You can do it!

Real Life has gotten in the way of posting a new design for you this week. But, I wanted to do a quick post before I run out the door to do another ESL Halloween Party for the local kids here in Japan. You see, I’ve had to take a part-time job to support my sequin addiction and this week I’ve been teaching elementary school kids words like Jack-o’-Lantern and Witch. We also played a version of “Hot Potato” with my Jack-o’-Lantern ornament. I call it “Pass the Pumpkin”. I just removed the bow and hanging ribbon from the top and now I’ve got a toy the kids can throw around. Since I didn’t use any pins for that ornament it’s perfect. And when the parents and teachers see it they are super impressed that I made it my self. I’ve already passed out several buisness cards for the website.

Any who… I’ve been conversing with one of my fabulous readers recently, Julie from California. After finding this site her and her sister decided to try to make some kimekomi ornaments. She was kind enough to send me pictures and agreed to let me share them with you.

So if you’ve been lurking around Ornament Designs but still haven’t tried it yourself, I Challenge You! The supplies are relatively cheap, and I’ve got loads of ideas in the archives. All you need is a little money, a little time and a steady hand. And if you have any questions please feel free to contact me at alyx@ornamentdesigns.com. I’m happy to answer any of your questions.

Oh… and if you have taken the challenge and would like me to feature your ornaments on this site send me an email at the above address.

Happy Ornament Making!

35 Minute Eggs

People often ask how long it takes me to make an ornament. My answer is usually between 4 and 8 hours. The sequined ornaments tend to take the most time while the fabric (kimekomi) ornaments take the least.

I have loads of free time, so spending half my day making one ornament isn’t totally insane. But if you’re like most people, you have a job or kids, or maybe both. Your free time is limited, so you need a project that will take little time but still have nice results. This ornament is for you.

Introducing the 35 Minute Egg!

These ornaments are perfect for Christmas or Easter. Just choose your fabric according to the season.
Use fabric and ribbon you love and in turn you will love your ornament.

When I timed myself making this ornament it only took me 35 minutes to complete. If you are new to this it may take you a bit longer.

Materials Needed:

  • one smooth foam egg, about 7cm tall
  • any cotton fabric of your choice
  • 6mm wide ribbon, in whatever color coordinates with your fabric
  • 2 small bead caps
  • 2 corsage pins
  • glue
  • cardboard or heavy paper
  • 3/4inch sequin pins*

*Purchased at Cartwright’s.

Tools Needed:

Directions:

  1. Using your measuring tape, draw 2 perpendicular lines vertically on your egg dividing it into 4 equal sections. It’s easiest to use the mold line as your first line and draw your second line accordingly. Find the place on the egg where it measured 8cm from one side of the mold line to the other. Draw a dot at the half way point, 4cm. Then use your measuring tape as a straight edge. Connecting the top point, mid point you just drew and bottom point on my egg. Do the same on the opposite side.
  2. Using your craft knife, cut along the lines on the foam egg. The cut should be about 1cm deep.
  3. Next, make a pattern for your fabric panels with the cardboard, measuring slightly larger than each of the 4 sections on the egg. For my egg I used this pattern:
  4. Using your pattern, cut out 4 panels of fabric.
  5. Paint a thin layer of glue on one section of your foam egg. The glue should not seep through the fabric.
  6. Smooth a fabric panel over the glued area and tuck the edges of the fabric into the cuts in the foam. Repeat this on all 4 sections of your egg.
  7. Next, pin ribbon over the seams.
  8. Then, make your hanging ribbon and bow for the top. Thread a bead cap onto a corsage pin, then thread the hanging ribbon, then the bow, in that order. Dip pin in glue and pin to the top of the egg.
  9. To finish, thread a bead cap onto another corsage pin and pin at the bottom of the egg.

Happy Ornament Making!!

Jack-O’-lantern Ornament

Just in time for Halloween!

This ornament was easy, fun and quick. It only took me a few hours to make.
And, I think it looks great on my bookshelf!

Materials Used:

  • one 80mm smooth foam ball
  • orange cotton fabric
  • black cotton fabric
  • gold cord
  • 9mm wide green ribbon
  • one green plum blossom sequin
  • corsage pin
  • glue

Tools Used:


Directions:

  1. Draw lines on foam ball dividing it into 6 equal sections.
  2. Cut out 6 panels of orange fabric. The panels should measure just a little larger than each section on your ball.
  3. Draw your Jack-O’-lantern face on the foam.
  4. Cut out 4 pieces of black fabric in roughly the size of the eyes, nose and mouth you drew. Leave lots of extra on your pieces so there is enough for tucking. The excess can be cut off as you tuck.
  5. Cut along all lines drawn.
  6. Cover the eyes, nose and mouth of your Jack-O’-lantern with black fabric, tucking the fabric into the cuts along your drawn lines. You may use glue to secure your fabric on the foam. Just make sure the glue doesn’t seep through the fabric.
  7. Once the face is finished, cover the rest of the foam with the orange fabric panels. You will need to cut holes to allow the face to show. Be sure to leave enough fabric for tucking. I like to cut the holes for the face as I go, as opposed to trying to do it before hand. There is less chance of cutting off to much.
  8. Once all the fabric is in place, outline the black fabric with gold cord to emphasize the face. Use glue to secure it in place. You may also use gold pins if you have them available.
  9. Finish your ornament by threading a green plum blossom sequin on a corsage pin, then the green hanging ribbon and lastly the green bow. Dip the pin in glue and pin it to the top of the ball.

