Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Crafts’
As Domingo and I were taking down the tree today, I made a comment of not wanting to pack up our wedding invitation ornament. Since the ornament display hook hasn’t been in use, I thought I would leave our wedding ornament out on the mantel all year round. I told Domingo this to which he replied: “Someone at work did that with an ornament made out of their birth announcement card.”
Wait. Why didn’t I think of that?!
So even though it’s after Christmas, I simply had to make another ornament out of our birth announcement. I also had to stop taking down the tree so I could post a picture of the ornament on the tree.
I used the same card stock I used for the wedding invitation ornament. It printed gorgeous on the metallic paper, and it matched the wedding invitation so nicely.
I love it, but something is missing. It needs something to make it look finished. The wedding invitation ornament had one of the whine charm favors I made attached to the top, which did the trick nicely.
Our wedding invitation ornament on the tree for comparison.
Thinking back to our wedding, I remembered the bouquet charm I created and I got an idea. I can arrange crystals in the shape of an N for Nicole on a silver disc.
Bouquet charm from our wedding, photo credit goes to our wedding photographer
I arranged our monogram in blue crystals for our “something blue”. The fabric flower was made out of a piece of my grandmother’s wedding dress (“something old”), and a piece of Spanish lace (“something new”), and the chain was my mother’s (“something borrowed”).
I haven’t decided yet which color to use. Right now I’m leaning towards a soft pink (to match the invitation) and attaching a ruby bicone (her birth stone) to the charm. I also have to find the left over discs, or order more. Since I won’t be able to convince Domingo to leave our tree up for a month or so while I figure out what I want to do and order what I need, our birth announcement ornament will have to go unfinished for now.
Ah well, I have 11 months to finish it.
I still can’t shake the Christmas feeling I’ve been having lately. I am also missing all the wedding related craft projects (Weddings are great excuses to craft!), so I decided to make a wedding invitation ornament. I’ve seen several of these on the internet lately, and it was too cute not to give it a try. Total cost was only $3.24, not including materials I already had on hand.
I only had a couple left over wedding invitations, so I decided to print a new one. Originally I purchased white metallic card stock with the anticipation of printing all the invitations myself, which I never ended up using. The metallic sheen reminded me of snow, it was perfect for this project.
I used a paper cutter to get nice, even strips. The strips were then wrapped around a pen to make loose curlicues, and inserted them into a clear plastic ornament from Micheal’s ($0.99). Once cut and inserted into the ornament, the metallic paper reminded me of a satin ribbon. It looks very delicate.
Don’t worry about getting every strip into the ornament. I had more strips than room in the ornament, so I kept only the strips with a non trivial number of words. I had a poem on my invitation, and one of the lines had only two words. The resulting strip looked blank, so I passed on it.
Insert some small curlicues first. I made the mistake of putting our names in first, which were on much larger strips. They blocked off access to the bottom of the ornament. A pair of tweezers can be used to maneuver the ribbons a little, but it’s a bit like making a ship in a bottle, and very time consuming. I couldn’t get the smaller curlicues in behind the bigger ones. I ended up pulling all the strips out of the ornament and trying again.
The invitation needed a little something extra to make it unique. I still had my wax seal for the invitations, so I bought some sculptey (a bankable clay) in order to create our very own monogram charm. The sculptey was $2.25, and I have a lot left over for future projects.
This is where I lucked out. There was a miscommunication when I ordered my custom seal and I ended up with two: one with the circle border and one without. I had only intended to order the borderless seal, which was the one I used for the invitations. It looked really nice with the faux wax (not from waxseals.com), but when working with the clay the missing border looked sloppy. I described it to my husband as “Dog Collar Like”. The seal with the circle looked just a touch more finished.
After working with the clay to soften it up, I pushed the seal down as hard as I could. I used an exacto knife to trim the edges. I found it easiest to pick up the seal, sculptey still attached, and trim the excess sculptey with a pealing motion. Lastly, I used a pin to puncture a hole above the “D”, and baked the charm for 15 minutes to harden.
But the ornament still didn’t feel complete. The monogram pendent was a nice touch, but the sculptey doesn’t have the same finishing touch as, say, a real charm. We had a subtle wine theme at our wedding. Our favors were wine charms. I made TONS of charms. We wanted to have enough that every couple or family could take home a complete set. Of course, not everyone wanted one, so we had a few left over. I found one of the blue ones (to match our wedding colors). Call me crazy, but it actually reminds me of a vineyard label. I think I have a new favorite ornament.
* I did buy the ornament hook this weekend ($1.50 pre 20% off coupon at JoAnns). Since I’m working on multiple Christmas ornaments, I figured the hook would make the work easier. It’s not necessary. Pre-ornament hook I used a wine glass, which worked just fine.
I had some free time today (first time in weeks, wahoo!) so I got out my beading supplies and decided to take a crack at the seed bead nets I wanted to try. After about six hours, and one false start, I finished with this:
I’m very happy with how it turned out, especially for a first attempt. Well, technically second. If you want to try this, I recommend using a beading string rather than any kind of wire or cord, and size 10 needles. For my first pass I used a translucent beading wire, but the wire held its shape if bent, which ended up emphasizing all my mistakes. I’ll post a tutorial later, I plan to make a few more first so I’m sure I’m not leading anyone astray with bad ideas.
About two months ago I talked about the profitability of Etsy stores, and the difficulty of turning a real profit. This project serves a perfect example. Let’s ignore material costs, which were pretty negligible. This net took me 6 hours. Using the 30K a year target, I’d have to charge approximately $90 in labor costs. If I omit the the time spent down a bad path, and the assumption I get faster with practice, I might able to get away with charging $45 in labor. Yet, a search shows they sell for between $5-$35. If I set my price to $35 to match the high end, then my hourly rate gives me $23K a year. And that is, of course, assuming I sell well – 857 to be exact.
Even though I know exactly where the $35 price tag comes from, I still can’t help but think the price is too high. I couldn’t see myself shelling out more than a few dollars a piece for a bead net, and I’m sure many of you feel the same way. At the current rate it would make it one of the most expensive ornaments on our tree. As cool as I think the net is, it isn’t the coolest ornament we have. As with all things combining internet and profit, you have to be in it for the fun, not the money.
In just a few days I will be Washington bound to start my internship at Microsoft. I expect to be busy. Very busy. In addition to my internship, I will have my thesis to keep me company. I need to make as much progress as possible so I can stay on track for graduation. Still, I need something to occupy my hands with. It’s good to take a break from research sometimes, no? I need something somewhat monotonous, that I can do with the TV on or while I’m waiting for dinner in the oven. Most of the projects I have planned have multiple stages. I find that if a project isn’t monotonous, I have difficulties putting it down to pick up again later. I therefore need to find a large block of continuous time for them, which is something I doubt I will have in the coming weeks.
I think I found my project.
I love this idea for seed bead ornament nets. I’ve been looking for ways to personalize our Christmas tree. The problem is I’m very picky, even when it comes to something as simple as the ball ornaments. These embellishments will really let me personalize, and add a bit of sparkle. Lily, our cat, discovered this past Christmas that she can bat ornaments out of the tree. While the ball will be destroyed, the net will survive the fall to the floor. I can keep reusing them. Perfect!
The timing for this new project is also excellent (despite Christmas being a solid 9 months away). This week’s Michaels coupons includes a 25% off the entire purchase. Perfect for stocking up on seed beads.