Monday, November 21, 2016

Gwen's Gems - Stenciled Holiday Ornaments

Hi everyone! It's Gwen here, back with the November edition of Gwen's Gems!

It's getting to be that time of year when we start to think about winter holidays... as excited as I am, they're coming a bit faster than I'd like! For me, this time of year means planning for Christmas - putting together decorations, planning out gifts... you know the drill! With all of that in mind, I thought that for this month's project it would be fun to make some homemade ornaments that could be used for decoration, gifts, or both!

Here's a peek at what I made this month, and naturally there's a tutorial to go with it if you scroll down.


For my ornaments, I just started with a half dozen papier mache ornament blanks, but you could really use whatever you'd like - make over some old glass or plastic balls that you already have but no longer use! 

I knew that I was going to be collaging tissue paper on top of the ornaments and that meant that the base color would show through, so I gesso'd them first.


While that dried, I stenciled my tissue paper to get it ready to collage onto the balls. I used a variety of different spray inks - ideally you want them to be permanent since you're going to be going over top of the ink with glue or medium of some kind. Not all of mine were permanent, but none of them really smudged too much.


 Here are the different stencils I used, left to right in the photo above:


I don't usually use spray ink since it's not very precise, but for this type of project it works great since I'm not as worried about sharp lines and I can pick and choose which pieces of my stenciled tissue paper I want to use. As you can see in the next step, a lot of it gets covered up - it's a nice, forgiving technique.


In this case I just used Mod Podge to adhere my tissue, but you can use similar glues (make sure they dry clear!) or matte medium. I tore off a section of my stenciled tissue paper and coated the back of it with the glue, then pressed it in place and smoothed it out. I continued to add sections until the whole thing was covered and I was happy with how it looked.

Once all of the balls have been covered and the glue is dry, it's time to start decorating! (Of course, you can leave them like this too, but as we all know, I like to pile on the goodies!)


I did several different things here... putting molding paste through a stencil onto painted deli paper (let dry completely,) adding glitter and glitter glue into the design, using water-soluble oil pastels to color in white areas, and then I started adding jewels, ribbons, and trim. In the bottom-right photo, you can see where I cut out some of the small molding paste snowflakes from June Pfaff Daley's Snow Storm Stencil and glued them onto my ornament. (I ended up not using the other designs I'd done, so I saved them for another project.)

Finally, I took different decorative picks (get them at the craft store, usually for making wreathes and centerpieces,) and cut them up to decorate the tops of the ornaments. I'm lucky enough to have a large stash of trims, ribbons, beads, etc... so I went to town! I used Aves Apoxy clay around the top of each ornament and stuck the wired bits into the clay since I knew that would be the most sure way of keeping them in place. 

Here you can see how each of them turned out after I added all of the trims, glitter, and pieces of my holiday picks:







There you have it! Six stenciled and decorated holiday ornaments, all ready to put on my Christmas tree, to give as gifts, or to use for decorating special packages. You could try this with different colors and patterns for different holidays, or use a different shape completely! (I used this technique a few years ago on some jumbo plastic Easter eggs and they turned out fabulous! If I do say so myself, that is.)



I hope you enjoyed today's project, and make sure to link me up if you make some of these at home!

Until next time, happy stenciling!

20 comments:

  1. Gwen they turned out fabulous! I especially like the snowflake and poinsettia ornaments. You can tell that a lot of love went into the making of them all.

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    1. Thanks Jill! I loved June's snowflake stencil on this... the poinsettia - those are really old Making Memories poinsettia embellishments that I've had in my stash for YEARS... I always love finding a use for that stuff! (You could also take apart a fake poinsettia flower and use the petals... I stuck the handing thread loop through the hole in the center of the flower to put them on.)

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  2. That session went well. I don't celebrate Christmas, so I thinking about other shapes I could apply this technique to.

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    1. Absolutely - they have flat circle papier mache, stars, hearts... they definitely don't have to be Christmas themed! You could even apply this technique to an animal shape if you really wanted to! You can just mix up the colors and embellishments to work for whatever theme you want :)

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  3. Gwen these are exquisite! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and creativeness ❤️❤️❤️

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    1. Thanks so much Sherry! So glad you liked them!

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  4. Awesome idea and tutorial. They are gorgeous!

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  5. Love the idea of stenciling on tissue and then adhering it the ornament! Will be trying this out!

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    1. Thanks Sandee! I like this technique a lot, especially when I'm working with a round object. It sure beats trying to stencil directly on the surface!

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  6. Absolutely love your ornaments! In fact, I love everything you do! You are one talented person! Keep the good stuff coming. Do you have a schedule of upcoming classes you will be teaching in 2017?

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    1. Aw, thank you so much Joy!

      Regarding classes, I'm working on putting together in-person class offerings and getting them out there to see if anyone is interested in bringing me in to teach. I usually teach at Papercraft Clubhouse in Connecticut in the spring - that will likely happen again this year (we've talked but not scheduled yet.) Since I also have a full-time job, I haven't really put myself out there to teach before, but this year I'd like to try it.

      I'm also going to try and do a few online classes... testing the waters, especially since I'm still figuring out video!

      Anything in particular you'd like to see as a class, just let me know!

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  7. Gwen, these are absolutely stunning!! Your craftiness and artsy skills blow me away!! :) :)

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  8. Wow Gwen, you never stop with ice cream and cake, you floated whipped topping, cherries and nuts over this dessert. So pretty, I know the person who gets one of these will treasure it forever!

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    1. lol, thanks Mary! That's a great metaphor (and I want cake now!) You know I can't stop without loading on the extra toppings ;) Glitter = sprinkles of the craft world!

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