Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Quick Crafts - or so I thought - Christmas Ornament Place Card Holders

Honest, I thought this would be a quick craft. How hard could this be? They're practically done already. At the end of Christmas last year, I picked up these cute little glass ornament place card holders. I knew they'd be a perfect little gift at the next Advent Tea up at the church.

The packaging they came in suggested taking the tops off and squirting paint into the inside to give them a nice glossy color. I picked red because in my stash of excess craft supplies I have a big tube of red acrylic paint. Now I'm not quite sure how old the paint is but I can't tell you it's rather thick. Thick paint did not work so well for this quick craft. I tried changing the position of the bulbs in hopes that gravity would spread the paint around but that took FOREVER!

In the end, I finally grabbed a toothpick, shoved it in there, and swirled that paint around.  The packaging said that I should allow 72 hours for the paint inside to dry. Unfortunately I don't have 72 hours. The Advent Tea was in 5 hours.

After discovering that I'm not a fan of trying to spread thick paint inside of teeny tiny glass bulbs, I came up with a different plan.
I looked through my stash of stuff and found these cute skeins of chenille. There's no wire in these and they remind me of mini Christmas tree garland. Likely I picked these up at a garage sale somewhere knowing I would be able to use them for something. My plan? Simply stuff the chenille in the bulbs.
Okay, here's where a complicated math problem comes into play. Yes, I was one of those geeky students in the class who loved math word problems. "I have six glass bulbs and four skeins of chenille." I also have a bad case of OCD when it comes to using only part of something. I ended up using three of the skeins and tossed the remaining one back in to my trim bin. after cutting each skein into two equal lengths, I had six strings of chenille. One for each of my glass bulbs.
Now it was just a matter of stuffing the chenille into the bulb. (Pardon the red paint on my fingers.) My metal poker tool was perfect to get all of the chenille stuffed in there.
The chenille strand tends to get crowded at the opening as the bulb starts to fill up. Using my tool, I swooshed the chenille around a little bit to even it out and make it look prettier in the bulb.
There, isn't that pretty?

Here's a do as I say, not as I did. Be careful with sharp objects inside of a glass bulb. Glass does tend to break when you smack it hard with a sharp object. 
New dilemma... I now have only five glass bulbs and a scrap length of chenille. Feel free to make fun of me all you'd like, but this really does bother me as now I have scraps.

Here's what the bulbs look like after paint and filling. Now it's time to decorate the top.
Since I had scrapped chenille I decided to wrap it around the top of the painted bulbs. No glue is necessary as the metal prongs on the top of the bulb will hold the chenille in place since the chenille is actually a bunch of tiny loops. If you pull up slightly on the top, you can catch some of those loops in the metal prong.
Remember that bit about paint needing 72 hours to dry? I do believe that's true. I also believe I found another step in this project where being gentle is necessary. Do you know what happens when you give the top of the bulb a firm tug when attempting to secure the chenille? The top pops off and red paint gets on the chenille. OOoops.

I decided to add a simple red ribbon bow to the silver bulbs. They look rather elegant lined up and I'm certain they'd be a lovely addition to a formal holiday place setting. Me personally, I'm not big on all that formality.  I'd rather use them to accent an entry table.  Or slip old Christmas photographs from days gone by into each one and arrange them on a shelf.

They were a hit at the Advent Tea and five of the ladies were able to take home a pair.  I don't know where the odd red one ended up.  Poor thing.


  1. Too cute! I love that they have the place card holders on the tops.

  2. You are just so clever using things just around. They turned out really pretty!