Year-round ornaments

You didn’t think they were just for Christmas, did you?

My family and I love ornaments. We are happy paganish hippie people, so I suppose it’s no surprise that we love to collect fairies, Buddha statues and yes, the occasional E.T. or Star Wars collectible. We do go all-out for Christmas decorating (it’s a very pagan holiday, actually, though we sometimes call it Yule in our family), but ornaments aren’t just for the winter season. We love our ornaments year-round! Here are just a few ideas for seasonal ornaments in your home or yard.

Winter

Though Santa, snowmen and candy canes are some of our favorite winter ornaments, my family also loves to make orange pomanders, glitter-covered pinecones, Cheerio bird feeders shaped like candy canes and stars (just string them on pipe cleaners, then shape them), and many other homemade ornaments. Our favorites are always the homemade ones! Winter is also a great time for winter bird, polar bear, penguin, and other wintery animal ornaments.Spring

During the springtime, we are all about bugs! We make lots of clay ornaments, from ladybugs to caterpillars to snails. We like to hang sun catcher ornaments—both handmade as well as painted ones from the store—in our windows. Ducks, bunnies, and eggs are fun for the Easter/Ostara holiday season, but we also love birds and birdhouses (this is the time when we usually make new ones for spring nesting), garden gnomes (hey, they never go out of style!) and, of course, toadstools. We are obsessed with toadstools in our house and we are constantly learning new ways to make them!

Summer

During the summer, we tend to simplify, putting away a lot of old ornaments and letting our yard simply show off the glow of our gorgeous garden and vegetables. We had surprise pumpkins this year, which are a magical ornament in and of themselves! We do like to put tiny garden signs, toad houses, and bird feeders around, which are ornamental as well as functional. Right now, our indoor ornaments consist mostly of year-round ones—fairies and so forth—as well as some homemade Angry Birds and moomin houses out of toilet paper tubes.

Fall

Fall is our favorite season, and we often celebrate with ornaments of falling leaves, nuts, squirrels, and other symbols of autumn. Halloween, our favorite holiday, comes into play here with its scary ornaments as well as tributes to our ancestors, as does Thanksgiving, seasonal corn husk and corn sculptures, and lots of other fall crafts.

Using Ornaments to Jazz up Container Gardens

Spring is the time to start growing vegetables and flowers in patio containers. Many people like to place interesting decorations in their flowerpots to add visual interest. Some types of ornaments can actually make excellent container accents, so they can be enjoyed not only at Christmas, but year-round as well.

Ceramic birdhouses, feathers, and artificial birds make excellent container decorations. You can either hang these ornaments from small shepherd’s hooks or tuck them into the foliage of a very large plant.  Some can also be placed on a stick and then placed in the dirt at the edge of a container.

Large tropical plants can serve as a makeshift Christmas tree. Why not hang miniature ornaments from the branches of this greenery. If you’re placing them on a patio, you could even add a few miniature Christmas lights so that the plants can provide accent lighting at night.

Handmade ornaments work well in pots.  Knitting, crocheting, or doing needlepoint can allow you to make a custom ornament that will complement the garden and the types of plants you have there. For example, you may want to make handmade butterflies if you are creating a butterfly garden or simply a small welcome sign if the container is near your front door. You can hang these ornaments with a piece of string, a twist tie, or an ornament hook.

To protect your ornaments from weather damage, you can laminate them or paint them with a type of polyurethane. This is not needed when using ceramic or plastic ornaments, as these are generally waterproof. Feel free to experiment with different ornaments so you can create a custom look for your backyard garden or patio and enjoy your seasonal ornaments even during the summer months.

Getting Ready for Saint Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick’s Day is fast approaching, and what better way to remember the life and ministry of Saint Patrick than with some ornaments?  Some symbols that often remind people of this holiday include clover and leprechauns, but just about anything green will also work well.  The Bounty Towels website gives some directions for how to make simple ornaments that you can use to celebrate this holiday.

One suggestion given by Bounty is to make a Saint Patrick’s Day ornament from a clear glass ball. You can add shredded green foil or shamrock confetti to the glass ball and then place the cap back on it. After this, the website suggests using a hot glue gun to secure a piece of dark green ribbon to the ornament before hanging it up. This is a very simple project that children and adults alike can enjoy doing.

Another suggestion Bounty has is to knit a four-leaf clover. According to the website, this requires only basic knitting skills and the size of the clover can also be modified fairly easily. For complete instructions on how to knit this shamrock, you can go to bounty towels.

