For the first few years of of living together, our tree was pretty simple. Red baubles and beads and lights on the tree. Last year, I wanted to add something more to it, so, after getting a few ideas online, conceived of these.
I wish I had pictures, but, since I made them last year, I didn’t really have the forethought at the time. A brief rundown, however, of how I did it. If you make your own doing it the way I did, I would super love to see pictures.
- Empty glass balls. I acquired mine from Hobby Lobby before the whole “we don’t understand how birth control works” thing. Not to be uber political, but I try to avoid giving them my money, now.
- Clear sticker paper. It needs to be able to go through a printer. I used some slightly more hardcore vinyl paper I had lying around.
- Clear string or thread of some sort. I used stretchy jewelry elastic with about a 4mm thickness.
- Beads and glitter and crap.
- A funnel if you don’t want your beads and glitter and crap to get everywhere.
- Print out your desired symbol(s) on the sticker paper/vinyl. Black works best. You’ll note I have some red, as well, but it’s quite a bit more translucent than the black. Darker and bolder seems to work best. Trim down to a sort of blocky regions. Don’t trim down all the way quite yet.
- Cut out another piece of un-printed sticker paper that’s roughly the same size as the printed piece you’re working with.
- Cut a length of your clear threading. It should be long enough to run the vertical length of your symbol and spring from the top with a 2-3 inch tail.
- Lay the threading neatly along the vertical axis of your symbol and sandwich and press the un-printed sticker, sticky side down, on top of it. Now you should have a little sticker paper clear thread sandwich with the thread firmly pressed between the two sheets of sticker.
- Now, trim it down, but be careful not to cut the thread on accident. I did that, like, twice, and I felt stupid. You may have to get a little tricksy around the opening where the thread is coming through, but take that on a case by case basis.
- Fill your bulb up with whatever. I happened to have an over abundance of jewelry beads and glitter, so that’s what I used. Mix up colors and textures to get the feel you want.
- This is the tricky part. Gently, bend or roll your symbol into a tube just small enough to slide through the mouth of the bulb. While you’re slipping it in (heh, phrasing), keep a finger on your other hand on the trailing bit of clear thread so that it stays out side the bulb.
- Once the symbol is slipped it, it will unfurl into the bulb. Raise or lower it to where you want it to be inside the ornament, then lay the tail of the thread over the top of the mouth. Wrap it around if you need to. Keep it in place while you pop the top back in. The end of the string will get sandwiched between the glass of the ornament and the cap, and the symbol will be suspended. Trim if needed.
And that’s it. Because I already had the beads and sticker paper, the only thing I had to buy was the ornaments which were, like, $5. The sticker paper’s a little bit more expensive, but you’ll only end up using one or two pages of it, so you have the rest of the package to do stuff with.
Those bulbs will break if dropped, though, so be careful. I lost the Fire Emblem one this year to a case of the dropsy daisies.