Sparkly Holiday Ornaments

Happy Holidays Everyone!  I absolutely love this time of year, especially in New York City.  There are lights and decorations everywhere, plus I love when the Christmas tree vendors fill the streets with evergreens.  In honor of the season I wanted to share a few ornaments I’ve been working on with you guys.  (And while I’ve been using them for my Christmas tree, they would also make perfect New Year’s Eve decorations!)

the3Rsblog Ornaments 01

I absolutely love making ornaments, in fact I will often work on them year round!  But I usually get more excited by them at Christmas time, and this year was no exception.  A few weeks ago my good friend Ann (from All Things Paper) sent me a link to these gorgeous sequin ornaments.  All you need is a styrofoam ball, some sequins, and a lot of straight pins.  Oh, and thumbs of steel… I’m seriously thinking about investing in an old-fashioned thimble for future ornaments.

the3Rsblog Ornaments 02

Basically you just push a straight pin through the center of each sequin, and into the styrofoam ball, it couldn’t be easier.  It is, however, a bit time consuming.  These random balls probably took me 2-3 hours each, though I was making them while watching movies so I wasn’t always concentrating 100% on each ornament.  The original tutorial I found was making balls out of just one color of sequin, and that is something I want to try too, but for now the only sequins I could find locally were in a big jumbled box of mixed colors and sizes, so I started with these multicolored ornaments and ordered a larger selection of single color sequins online (which should be arriving today!)  Each sequin is a 10mm cup sequin, and the styrofoam balls are 3 inches in diameter.  You could use any size sequin for this project but the smaller they are, the more sequins (and work) you’ll need to cover the whole surface.  For the hook at the top I cut an extra ornament hook in half, dabbed a bit of hot glue on the ends and pushed it down into the styrofoam until I had the perfect bit of U-shaped hook sticking out the top, to attach to a second ornament hook for hanging.

You can also make fun patterns and shapes with the sequins, to create more unique ornaments.  Once I get my bulk order of single color sequins I want to try other patterns like maybe stripes, as well as solid balls, but for now I decided to try using the mixture of colors I had to make flowers.  Each sequin flower is 6 of one color, with a second color sequin in the center.  And while each flower is a different color, all of the in between areas are filled in with pale blue sequins.the3Rsblog Ornaments 03

Honestly, I’m proud at how this one came out, but it was a HUGE amount of work, hours and hours and hours of plotting out how to fit the flowers in perfectly, and cover a spherical surface, plus a lot of removing of pins and sequins to re-position them.  I even drew guidelines on the styrofoam before I started and it was still a bit of a nightmare figuring it out.  And honestly, it looks cool but at the same time because of the different colors it doesn’t quite pack the punch I was hoping for…  I think I might try this again with just one color flower, using the knowledge I have from this first attempt, but then again I may decide its not really worth it.  We’ll see.

And finally, an ornament I actually made a few months ago, which really embraces the 3 R’s perfectly!  Recycled soda can tabs, glued to a clear plastic ornament.

the3Rsblog Ornaments 04

I absolutely love how this came out, including the sort of spiky shape it made!  I’ve had it hanging over my desk at school and everyone in my department wanted to buy one, so maybe one day I’ll start making and selling them on Etsy.  For now it is happily decorating my Christmas tree, along with its sparklier sequin cousins.  Basically I just hot glued the tabs onto a pre-existing clear plastic ornament, the kind you can buy to decorate yourself.  Starting at the bottom and working my way up to the top I just overlapped the tabs like shingles, keeping approximately half of each tab sticking out under the overlapping layer.  I have also purchased a small selection of red tabs, so maybe one day I’ll try a candy cane sort of striped ornament, we’ll see.

For now I hope you are all having a happy and sparkly holiday season, and I wish you all the best in the new year!  Happy 2013!!  Allison

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49 Responses to Sparkly Holiday Ornaments

  1. Teresa says:

    Love the ornaments! Where did you order the individual colored sequins?!?!? I wanted to do some of these with specific colors and could only find gobs of mixed together colors!

    • Berger Beads, a place I found online. They have all different sizes and colors, you can buy them individually or in a mixed lot. I’ve been very pleased with my purchase, though I regret buying only 1/2 inch pins because they are more difficult to handle than larger ones would have been. I figured shorter meant less effort to push it into the styrofoam, and that’s true, but they are proving to be harder to pick-up which is very annoying. But that’s my own fault of course.


    • Bernice Valerio says:

      Have you tried Amazon? They have all sorts of things. Or…google it.

  2. jenkimmade says:

    These are great! i wonder if i have time to make some before new year’s…

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  4. Ann Martin says:

    Your ornaments look great, Allie! I’m so glad you made some and can definitely believe the time they took, especially the flowered one.

  5. alexis says:

    those sequin ornaments we used to make when we were in primary school.. I think it was something for us to do at the end of the year when the teachers were tired!

  6. alexis says:

    they look even better if you use the pins with the knobs on them!

  7. Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks

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  11. Pat Jandacek says:

    The soda can tabs would be perfect to create pine cone decorations – there must be a conical styrofoam shape out there! I think the sequined balls are beautiful. I appreciate the heads up about the difficulty in arranging the sequins into the flower patterns. Should I ever attempt to make one myself (very doubtful). I’ll be sure to do the over-all multi-color type.

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  13. Katie M. says:

    Have you had any trouble with the pins falling off/out of the Styrofoam balls? Did you use glue?

  14. Pingback: 9 Handmade Ornaments Made From Recycled Items – Recycled Crafts

  15. Kim says:

    On the tab ornament what size ball did you use? I have 100mm and 80 I am trying the 80 but doesnt seem big enough to fit them

    • I actually think I used a 60mm ornament. The tabs stick off of the ball a bit and I didn’t want the ornament to be so much larger than my other ornaments. If I’m wrong about the 60mm then at very most I used an 80mm ball, but I’m pretty sure about the 60mm.

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  19. Hi
    Love these ideas, especially the can pull ornament! Can you tell me where you ordered the red ones please as I’d love to have a go with those too!
    Have a great Christmas x

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  21. Hans says:

    what is the recipe on Christmas balls

  22. Peggy Harper says:

    what type of adhesive did you use for this project?

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  24. Michelle says:

    Would love for this page to have an option to pin on Pinterest !

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