As you can see in the picture above, I drew the eyes a little too small and the mouth should be higher, closer to the nose. However, even though it’s flawed, I think it’s really cute. The small eyes make it look like it’s squinting because it’s smile is so big. I think it has character. I’m sure yours will too.

Stained Glass Inspired Ornament

I needed inspiration and found myself looking at pictures of stained glass windows. I wanted to try and replicate the brilliant colors and geometric patterns. This could probably be done as a kimekomi, however I thought glitter would better illustrate the light properties of glass. Any one of my kimekomi patterns could be used for a similar ornament. For an even more authentic stained glass look, black or dark gray sequins could be used to represent the lead.

Tools Needed

  • ballpoint pen
  • glue
  • drafting compass
  • liquid White Out
  • paint brush

Materials Needed:

  • one 70mm smooth foam ball
  • 1/2 inch silver sequin pins*
  • 15/0 clear iridescent seed beads*
  • 5mm silver sequins
  • red, blue and green glitter paint**
  • 9mm wide silver ribbon
  • one silver pearl topped corsage pins
  • one 8mm red sequin

*purchased at Cartwright’s
**homemade, using loose glitter and clear glue. See FAQ page for more info on how to make glitter paint.

FYI… In this video, the first 4 steps are not shown exactly as they are written. Please follow the written directions. This video is only meant as a visual aid.

Directions:

  1. Draw lines on foam ball dividing it into 4 equal sections.
  2. Set your compass to 3cm. Draw a circle at the top and bottom of your foam ball.
  3. At the center mold line, find the point where the 4 vertical lines intersect it. At each point draw a circle with your compass, still set at a 3cm radius.
  4. White out the original 4 vertical lines you drew. You should now only see the 6 circles.
  5. Now, set your ball down and look at it from the top. You will see a square shape surrounding your top point. Set your compass point at each corner of the square and draw a circle. Your compass should still be set at 3cm.
  6. Once your 4 new circles are drawn around each corner point, turn the ball over and do the same on the bottom side.
  7. Trace all lines with silver sequins. Leave a 1cm circle at the top without sequins. You may outline this section with sequins, if you wish.
  8. Prep your glitter paint.
  9. Start with the bottom of your ornament. Look at the pattern of exposed foam and find the 4 triangles that form a cross in the center. Fill in the sections with glitter paint according to the illustration below.
  10. At the point were the blue diamond shapes touch there are a few more tiny spaces of exposed foam. These spaces are too small to fill in with glitter, so just fill them in with silver sequins.
  11. Finish your ornament by placing a silver bow and hanging ribbon at the top where you left some exposed foam. Thread the large red sequins onto the corsage pin, then the hanging ribbon, then the bow, in that order.

The most time consuming part of this ornament is waiting for the glitter paint to dry before moving onto the next section. You may need several coats of paint to get an opaque look. I like to use a very small paint brush for filling in the smaller sections.

I really love this ornament. I intend on making several more like it using different patterns and different colors of paint.

Happy Ornament Making!!

Falling Leaves Ornament

This week’s ornament is a basic design inspired by the autumn season.


I started making this ornament using an autumn color scheme and then remembered that I had these gold leaves buried somewhere underneath a pile of unused supplies. I can’t remember where I purchased them, but you can find something similar at Cartwright’s.

Materials Used:

  • one 60mm smooth foam ball
  • 1/2 inch sequin pins*
  • 3/4 inch sequin pins*
  • 15/0 clear iridescent seed beads*
  • 5mm sequins in orange*, gold and green
  • red and gold glitter paint**
  • 6mm wide gold ribbon
  • two pearl topped corsage pins
  • two 8mm red sequins
  • 11 gold leaf sequins (approx 9mm X 1.5cm)
  • gold thread
  • glue

*purchased at Cartwright’s
**homemade using loose red glitter and gold glitter glue.

Directions:

  1. Pin gold ribbon in two perpendicular lines around the foam ball, sectioning the ball into 4 equal parts.
  2. Trace the gold ribbon on both sides with 5mm orange sequins.
  3. Then trace the orange rows of sequins with a line of alternating green and gold sequins.
  4. Paint the remaining visible foam with glitter paint. You may need several coats of paint to get an opaque look.
  5. Once the paint is dry, add the hanging ribbon and bow on the top of the ornament. Thread a green sequin and large red sequin onto the corsage pin, then the hanging ribbon and then the bow, in that order.
  6. Pin two gold leaves in each painted panel. One leaf pointing up the other pointing down.
  7. Thread 3 gold leaves onto a piece of gold thread.
  8. Tie the thread to a corsage pin. Thread a green and large red sequin on the pin, and pin it to the bottom of the ornament so the leaves hang down.