Stars & Stripes 2011

The 4th of July is almost here and in honor of my country’s birthday I’ve made another American Independence Day themed ornament. This is a great ornament for beginners.

Tools and Materials:

  • ball point pen
  • tape measure
  • craft knife
  • tucking tool
  • liquid whiteout
  • glue stick
  • 60mm smooth foam ball
  • cotton fabric in red, white and blue
  • red, blue and silver ribbon
  • silver star sequins*
  • 3/4 inch sequin pins*
  • 15/0 clear iridescent seed beads*
  • two pearl topped corsage pins
  • two 12mm silver bead caps

*Purchased from Cartwright’s

Basic Instructions:

  1. Divide your ball into 6 equal sections.
  2. White out the equator line if drawn and cut foam along vertical lines.
  3. Cut out 6 panels of quilt batting that equal the size of each section on your foam ball.
  4. Cut out 2 panels of each color fabric a little larger than the size of each section on your ball.
  5. Glue one panel of batting on a section of your foam ball, then cover with a panel of red fabric and tuck the edges of the fabric into the foam.
  6. Repeat step 5 for the remaining sections on your ball with alternating colors of fabric.
  7. Pin star sequins along the seams in a staggered pattern. For white and blue seams, 3 stars. For blue and red seams, 2 stars.
  8. Top off your ornament with a bead cap, red hanging ribbon and blue and silver bow. Thread the bead cap onto the corsage pin first. Then thread on the hanging ribbon and then the bow. To create a two colored bow alternate 2 loops of blue ribbon, 2 silver, then 2 more blue and last 2 more silver.
  9. Finish by pinning a bead cap at the bottom of the ornament with a corsage pin.

Hearts and Diamonds

Here’s another design from Suess and Hewitt’s book Japanese Kimekomi.

I added the sequins, beads and bow to give it my own special flair.

I don’t own the rights to this design and so I’m not going to tell you how to make it. I will however encourage you to take a look at this book if you haven’t already. This is just one of their sixteen basic designs.

“Random Hearts” Valentine’s Ornament

Materials and Tools Needed:

  • ball point pen
  • craft glue
  • 3 inch smooth foam ball
  • 15/0 clear iridescent seed beads*
  • 3/4 inch sequin pins*
  • clear iridescent glitter glue
  • red, pink and white ribbon
  • I used 9mm red and pink, and 4mm white.

  • five pearl topped corsage pins
  • eight 5mm pearl beads
  • heart shaped sequins of different shape sizes and color
  • I used the Valentine Mix* from Cartwright’s, as well as some other heart sequins I found at my local 100 yen shop in Japan. Both pictured below.

Valentine Mix from Cartwright's

Directions:

  1. Find the top of your ball and mark it with a pen.
  2. Paint your foam ball with glitter glue and let dry.
  3. Randomly pin heart sequins around the top of the ball, leaving a space for pinning a bow at the top later, and winding down the ball in a random pattern. The hearts should touch each other and not all face in one specific direction, interconnecting like mosaic tiles. I suggest putting a spot of glue on the back of each heart as you pin.
  4. Once you are satisfied with the pattern of hearts on your ball, make a bow and hanging ribbon, and pin to the top of the ornament.
  5. For an extra embellishment I threaded 2 pearl beads on each of 4 corsage pins and pinned them at the center of the bow.

That’s it! Super easy. The hardest part for was waiting for the glue to dry. Sometimes when inspiration strikes I’m not so patient.

A Christmas tree for all seasons

When I was a teenager, I had a friend who’s mother was crazy about Christmas trees. She had several of the plastic variety that stayed up all year round and would be decorated according to the season. Valentine’s theme for February, St. Patrick’s for March, Easter in April, and so on. I love this idea and if my husband would allow it I would do the same. Being Japanese, he has a difficult enough time understanding my absolute need to have a Christmas tree up in December. I’ve decided not to push the issue. But what about you? Have you gone Christmas tree crazy and keep it up all year? Are there any non-traditional ways you decorate your tree? Let’s discuss it in the comments.

As I was searching for examples I came across a blog post by HippieDog they call The little Valentine tree. I can’t post the image of their Valentine’s tree but I suggest you follow the link and see for yourself. So cute! They even tell you how they did it.

Here’s a tree for St. Patrick’s Day.


maryimp has some super cute stuff on Etsy for all the holidays. Perfect for an all season tree.

The possibilities are endless!