Rustic Homemade Ornaments & Link Party Pals

Making ornaments back in the olden days before Google or Pinterest, people either had to come up with an idea themselves, rely on magazines and the ideas of others, or reinvent something they saw and make it better.

I'm going to share 11 of the 25 years worth of ornaments I've made.  These might not be the cream of the crop, but they were the ones I could easily find.

2005 - Santa made from a shotgun shell

Santa's back side
Over the years I didn't just make two or three ornaments every December, I made anywhere from 20 in the early years to 50 or more the last time I had the ambition or an idea.

Most of the ornaments were not elaborate, didn't involve sewing since I can't, and most could be done with kids because with 6 of those I either didn't have time for elaborate or the craft needed to be kid friendly so they could help.  Or both.

These sleds are all over the internet these days because they are simple.  Made from Popsicle sticks.  Notice the date on mine........ 1980.  That would be 32 years ago.  My very first ornament and I copied it from my at the time 10 year old sister in law. 

Our tree used to be all rustic, everything fit in.  I may or may not have gotten better at making stuff over the years.
1995 butcher paper snowman with batting between layers, where is his hat?
Of those 20 - 50 ornaments I would make each year, I gave them to my friends, my in-laws, nieces and nephews.

That also meant whatever I made should be cost effective and routinely I turned to the front yard for raw product because raw product was abundant there...and free.

Glittered white Snowman bulb - 2003
Snow men are popular with me because there is no artistic ability needed to make their face or the round shape for their bodies.  Due to my sewing inability can, the glue gun is my friend.
1997 - Birch branch & twig Snowman
Long before Martha had her line of awesome glitters, I picked up fine glitter powder, sprayed the ornaments with sealer and sprinkled the glitter on.  It reflects like crystals in the snow would.
2002 Trash - smashed soda cans.  I also made smaller ones from V-8 cans
Orange paint or tooth picks cut and painted was my choice for carrot noses.

In those days the craft bin consisted mostly of bells, twigs, black puff paint, old buttons, bits of flannel and that glittery white fake snow stuff for beards on Santas' or snow on snowmen.
2006 - Rusty tin star snowman
When ever I needed wood or tree cut, I would say something like, "Brawn could you cut me some slat roofs for my birdhouse ornaments?"  "Yes... how many would you like, beautiful young crafty wife?" (Surely he said something like that). 

My reply as I ran away before he could change his mind..."Two slats each roof, so 100?  Thank you".

Rustic tree-branch birdhouse with nail perch
Sometimes ornaments that look easy turn out to be a pain in the butt.

Too putsy - and when you have 40 or more to make you will quickly regret the putsy part.

 Like this elf.  Too many small pieces of felt to cut out.
1999 block elf
One of my favorites are the tree branch snowmen with baby sock hats.  Probably because all I had to do was raid the mismatched sock bin and wander the woods for supplies.
2004 Baby sock hat snowman
We have all sizes of Rudolph around here.

Brawn's uncle made some 25 years ago and since then we have copied them time and time again.  We have large ones that line our outside walk and short stubby ones our boys helped make. 

We'll be making some more big reindeer as gifts this year, when Brawn gets to be a lumberjack chainsawing log deer bodies.
1998 Mini version of our outdoor deer
This Rudy is still in the ornament bin waiting to have his legs reattached.  Monday night he and some friends had an accident. 

I don't know which elf was being mischievous, but they undid the tree top anchor ties and toppled the 12 footer to the ground.

So somewhere between watching Brawn in his underwear stand a 12 foot tree back up in the middle of the night, soaking up water from the tipped stand, and re-decorating said tree for a second time the next night ...... a wonderful group of bloggers invited me to join them for a party.
And I'm inviting all of you to join us.

10 bloggers are joining forces for a Holiday Link Party Series.  
We're covering it all: from Christmas mantels to New Year Resolutions.
It begins this weekend on December 8th with the talented and lovely, Stacey,
from Embracing Change, who will show off her Christmas Mantel
and then you'll have the opportunity to link up yours . . .
The Fantastic Participants Extraordinaire are:
~ and moi ~
Bliss Ranch will be holding up the rear hosting a 2012 year in review party on January 9th,
 and you just never know what I might decide to review.

Linked Shotgun Shell Santa up at:
Crafted Christmas Ornament Party @TheCraftedNiche
Make the Scene Monday @AlderberryHill

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  1. Oh no! I'm so sorry you've had a rough two days and some of your ornaments broke!

    Can't wait to join the party though! ;)

  2. Thanks for sharing your home made ornament collection.. Fun!

  3. i love all the ornaments! the star snowman is my favorite! and SO sorry about that tree incident.... ugh.

  4. Cute ornaments. I so remember those days. Family Circle and Better Homes were my go to magazines. So sorry your tree fell over, but you left a nice visual of Brawn standing it back up.

