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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Jingle Bell Junk Swap ~ Junk Tree

Jingle Bell time is a swell time. 

How come every post I do about Christmas I feel like singing?  Well this time it's because the super groovy blogs on that Jingle Bell Junk Swap button rock.

Tomato Cage Silver Junk Christmas Tree

To ring in the Christmas season we did it our way and swapped junk.  We drew names and sent a small vintage treasure on for the recipient to re-purpose into something Christmasy.  I don't know what anyone else gave or got other than myself, so I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the groovy gang crafted.

Here's the internet version of the 'lil horse that started the junk repurpose for me.....

It's not THE  exact little horse because I did a blogger no-no....... if  I took a before picture I can't find it.   I *think* I remember snapping a pic when it arrived but where did it go after that?  Mine looked pretty much like these two pirated photos if you mixed them together.  My horse isn't scratching his chin.

The all around groovy chick and super talented Cassie from Primitive & Proper drew my name and she wasn't horsing around when she packed that bugger in enough bubble wrap to mail a priceless irreplaceable fragile tea cup to say.. someone in England (hi Fiona).

Cassie.... FYI, Trigger arrived safe and I have reused all the bubble wrap.  The box too.

Then I did what any good crafter would do.  I spray painted the little filly.  The pony, not Cassie.

I had several ideas how to use the horse, but when the time came it was re-purposed in Krylon silver for the good of the whole.

Whole tree.   

Whole junk tree.

Whole bunch of junking jingling bling.

Mission:  Turn one tomato cage into a blinged out Christmas tree using my little pony as the main attraction.
Tomato Cage Silver Junk Christmas Tree
Couldn't grow tomatoes may as well repurpose it
Tomato Cage Silver Junk Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree Molds
I picked up two of these Christmas tree mold things at a summer garage sale.  They didn't fit together so I'm not really sure what you would mold in them.  I passed one half (6 trees each when cut apart) on to Sarah at The Thriftress and I used the other half on my project along with my pretty little silver filly and any junk I could find......

Tomato Cage Silver Junk Christmas Tree
No, I didn't come up with this on my own.  I pinned the idea a while ago.  If you look you can find that and more inspiration on my Pinterest board.

Here is the inspiration junk tree:
Tree From Curious Sofa Blog

And here is mine. I. Love. It.!!! 
Thank you Debbie at Curious Sofa for thinking of it.

Tomato Cage Silver Junk Christmas Tree
See the horse front center?

The tomato cage tree has all sorts of good junk.  And plenty of Jingling Bling.
Like this vintage ice cream scoop.....
Tomato Cage Silver Junk Christmas Tree

An egg separator....
Tomato Cage Silver Junk Christmas Tree

Some antique tart tins....

Tomato Cage Silver Junk Christmas Tree

My Christmas tree mold thingy's...

Tomato Cage Silver Junk Christmas Tree

An old egg beater......
Tomato Cage Silver Junk Christmas Tree

A cross of nails that one of my kids made....

Tomato Cage Silver Junk Christmas Tree

Lots and lots of old cookie cutters.......

Tomato Cage Silver Junk Christmas Tree

And of course the pretty little filly that started it all........

Tomato Cage Silver Junk Christmas Tree

Thank you Cassie, it was fun and without this horse I don't know if I would of raced to get my inspiration tree completed.  I think I will put this in my kitchen just in case I need to separate an egg, then I can think of you when I wash dishes.

Make sure and stop over at these other great blogs and see what they received and how they repurposed it.  I'm looking forward to seeing how Sarah used her half of the tree molds.

**UPDATE - this post is getting a lot of anonymous spam comments arriving in my email, so I have turned off comments.  If you would like to ask me a question or comment on this post 'ya just gotta do it the old fashioned way and drop me a note at

Jingle Jangling Along at:

ThrowBackThursday @GlitterGlueandPaint

Happy Hour @CraftyScrappyHappy
Transformation Thursday @TheShabbyCreekCottage
Live Laugh Linky @LiveLaughRowe
Show & Share @SouthernLovely
Wildly Original Link Party @IGottaCreate
What's in the Gunny Sack @TheGunnySack
Knick of Time Tuesday @KnickOfTime
Sunday Showcase Party @ UnderTheTableandDreaming 
 Pinworthy Projects @JustUsFour 
  Make the Scene Monday @ AlderberryHill 
  Newbie Graduate Party @ DebbieDoos  
 Show and Tell Saturday @BeDifferentActNormal
 Inspiration Friday @ AtThePicketFence 
Vintage Inspiration @CommonGround 

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Frosty Parts 4 Sale In The Window

It's beginning to look a little like Christmas.......well at all the other blogs that is.  It's a bit frosty at my place. 