You could also cut out shamrocks, frogs, or leprechauns from green poster board, foam, or construction paper. If you use poster board or construction paper, you may want to laminate them in order to make them extra durable. Look for some green and white strands of beads or tinsel to add to your tree and you will have the perfect Saint Patrick’s Day décor just in time for celebrating this special occasion.

History and Nostalgia in the Form of an Ornament

In 2011, Hallmark began offering their commemorative Chevrolet Corvette ornament. This ornament was created to honor the 100th anniversary of the Corvette. It features a black sports car complete slanted hood, rounded front bumper and oval-shaped headlights. It also has a Plexiglas windshield and rubber tires complete with sporty rims. The doors of this commemorative automobile also open. There is a special slot on the top of the car for placing a string or ornament hook, and it can also be displayed in the box it is sold in.

The 100th anniversary Chevy Corvette is not the first sports car ornament offered by Hallmark. In fact, the company began offering classic car ornaments as early as 1991. In that year, a classic red and white Corvette was the choice for collectors to take advantage of. Unlike the latest offering, this one was actually a convertible model.

Since 1991, Hallmark has offered at least one new collectible car ornament each year. From 1997 through 1999, two different cars were created. There were also two cars in 2009 and 2011 with the other one in 2011 being a 1968 Ford Mustang. In 2005, there were three different models to choose from but in 2006 and 2007 only one was available. Hallmark again produced three classic car ornaments in 2008.

In addition to the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford Mustang, some of the other cars commemorated include the Oldsmobile Toronado,  the Pontiac Colorway,  a Nomad wagon, and a pink Cadillac to name a few. These collectible ornaments can be worth a great deal of money when found in mint condition, especially if they are also in their original boxes.

Ornaments for a Cause

February is American Heart Month as proclaimed by the American Heart Association. What better way to raise awareness of heart disease than by purchasing a commemorative ornament? You can buy a heart-shaped glass ornament with the words “love, live, give” engraved in gold letters. This ornament is suspended from a gold cord and makes an excellent decoration for a Christmas tree as well as a wall decoration. The ornament can be purchased by going to heart.org. This decoration is designed by the American Heart Association, and proceeds from the sale of it will go to help fight heart disease, especially in women.

If you’d also like to help raise awareness of breast cancer, there are a number of ornaments that can help you do this. These range from pink glass balls with the classic pink ribbons draped over the top of them to small pink ribbons with a pair of angel’s wings. You can also choose a tall pink angel hung from a thin white ribbon. Some ornaments come with their own stand so you can display them on your desk or countertop. An example of this is a white glass ball with the words “believe hope pray” written in pink letters. Breast cancer awareness ornaments are offered by the Pink Ribbon Shop and can be purchased at the Pink Ribbon Shop.

Buying ornaments to help out worthy causes is a good way to show your support while being decorative at the same time. Who knows, doing so could perhaps even result in saving lives.

Stating your Ornament Preferences

A fun way to collect Christmas ornaments is to start a 50 state one.  Collectible state ornaments have the name and a map of each state along with its state bird and state flower. The designs are painted on white or clear glass balls and are individually packed for easy storage. They are available at this site and can be purchased individually.

If you prefer state ornaments that are a little more unique, why not choose ones with individual shapes? By going to Wall Drug, you can select ornaments in the shape of each particular state. These ornaments are made of metal with the state name across the bottom of them. Atop this, there are emblems of things that are unique to that particular state. Each one weighs around a half pound and costs around $5.00 which does not include shipping.

Other state ornaments may simply contain pictures of things unique to that state. Road maps and road signs are common decorations on many ornaments. The ornaments could also have the state flag, state motto, or simply the words “someone in …loves me”. Team logos that mention a particular state are also common.

State ornaments can be an ideal gift to give friends, relatives, or school teachers. They can also be fun to collect and display even when you don’t have a Christmas tree up. There are many styles and patterns to choose from, so it can be easy to collect ornaments from every state rather than only buying those from your home state.

Slavic Ornaments-Delicate and Unique

 

Slavic Treasures was founded in 1998 and creates unique glass-blown ornaments. Since its inception, founder Glen Lewis has created thousands of collectible ornaments with an interesting flair from blown glass. His creations range from very whimsical to more traditional designs in a variety of different themes.

Animal ornaments are popular among the Slavic line. These animals can be anything from a camel with an extremely long neck to a deer with oversized antlers. Others such as the dolphin ornament are created to be realistic representations of their animal counterparts.  Some of the more brightly colored animal ornaments are found in the bug and insect category. Here you can find replicas of caterpillars, grasshoppers, ladybugs, and even the “chigger”.

