Every year my family chooses a theme for our Christmas tree (Yes, we have that many ornaments and decorations, made possible only by buying our latest ornaments on the day after Christmas. Gotta take advantage of those fabulous deals!) and this year, since I recently graduated from the University of Illinois and my youngest brother is now a freshman there and Marching Illini, we decided to have a Fighting Illini Christmas tree. Instead of buying bright orange ornaments, or Illinois ornaments (I'm sure they exists somewhere) we decided to buy glass ornaments from Michael's and make our own.
The ornaments were on sale for 25% off when I bought them a month ago and I also used a 40% off coupon. I'm not sure how much they were but I don't think I paid more than $5 for them. I also bought orange paint that was supposed to work well on glass. The CD's were old, and unwanted from around the house and everything else we used I already had in my 'Barney Bag" of art supplies.
This project was really fun. My brother and I both created three ornaments apiece. For three of them we ended up pouring the paint inside of the glass bulbs, much like I had seen folks do on Pintrest with glass jars and vases. Initially these turned out GREAT but the amount of paint inside makes the drying time ridiculous. After most of the paint had dried I allowed them to sit on their side and dry, while rotating them every once in a while. When i thought they were dry, they were actually far from it and by the next morning a lot of the paint had pooled to one side and made streaks. So if you try this I would suggest less paint, possibly a fan or just don't attempt this one at all unless you have a lot of time to sit and watch paint dry.
The ornament with the best turn out was the one covered in shattered CDs... but it was also time consuming. My brother cut up the CDs in small pieces with scissors and glued them to the ornaments with tacky art glue. Even though it took him a while to finish it really looks amazing both on and off the tree.
The ornament with the worst turn out was one of my experiments. I wrote in art glue, Illini, on one of the ornaments, allowed it to dry and attempted to paint over it. Again, this was something I saw on Pintrest. Glue is probably not the best thing to use for a project like this, I'm sure there is something better and the paint I used peels off when it is dry. I used a spray paint glaze on top, hopefully this will stop some of the peeling but I wasn't expecting these ornaments to last forever anyway. They were mostly a project to bond with family and to make our tree more personalized.
All in all I really enjoyed doing this, my brother and I got in some great bonding time while he was home for Thanksgiving break and our tree turned out phenomenally. After putting up the tree, while listening to Christmas music, we continued our annual tradition by eating s'mores and chocolate chip cookies and watching a movie together, this year the movie was Home Alone. My family is officially in the Holiday spirit!