Christmas ornaments can be primarily constructed of inexpensive and readily obtainable hardware items. These projects are great to share with the family and can be completed in one day.
Gossamer Winged Angels
You can make a variety of sizes, but the basic method is the same:
Some polystyrene will become pitted by some types of spray paint. Spray-painting adds texture, so you may want to test the results first.Step 1
Use a plate or other round object as a pattern. Trace a circle onto the screen. The larger the circle, the larger the angel.
Cut out the circle using tin snips or heavy shears.
Mark a 1/3-wedge on the circle (like a big piece of pie). Cut the wedge from the circle, and save it for the wings.
For the angel's skirt, make a cone from what's left of the circle, overlapping the edges until you achieve the shape you like.
Sew the screen together by threading wire in and out of the screen holes. Tuck the ends of the wire inside the skirt.
Make the wings from the reserved wedge of screen. Fold it in half lengthwise and crease. Cut a half-heart shape from the folded screen with the crease on the inside of the heart. (You might want to experiment with a paper pattern first).
Open the heart shape and sew the wings to the back of the skirt, threading the wire along the crease.
Make the angel's arms by rolling a rectangular piece of screen along its long axis. (For an angel cut from a standard-sized plate pattern, the piece should be about 8 inches by 10 inches. Adjust these dimensions for the size of your angel. If the arms turn out to be too long, they can always be trimmed). To make it easier to get the roll started, use a pencil or dowel.
Let the rolled screen unroll slightly, then bunch it in the middle with a 10-inch to 12-inch piece of wire.
Attach the arms to the top of the skirt by threading the loose wire ends through the top of the cone. Twist to tighten.
For the angel's head and hair, wrap several strands of jute around your hand or another object, and bunch it together in the middle with a 10-inch piece of wire twisted at the center.
Carefully use a large nail or awl to drive a hole completely through the center of the polystyrene ball.
Thread the cut ends of the wire that’s attached to the jute through the hole in the ball.
Attach the head to the angel skirt above the arms by threading the ends of the wire through the screen of the arms and skirt. Pull through from the underside and twist to tighten.
Leave the hair bunched or, give the hair personality by cutting and untwisting the jute. The arms can be bent and shaped to hold an object, if desired.
Spray the assembled angel with gold or silver spray paint.
Copper Grounding Wire Spirals
Copper was once considered a precious jewelry-making metal. Because it’s used so frequently for wiring and other purposes, it’s been reduced to an everyday metal. And from a practical standpoint, its availability provides yet another reason for its use in creating ornaments.
Make little spirals and dangles for your tree, or suspend them from anything using monofilament fishing line.
Hex Nut and Washer GarlandStep 1
Cut a length of wire as long as you'd like the garland.
String a washer on one end of the wire, and secure it by twisting the end of the wire around the washer.
Thread nuts and washers on the wire from the loose end, alternating sizes as you go.
Crimp a loop in the loose end of the wire after you’re done to keep your hardware ornaments from coming off.
Working from the end where you secured the first washer, twist the wire around each nut or washer, spacing them about 4 to 5 inches apart along the wire.
Spray your creation with gold or silver. The wire allows the garland to be shaped however you’d like it. It looks great intertwined with greenery.
Clay Pots with Spray-Paint DecorationsStep 1
Apply a band of open mesh tape to the top rim of the pot.
Spray the entire pot dark green (or your chosen color). You can vary the intensity of the color; make it solid or lightly spray it for a mottled appearance. Let it dry.
Cut multiples of a design (trees, snowmen, etc.) from paper, making enough to go around the whole pot.
Apply the cutouts to the pot using small, looped pieces of masking tape.
Lightly spray the pot with gold spray-paint or the contrasting color of your choice. (Avoid the top band, and concentrate on the areas around the cutouts).
Spray directly toward the cutouts for sharply defined edges. To create softer edges, spray against the cutouts from a slight side angle — the more of an angle, the less definition the edges of your shapes will have.
Remove the taped cutouts and mesh tape.
These are great for holiday gift-giving — just fill with the plant of your choice.
Nylon Rope Garland
For beautiful and economical holiday decorations, create gold and silver roping to intertwine with greenery by spray-painting ordinary nylon rope. Jumbo-sized rope is ideal for outdoor use where larger-scaled elements are needed. You'll find nylon rope in several sizes, but look for the variety that's soft enough to drape.Step 1
Determine how long you'd like the garland to be before you shop. Nylon rope is sturdy and difficult to cut with regular scissors or knives. Have the lengths of rope cut at the store. If you cut the rope yourself, or if the store's cutter doesn't burn the ends for you, use a lighter or light a match to melt the ends of each length of rope to prevent fraying.
Tie knots in each end after the rope cools (takes a second).
Hang the rope or lay it on newspapers and lightly spray-paint it to achieve the desired effect.
Turn the rope and check all around to make sure the paint coverage is even.
Apply a fine mist of metallic paint to add a sparkly sheen.
Cloth and Screen Wire Stars
Hardware cloth is used to make cages or fences. It takes on a different quality when cut into star shapes, painted and adorned with ribbon.
These ornaments are great to look at but can be prickly to touch. Keep them out of the reach of children.Step 1
Cut paper patterns in star shapes.
Outline the shape on the screen or hardware cloth by drawing around the pattern with a marker.
Cut out the shape, being careful not to snag your fingers on the edges.
Lay the stars on newspapers and spray-paint using the color of your choice.
Attach lengths of narrow ribbon or wire hangers to hang stars from the tree limbs.