Friday, January 7, 2011

Recycled Holiday Card Ornament #1

Happy New Year!  So, I know that it's January and no longer Christmas, but I had the flu for almost two weeks and I'm playing a bit of catch-up right now.  If you still have the holiday cards you were sent this year, you can make this adorable balloon ornament for next years tree!

I found this idea while surfing the genius that is Martha Stewart.  Aside from that little stint in the clink, she's an icon of crafty goodness and I love to check her website/magazine for inspiration.  This seemed easy enough, so I taught myself how to was really easy and turned out cute, so I'm passing it along.  As for kids...this project is more suited to the older child (middle school/high school age)  OR  you could do all the hazardous cutting and poking and allow your little ones to assemble.
  • Holiday cards
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Exacto knife (or scissors if you don't want the older kids wielding a blade) 
  • Cut safe surface
  • Awl (or needle) - to pierce holes
  • 2 Brads (the length of the brad will determine how many strips you can use, thus effecting the fullness)
  • Embroidery Thread or thin ribbon
  • Button
  • Hot glue
  • Ornament hook

1.) You only need the front of the card with the design, so detach it.  {NOTE} size & shape of your card will determine the size & shape of your balloon.
2.) On the backside of the card, mark out with your ruler whatever width you'd like your strips.  The thinner you go, the more you will need to make it a full balloon and that means you need to have a long brad to accommodate the thickness of the stacked strips (this will make more sense in a minute...I hope). I wouldn't go much thicker than what I have marked or you might end up with a slightly boring balloon.
3.) With your straight edge & exacto knife, cut the strips to the measured width.  You could also use scissors.
4.) Pierce a hole with your awl or needle on each end of the cut strips.
5.) Add your strips (via the pierced hole) to your brad until you have just enough room left on your brad to fold the ends back securing the strips. Fan out your strips so they are evenly spaced.  {NOTE} I used a small scrapbooking decorative brad and was able to fit 9 card strips onto it before I ran out of room.  If you use a longer brad, you could fit more.
6.) Start adding your loose strips one at a time to the second brad, but this time have the pointed end of the brad facing out.  You want to be able to close the brad from the outside and not have to reach into the balloon to close the prongs.
7.) Once all the strips are on, fold the prongs down to secure the strips.  You can adjust the strips to space them out better and also gently bend or squeeze the balloon into more of a round shape if it got bent out of whack.
8. & 9.) Now...I'm trying to figure out way to explain this next step without saying "experiment and jerry-rig your button loop"...because that's what I did.  SO, thread your string or ribbon through two holes and double back and thread the remaining two holes.  Go back through one more time, but this time, leave a length of string to create a loop.
10.) with your hot glue, add a dab to the underside of the button to secure the string (leaving the loop in place) and cut the excess thread away.  Jeepers...did that make any sense???
11.) Hot glue your botton to the end of the balloon where the prongs from the brads are showing.  Attach your ornament hook and you're done!  

This is low mess project, but please, have fun and (try to) get messy!  :-)  
~ Miss Jenna ~

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