  5. Darn! I was holding out for that picture of Brawn in his tighty whities! The ornaments are darling, but I'm thinking Brawn would have had your viewer numbers through the roof. HA HA HA!!! ;) Love the ornaments - and your crafty before it was cool ornament making self! All of them were awesome! :)

  6. All I could think of was someone should write a song called Shotgun Shell Santa!!

  7. What a great homemade ornament collection! I'm sure there are many memories tucked inside each little ornament.

  8. What a collection! They're all adorable but I think my fave is the shot gun shell one!

  9. Thank god you're holding up the rear. lol you kill me. Love your cute ornaments, so adorable!

  10. Super cute ornaments Bliss! Sorry to hear you lost some!

  11. I love your ornaments...especially the deer...and the thought of Brawn in his underwear in the middle of the night standing up a 12 foot tall tree. That's probably akin to me, in my flannel night gown, rolling concrete urns from the porch into the foyer at 4:30 in the morning...right?! xo

  12. Shotgun shell Santa is a blast!!!

  13. Shotgun shell Santa is a new one for me ... If only I had a gun ...

    :) Linda

  14. I've been planning a similar post myself!! We don't have any cross over ornaments either but mine aren't nearly as crafty as yours!!

  15. oh so pretty! My favorites are the rusty tin star and the light bulb snowman.
    oops on the tree fiasco! what a mess!

  16. So many great ideas! As I was scrolling through I thought, that's my favorite. No wait, THAT'S my favorite! The bullet is D's favorite. ;)

  17. Love this post Bliss!! I started making yearly ornaments back in 1979. I'm going to have to try for this post some time. Love your creations and I am sure I was perusing the same magazines for ideas every year. The internet saves so much time... no flipping through a stack of old magazines for an idea you saw somewhere. Still scrolling around looking for that pic of Brawn righting the tree! :)

  18. I am impressed. Do you still make 20-50 ornaments a year? I love the shotgun Santa and the baby sock Santa. And, those reindeer...I swear I just pinned something similar...of course you came up with that same idea years before pinterest even existed. What a fun peek into your creative mind :)

  19. Can you lot in the US just slow down a bit please - so many parties, so little time !
    Do you think those peskey elves who pulled down your tree, would like to hop over the pond and help me do my decs !!
    Tree branch snowman with the baby sock hat has to win hands down because he has a tiny lightbulb for his carrot nose - he's so cute.

  20. Shot gun Santa says, "Ho, ho, ho....I KEELL YOU!" As does your humour and talent!
    Seriously, I can I be you when I grow up?

  21. Well, you're quite talented, even if you looked at magazines, etc. The shotgun Santa just has to be from Texas! :)


  22. Shotgun shells... OMG. Austin would love that. hahaha.
    I'm getting a mental picture of the tree recovery. LOL! Too funny, after the fact right?

  23. Oh my Bliss you are the Midwest Me... I have also made a zillion homemade ornaments over the years, and not just one but 20 at a time. My sister in laws trees are covered with my ornaments. My favorite story is being on the playground at work... I had the children collect the 1" wood chips for me. The next day I handed out snowman pins. I painted the wood chips, added faces and scarves and a pin on the back. All the teachers were wearing my creation... I knew I liked you!

  24. I really enjoyed this post! It was so much fun to see what you made ornaments out of. You were one crafty gal! They were pretty creative too. I bet you could've been a great art teacher with all those skills!

  25. Well that was fun to look at! You have certainly made a lot of ornaments over the years! I have been looking at my undecorated tree and my boxes of ornaments for almost 2 weeks. I think I'm just putting them back in the attic!!

  26. Pick me up off the floor please....I am still laughing...not at Brawn but at the slew of ornaments made over the years...I think you knew your Shotgun santa would be a hit!!!and was it the elves, dog or weight of all the ornaments....

    Me I hope to put my tree up Sunday...a little slow this year...but my tree is at My Buddy Marta's for tomorrows open house party....I Think I will take some pics...I have to say I don't have a lot of Homemade...but some pretties....from generations of our family.... again I needed a laugh, a project I was working on failed...How could I mis-spell Silent( Silenet) come on Kat

  27. New follower from the Holiday link party. I love all your "vintage" ornaments. Looking forward to your turn to host.
    Would love for you to stop by and visit me at Posed Perfection and maybe even follow me back.
    Have a wonderful week!

  28. Look at all of your wonderful handcrafted ornaments! As newlyweds, our first tree toppled over on us...we didn't have enough money to decorate the backside, and it was front heavy...lost a lot of our first glass ornaments! Must have been an adventure hearing that in the middle of the night!

  29. Little story for all of you...once long ago, this blogger managed a large department store...we had a Christmas shop...with tons of a crystal. Dec 26th, doors open every one runs in and ()*(^^(*)_(**(() the tree is knocked over and every thing goes crash....this was the same sale where two ladies wanted the same santa.....Santa Baby was torn in two with their pulling...

    Miss Bliss check out the red in my recent post....still no door,nor correction on I will be

  30. Bliss- I would take a homemade ornament made several years ago then any new fancy , new one any day to hang on the tree. The shotgunn shell is classic! Hope you are enjoying the holiday season.

  31. Love it - especially the shotgun shell ornament. It would be right at home with the spark plugs my husband likes to hang on our tree.

  32. And you say I'm the one with the patience! Man you're so much nicer than me. Ornaments for 40 people! I'm so impressed.

  33. My favorite hands down, Santa made from Shotgun Shells. Travis went shooting last year with a big bunch of older Boy Scouts, he saved every single shell casing in a box in his closet. He even wrote names on them and gave them to some of his favorite "guy friends", (Mark's friends that he sees as manly types). I finally made him get rid of it because he was taking them to school to "share" with friends. Schools get a little wigged out by this sort of thing. Sorry about the tree disaster, but the way you wrote about it was pretty funny!

  34. Pinning! Love the shotgun shell Santa!


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