There is also a collection of frog ornaments available. Many feature frogs performing unique activities such as playing football or conducting an orchestra. Most of them appear to be dressed in costumes ranging from a ballerina dress to a Buckingham Palace guard.

These ornaments are rather pricey, beginning at around $20 each with many costing well over $100. This price does not include shipping and handling charges. As such, they are mostly intended to be collectible ornaments rather than being placed on your tree.

For those who are looking for a less expensive ornament, Slavic does have a selection of resin ornaments available. These mostly represent animal figures such as a chicken, wolf, or fox. In this line, the animal figures are more traditional looking rather than being whimsical. Resin Slavic ornaments cost around $5.99 and can be ordered at http://www.christmastraditions.com/Orns/Slavic/STGlass.htm.

Tricks for Finding Antiques

 

If you’re interested in collecting antique ornaments, you can often find them at antique malls or thrift stores. Unfortunately, there is sometimes a limited supply of these during January and February because many vendors hold onto these items until October or November. Shopping online can be a way to find what you’re looking for while educating yourself about the value of vintage ornaments at the same time.

One website you may want to check out is http://www.christmas4ever.com/. This site has a number of vintage glass and cotton ornaments for sale along with antique dolls and candy dishes. You can also find vintage Santas, and Russian ornaments here as well.

If you’re more into Victorian ornaments, a good place to visit is http://www.victorianornaments.com/. This website features handcrafted Dresden ornaments made from paper, glass, beads, and tinsel among other things. The material used to make these ornaments are at least 50 years old, so each one has a very vintage feel to it.  Those who are able to visit the California store can even watch some of these ornaments being made.

One site that specializes in German ornaments is http://www.christmas.li/. Here you can find glass, paper, and cotton Christmas tree decorations. There is also a wide selection of angels, Santas, and porcelain dishes for you to browse through. Other merchandise includes candy molds, dishes, and candle holders to name a few. While you’re here you may want to look at some of the other holiday decorations for sale so you can get ready for Easter or Valentine’s Day.

How to Love Valentine Ornaments

Decorating a Christmas tree in a Valentine’s Day theme can be a fun thing to do for children and adults alike. You don’t necessarily need to buy special ornaments in order to do this. Some of your regular Christmas ornaments will double nicely as Valentine decorations, and others can be made from materials that are easy to find.Look for solid pink or red glass ornaments for your Valentine’s Day tree.  Try to stick with these colors as much as possible during your decorating. If you can find or make crocheted lace covers for these glass ornaments, this can help give them a more romantic feel.

You can also hang children’s valentines on your tree. Punch a small hole in the top of each one with a hole punch and then tie red or pink ribbon to it. If you’re feeling really creative, you can make your own valentines out of construction paper or cardstock and then hang them in the same manner.

Paper or plastic doilies could be cut in the shape of a heart and then hung on a Christmas tree. You could also use scraps of lace to tie bows on the ends of some of the branches. A white lace curtain works well as a tree skirt whenever lace items are also used on the tree.

For a tree topper, why not use a grapevine wreath in the shape of a heart. You can decorate this in any number of ways by weaving lights or red tinsel through it. Smaller grapevine hearts could be painted red or could have beads or small flowers glued to them.

Gearing up for Super Bowl XLVI

Superbowl XLVI is rapidly approaching, and what better way to celebrate the big game than with a commemorative NFL ornament. Even if your favorite team is not in the running, you can still find one that will help you show your spirit in addition to being a festive decoration.If you enjoy snowmen, there are several selections that also incorporate many NFL franchises. How about a pair of snowmen atop a football along with a Detroit Lions logo? Another option is snowmen inside a Christmas wreath wearing an Oakland Raiders sweater.  You can also choose a single snowman figure dressed in team colors to include a cozy hat and scarf combination.

Football helmets make interesting ornaments as well. One selection features a white helmet with a picture of the Arizona Cardinal’s mascot on one side. Another option is a solid red helmet commemorating the Kansas City Chiefs. The Washington Redskins also have a helmet ornament complete with a gold-colored face piece to add a touch of flair.

Many teams not only have ornaments, but matching table runner, tree skirts, and rugs.  When ordering any of these items from the NFL shop, free shipping is included on any orders that are $75 or more. This memorabilia is sure to please football fans of all ages and can be a valuable addition to a sports memorabilia collection.  Best of all, they can greatly enhance your football party whether tailgating or simply gathering at home to watch the game on the big screen.

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