Monday, December 5, 2011

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree...

OK, well, maybe not really a partridge, but that song did go through my head while I was making these. :)

I'm taking a little break from sharing cards to show you a fun set of 8 silver and cream ornaments I made for our Christmas tree using this Sizzix Bigz die & embossing folder.  I didn't take step-out photos as I went along (I admit it-I was doing it assembly-line style, and didn't think about taking photos until I was well into the process), but I think I can describe clearly what I did and used if you want to make some yourself.

The ornaments on our big tree are an eclectic mix of elegant large ornaments and large, but less formal, handmade ornaments. I like the ornaments on this tree to have enough sparkle on them that they reflect the mini white lights, so that's why there's glitter galore on these. If your style is more country-chic, they certainly would look wonderful without all the glitter.

To start, I die cut 8 birds from Grafix medium weight chipboard (heavier than cereal box thickness; i.e, just strong enough that it takes a bit of effort to bend). Then I die cut 16 of the same birds (I decorate both the front and back so the ornaments can swing around on the tree and still look finished) from cardstock. I used Coredinations cream cardstock with a kraft center for mine. 

After embossing the 16 cardstock pieces with the embossing folder that comes with the die, I used a foam paint brush and matte gel medium to glue the cardstock to both sides of the chipboard by covering the entire surface with the gel medium, matching and pressing the pieces together, and then rolling with a brayer to remove any air bubbles and get a nice, flat surface.  (Any strong liquid glue or decoupage medium will work as well.)

Next I applied silver German glass glitter using Glossy Accents and following the pattern of the embossing on the cardstock, and around the outside edges.  I love using the German glass glitter, because as it ages, it tarnishes to a beautiful patina.  As time goes by, the silver on these ornaments will turn a rich, darker silver, but still have lots of sparkle.  (I purchase my German glass glitter from Glitter and Kitsch on Etsy.)

(*Note: If you decide not to do the next step that coats the remaining open surface with Glossy Accents, I would recommend putting a coat of gel medium or decoupage medium over the cardstock. It will protect the surface of the cardstock and add many more useful years to your ornaments.)

After applying the silver glass glitter, I applied a thin coat of Glossy Accents over the entire surface of the bird not already covered with silver glitter, and sprinkled on Martha Stewart clear tinsel glitter.  This is a fine glitter that gives a more subtle sparkly appearance than other glitters.  Here's a photo from a different angle:

After all the glitters were dry, I added the amber gems for the eyes, and the clear crystal gems on the body. (I used Ranger "white pearl" Liquid Pearls for the white pearl accents.)

The white wool felt rolled rose was made using the larger of the two rose dies in this die set. Before gluing the flower down with my glue gun, I hot-glued two goose coquille feathers (purchased from Moonlight Feathers on Etsy) to the tail of the bird, then glued the rolled roses over the ends of the feathers. By gluing feathers and roses to both sides, it makes the tail feathers look nice and full without covering all the glittering already added!

The We R Memory Keepers Crop-a-dile works perfectly to punch a hole to add a jumpring to the top of the bird's back for your hanging cord or ornament hanger.

I'll be back soon with some new cards to share.  Thanks for stopping by...Happy Monday!

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