Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Ornaments - Day 8: Star Burst Ornaments

Have you ever watched kids play with play dough? I always find it funny that a favorite play dough activity involves poking things into the dough until it resembles a small porcupine. After watching Abe do this one day, I realized that I could transform his adorable creation into a really cool Christmas ornament...

I love the retro feel of all the glittery star burst ornaments in stores these days. (CB2 has this cool flocked version and Crate & Barrel has these silvery ones, even Target has some!) They're all nice, but I really like how our more colorful creations turned out. I'd love to make one in every color of the rainbow!

You'll need:

play dough (or hot glue)
craft sticks (1 package is enough for about 2½ ornaments)
paint (spray paint or acrylic craft paint)
Mod Podge

It's a little hard for toddlers to work all the way around the ball (although the top half always looks great!), although older kids should be able to do this...or just break out their play dough and have a little fun of your own!

1. Make a small ball of play dough and poke a skewer halfway through it. (Works better if you use the flat end instead of the pointy end.)

2. Insert craft sticks all the way around. 

3. Continue inserting craft sticks until your ball is adequately covered. 

4. Insert a small paper clip or loop of wire into the dough if you want to be able to hang it later.

5. Put your ball in a cool, dry place and allow it to sit until the dough hardens. This could take up to a week. (For immediate results, skip the dough and build the ball with hot glue instead!) The sticks shouldn't wiggle at all if the dough is completely hardened. 

6. Once the ball is dry, paint it. Spray paint is fastest, but you can also apply craft paint with a brush if you don't have or want to use spray paint.

7. Once the paint is dry, use a brush to apply Mod Podge. (If any of the sticks feel loose, you can glue them in place now, but if more than a couple feel loose your dough probably isn't dry yet!) Starting with the center and only working on a small section at a time, apply glue... 

8. ...then immediately sprinkle with a lot of glitter. Once the center is coated with glitter you can start on the sticks. I was able to paint 10-12 sticks before the glue started to dry. I'd coat those in glitter and then paint glue on the next batch of sticks. I used the entire jar of glitter coating the whole ball, but once I funneled the leftover glitter back into the jar... was almost completely full! Just don't be afraid to really sprinkle it on heavy to get good coverage.

9. Once the glue is dry, clip off the skewer so it's the length of the other sticks (I used pruning shears but a serrated knife works too), attach a string to the paperclip, and hang!

These would also look really pretty in a bowl or on a shelf, or leave the skewers on and group them in a vase like flowers! So many possibilities... Anyone else covering their house in glitter? Hogging all their kids craft supplies? I love so many of the ornaments we've made for our tree, but these are definitely some of my favorites!

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