Holiday Ornaments

by Sara Naumann

Want to make your own holiday ornaments this year? Would you believe it if I told you that we have beautiful holiday designs that can be created quickly, easily and inexpensively? Its true! Take a look at the newest creations from designer Paris Dukes.

If youve never done collage before, dont worry. Below, Paris shares the basics of collage, then gives tips on creating three keepsake ornaments. So pour yourself some cocoa, put on that Christmas music and get into the holiday spirit!

Preparing the Surface

I took a shortcut when collaging these ornaments! Paris confesses. Rather than trying to collage the corners and edges, I painted the ornament, then collaged background papers and paper art on the front and back. Not only does Paris save time and energy, shes using her paper wisely. Perfect for someone who creates multiple ornaments for gift-giving.

Tearing Paper Pieces

Tear your background paper without white edges, Paris advises. Theyll blend together much better. White edges give a patchwork effect that can be distracting. To tear paper without a white edge, pull the paper toward you while tearing. The sizes and shapes of the background pieces will be in direct relation to the size of the base being covered. Larger bases such as shelves, wood boxes, album covers can support 2"-3" torn pieces, while small surfaces such as ornaments require 1"-2" torn pieces or smaller.

Cutting & Tearing Out the Art

The paper art is designed on backgrounds similar in color to those in the Christmas Background Papers, so theyll match perfectly. This makes them easier to cut out, allowing you to cut close to the edges, but not necessarily right on the line itselfany excess just blends into the background on the project! Its easier to tear out art that has intricate edges, such as holly. Carefully tear close to the image, removing as much background as possible. When cutting, use small scissors for the best success; the smaller blades are easy to control and can get into very narrow areas.

Helpful Tools

A 1"-wide sponge brush is the perfect applicator for Artsy Collage Gel ; its inexpensive and spreads the gel nicely. Palette paper is a nice surface to work on because the wet pieces can easily be lifted off the palette and applied to the base. An alternative is waxed paper.

Creating Your Collage

When youve torn a few background pieces, place one face down on the palette paper or waxed paper. Dip the sponge brush into the gel and brush it over the back of the torn piece, extending beyond the edges to completely cover it. Press the piece onto the base, smoothing it in place and working any bubbles to the edges. Repeat with the second piece, overlapping the edges of the first. Continue to apply torn pieces, making sure to tear uneven edges and place them at varying angles. Also, use contrasting patterns and textures in the same color family to allow each piece to stand away from its neighbor and create a pretty background for the art.

Seasons Greetings Partridge Ornament

Paris first painted her ceramic oval ornament with ivory acrylic paint, then brushed over it with gold acrylic paint. She collaged an oval-shaped piece of cream paper from Christmas Background Papers, then added cut-out images from Nostalgic Christmas. She added a cord hanger from the Gold 3-D Collection and gold charms from Embossed Christmas Paper Charms.

Halo Angel Food Ornament

Paris painted her 3.5" square papier mache ornament with blue acrylic paint, then tore and collaged several different papers from the blue set in Christmas Background Papers. She cut and tore out various images from Nostalgic Christmas. The hanger, flat marble and feather are from the Blue 3-D Collection; the silver bow charm is from Embossed Christmas Paper Charms. Notice how Paris used beads and the marble to accent her paper art?

Merry Christmas

Rather than tearing lots of small pieces to collage, Paris tore one piece of green paper from the Christmas Background Papers to cover the whole front of the 3"x4" papier mache ornament. She painted her ornament with green acrylic paint, collaged on the green paper, then added cut-out images from Whimsical Christmas. Beads from Artsy Additions Green 3-D Collection are glued around the edges of the ornament; the silver bow is from the Silver 3-D Collection. The silver charms are from Embossed Christmas Paper Charms.

Thanks, Paris, for sharing your creative Christmas ornaments with us!