Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Bookish Christmas Ornaments: Merry and Bright - DIY

What's fun about this activity is, as always, there's so many options of how you can go about creating the ornament. Our Christmas tree has a silver and gold theme and I like sticking with those two colors for ornaments. I also feel it matches the book print better and allows you to appreciate both aesthetics. But if you like a rainbow of colors or have another color scheme in mind, you can work with those colors as well! This is an ornament that you can really make your own.

I picked up my ornament from Michael's. It's extremely light and made out of a cardboard paper-like structure. This isn't something you want to press too heavily on as I feel it could crush it, so, I took my time and handled the heart with care.

What You'll Need:

  • Mod Podge Foam Brush (or any small foam brush)
  • Medium-small paint brush; I used a brush from Craftsmart's super value brown taklon pack
  • Cardboard or wooden ornament
  • Acrylic paint color of your choice; I used Folk Art's titanium white
  • Mod Podge matte sealer
  • Sharpie Pen

When you're ready to get started, make sure you have everything laid out and ready to go. For me, it seemed that a lot of the liquid paints (paint and mod podge) dried quickly, so I definitely advise being ready to go but there's certainly a way about it all that will allow you to get the most done in the quickest way possible. Here's how!

Begin by doing a base paint on your ornament. For this, I picked white and I urge you to do the same. This way the pages of the book blend in more readily to the ornament. I took my time and painted everything with even strokes. Again, since the paper from your book of choice is going to be covering this paint, it isn't necessary to be perfect. Paint it as thick or thread-like as you please.

Once you've painted the heart your base color (this may take two steps since it's two sided!) sit it aside to dry and grab the book you're recycling. Rip out a page or two then begin ripping each page into strips. Depending on the size of your ornament, you may need to rip the pages into smaller pieces but try to follow the lines of the page so that you get full sentences, rather than a random halfword, on each scrap of paper.

Once the ornament is dry and your book pages are ready, begin painting the ornament with Mod Podge. It's key to have solid layers of Mod Podge over your ornament as this adheres the paper to the ornament.

Press pieces of the torn book pages to your ornament. Try not to overlap too much as the top layer of paper won't adhere since there isn't any Mod Podge underneath it (unless, of course, you want to add that but it could cause a gloppy mess). Once you have covered the entire ornament with paper, it likely will not look very pretty. But fear not! This is completely fixable.

Trim the outer edge of the ornament or use a thin blade to cut off the excess paper on the edges. Once you're through with this, the ornament will look much neater. Flip it over to do the other side of the ornament then sit it aside to dry.

Prior to working on the ornament, or while it's setting to dry, quickly draw the outline of the ornament on some scraps of paper. Once you have the general shape of the ornament down, begin working on samples of what you would like to have written on your ornament. Toy with the creation of the words and hand lettering. Once you've nailed a format that you like and the ornament is dry, grab your Sharpie pen and begin to write out what saying you've chosen in the style you've picked.

When you've finished writing out your words of choice (I picked two sides: a saying on one and the date on the back) grab your Mod Podge once more. Make sure that the sharpie/pen ink is completely dry before you begin to paint over the ornament again. This second layer of Mod Podge helps seal the whole deal. Be very carful while you're applying so that you do not accidentally flip up corners of the book paper and get it stuck that way.

Ensure both sides of the ornament and all corners are painted over before you sit it aside to dry. When that's all done, you can add some bling to the ornament if you'd like. I advise that if you plan to add paint colors or further doodles of the ink variety to wait until this step and do it on top of the Mod Podge cover. The book paper can make for runny ink or paint and doing hand lettering on it is likely enough. This way, if it's over the Mod Podge, you don't run the risk of having streaking paint over the ornament you worked so hard on. 

And that's it! You're all done! Another Christmas bookish ornament created. 

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