and the logo on. After the several layers of Mod Podge, I added the football and the year. I found them at Target; at first, I thought they were too big, but I loved that they were the perfect colors and look just like varsity letters (they are even fuzzy like his chenille letter) so I used them anyway. Now, they've grown on me.
Overall, I'm happy with each ornament; I think they adequately represent the milestones all three kids have achieved this year. I hope that they like them, too, and that they don't pay attention to my Facebook posts so they won't see them early, LOL.
P.S. I've linked up with 30 Handmade Days * A Mommy's Blog Design * Craftionary * One Project Closer * At the Picket Fence * French Country Cottage * Funky Junk Interiors * Sweet Boutique * I Heart Nap Time * Petite Hermine * Twigg Studios * Under the Table and Dreaming * Mad in Crafts * The Chicken Chick * Sarahndipities * Clairejustineoxox * Skip to My Lou * Coastal Charm * Sugar Bee Crafts * Today's Creative Blog * The Trendy Treehouse * We are THAT Family * Someday Crafts * Sew Much Ado * DIY Crafty Projects * Southern Lovely * Beyond the Picket Fence * House of Hepworths * 733 * Made in a Day * Imparting Grace * The Shabby Creek Cottage * The Charm of Home * Bloom * Krafty Kat