Saturday, December 5, 2015

How To Make Beautiful Wooden Christmas Ornaments

I love handmade Christmas ornaments and I love the feeling I get when I see a beautiful old-fashioned Christmas scene.

So that's why I decided to make my own Christmas ornaments by transferring a beautiful scene onto a piece of wood using a simple decoupage method.

Decoupage is simply the art of adhering paper cutouts to another surface with a sealant like Mod Podge (Matte Finish or you can buy their version of a photo transfer medium which works really, really well!).

You can very easily make beautiful handmade ornaments like the ones pictured above (follow the directions below).

Transferring images can be a pretty tricky business and there are many ways to do it.  Below is a video explaining how to transfer an image using a mixture of simple white school glue and water:

You can make beautiful ornaments to decorate your own tree or you can make personalized ornaments for family, friends and neighbors.

First, you need the supplies - they are:

- a picture to transfer onto your ornament (you can print one on a color laser printer from your computer)

- small wooden shape(s) (these have pre-cut holes so you wouldn't need a small drill)t

- white acrylic paint

- foam paint brushes

- extra fine glitter (optional, for embellishment)

- a container to hold water to soak your image in (you probably have one in your kitchen somewhere)

- clear acrylic glossy finish sealer

- a small drill to put a hole in your wooden shape (I use my dremel tool)

- and finally a ribbon or hook to put through the hole in your finished ornament.

You can find free images everywhere on the computer just by typing things into Google like "Christmas winter scenes", "snowman scenes", "old-fashioned Christmas scenes".

After you hit 'Enter', click on "Images".  See what results you get.  Use your imagination and find a picture you like and would love to see on an ornament every year when decorating.

The picture can be black and white or color.  You can even use a picture of your family that brings back great memories from the past year.

There are really no limits, although I don't recommend using a stock photo unless you want to pay for it. (Stock photos will have water images over them in your image search results).

When you find a picture or pictures you want to transfer, put them into a Word document to resize them.  Here's how:

1.    Type a phrase into Google like "winter Christmas snowman scenes".  Hit 'Enter'.

2.    You will see a choice somewhere on your screen saying, 'Web, Images, Video, Shopping, News, More..."  Click on 'Images'.

3.    You will likely get quite a few results.  Decide on one that you like.

4.    In another window, open up a word processing document.  I use Microsoft Word 2010.

5.    Go back to your winter scene images.

6.    Hover over the image you like with your computer mouse, left click on the image to make it bigger.

7.    Hover over the image with your mouse again, this time right click on the image.

8.    Menu will give you choices, select 'Copy Image'

9.    Go back to your blank Word document, right click, select 'Paste' option.

10.  Your image should appear.

11.  Left click on your image and resize the image using the Picture Tools.

12.  You can go back and get more images and add them to the same document page to be printed so as not to waste paper.

13. You don't have to, but if you are going to print an image in color and want to avoid wasting color ink, then print the images in black and white first and make sure the size is right for your wooden shape before printing in color.  Or you could do a print preview which gives you the real size image on your screen and hold your wooden piece up to the screen to see if it will fit.

14.  Print your images on a laser printer.

15.  Using your foam paint brush, paint your wooden images with the white acrylic paint (this will make your images stand out more when you transfer).

16.  Let the paint dry for at least a half an hour, add a second coat and wait another half an hour for it to dry.

17  Take your printed laser image and brush the front of it (yes, the side with the ink) with your favorite transfer medium be it Mod Podge, white glue, or Golden Gel Medium (which is another way to transfer an image).

18.  Next, also brush the transfer medium onto the wooden piece that has been painted white (after paint has dried).  Make sure it's a good layer of the medium without letting it get too messy (sort of how you would butter a piece of bread).

19.  With both sides having a wet coat of the transfer medium, place your image face down onto your wooden shape.  Smooth it out with the side of a credit card so there are no bubbles.

20.  Let it dry over night.

21.  Take a clean wet foam brush and wet the top of your wooden image with water as if you were painting it with paint.  You will see the colored image start to come through.

22.  Let the water dry for about five  or ten minutes.

23.  Very, very gently take the tip of your finger and rub the paper off of the wooden piece.  This is how your image is going to show through.  You are basically rubbing the blank part of the paper off of the colored image layer by layer and into the painted wood.

24.  Repeat steps 21 & 22 until you have nothing left on your wooden piece but the ink, which now should appear to have melded into the white paint (transfer complete!)

25.  You can now embellish the color with art markers or colored pencils.  Add glitter by rubbing a glue stick over the parts you would like to embellish.

26.  Drill a hole into the top with your dremel tool if your piece doesn't have a pre-cut hole in it.

27.  Spray with acrylic sealant.  Wait for it to dry for at least 24 hours.  Add your hook.  Beautiful!!!

Be creative, and be happy!

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