Assembly Required
My blog has been sidetracked by.... 1) bins of ugly Christmas stuff I don't even think the jolly happy soul that I am can repurpose..... 2) by threats of mutiny from my kids if I dare to suggest not using the stretchy- knit-endless fill-stockings they have hung by the chimney with care for years, you'd think the stockings came to life one day.... and lastly 3) there must have been some magic because I did a quick and simple window display to give the illusion I have plenty of time to fuss with such things.

I was so happy when it was done I began to dance around.
Nothing matches except the bins!
I just hope my bedroom won't look like this till January.  This is the "good" side, I hope this stuff melts away.

If you aren't humming Frosty the Snowman yet, slap yourself and start reading again from the beginning.

Down in the village I own that vintage building {here}, with the gutted upstairs and main-floor-barber-shop-turned-band-practice-area for son #2.  (But check out that authentic floor!). The window had an old plastic tarp hanging in it so no one could see the mess inside, but outside it's as alive as it can be.
Behind the curtain it's still a mess from jamming and snacking as they laugh and play just the same as you and me.  

From the sidewalk the view is much better now, all around the square as a matter of fact.

In August I took every extra frame I had, thrifted some more, painted some with CeCe Caldwells Slate and we set up a photography display, which may or may not have been a smart idea for a semi retired photographer to do.  Look at Frosty Bliss go.
They were painted in slate or silver so they would match a certain Kodak dresser {here} that we also took to the window.  (Sorry for all the reflection in the glass, the sun was hot that day).

All the photos were printed in black and white.  I just didn't want a bunch of competing colors. 

Behind all the photos are some old doors, windows, corn cob pipes, and behind that is the one and only multi use fabric...... drop cloth - hung as curtains.

Throw in a barber chair for old times sake.........

 and little initial tags to match the person in each photo, made from a vintage music magazine.  All the people are recent local clients, I thought they would enjoy seeing themselves.

The magazine was .10¢ and it has some great stuff inside.  The cover colors are beautiful, I picked it up one day running here and there.

I took some pieces of poinsettias and red bows from the bins and placed them all around the tone-on-tone window display.

In August two of the loves of my life dropped the 500 pound barber chair on my big toe as it was on it's way to the window.  They only paused a moment and didn't hear me holler STOP!  It healed up nicely but I didn't set foot or toe back in the window till now. Thumpety thump thump.
 With a broom stick in my hand I reused some glass light fixtures that were pumpkins in October {here} and turned them into snowman heads.  I mean isn't that what you would of done?  Made glass heads out of pumpkins?  It's a fairy tale they say.

So the crate of snowman heads are for sale, but you have to assemble them yourself.

It contains everything you need..... eyes, carrot nose, scarfs, twigs for arms, Frosty's broom, but please don't bring the snow.  We'll have plenty of that before long.

I've gotta hurry on my way, so I'll wave goodbye saying don't you cry, I'll be back again some day.

Parts of Frosty The Snowman are Partying at:

Wildly Original Party @IGottaCreate
Christmas Holiday Craft Party @MadeInADay 
Home for the Holidays 
Simpy You @ SimplyKierste 
All Star Block Party @FullCircleCreations 
12 Days of Christmas @BeyondThePicketFence 
Cowgirl Up @CedarHillRanch 
Creative Inspirations Party @EmbracingChange 
Open House Party @NoMinimalistHere 
Transformation Thursday @TheShabbyCreekCottage 
Everything But the Kitchen Sink @ALittleKnickKnack 
Friday Free For All @FiveWaysFiveDays 
 Happy Hour Friday @CraftyScrappyHappy

Frosty's bits were featured at:
I Gotta Create

Full Circle Creations

Full Circle Creations

The Kodak dresser keeps on giving.... it was featured at Cowgirl UP from this post

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Vintage Ice Skate Wreath

As soon as I saw these ice skates - in the heat of the summer - I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.  Don't get me wrong, I wasn't wishing for the cold of winter right then and there.  Today's high was 30 and soon the lake will be froze nice and solid and ice skating can begin.

But these vintage skates won't be cutting any lines in the ice.  The best thing about them is the inside.  Look at that awesome plaid fabric.  I know a certain someone who would probably love to add these to her decorations, but they are mine allllll mine.

This was an easy project, it took me longer to hang the wreath on the door than it did to make it.  When I made my Fall wreath {here} that I salvaged for .50¢ I also picked up a Christmas wreath for .50¢.  All I did for this was cut it in half so it was more like a spray, hung some .25¢ garage sale bells along with the $1.00 pair of ice skates, and I have a wreath I love on my mudroom door.  Total cost....... $1.75.

They look nice from the inside too.

Skating on over to:
Newbie Party with a Twist @ DebbieDoos
Christmas Party @ RedHeadCanDecorate

Thank you's for Skate Wreath Featured at:

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