Making Christmas baubles with (…or without) the kids is a great holiday time activity, plus they make wonderful gifts. Like all homemade gifts, the time and thought that goes into making these for someone special means so much more than a hasty ‘shopping-spree-to-get-something-(anything!)-simply-because-I-must’.
This year I made curtain ring baubles. It was the perfect up-cycling project for a carrier bag full of redundant wooden curtain rings that I couldn’t bear to throw out. The style possibilities are endless but limited to the contents of my Trimmings Box, plus a couple of seasonal accessories from the local haberdashery, I decided on 2 styles which I’m calling ‘Vintage French’ and ‘Swiss Chalet’.
I gifted these to a friend, they were a perfect addition to her gold themed Christmas decor. Dusky pink and rose gold would work really well in this style too, as would other textures such as velvet.
These baubles are for home. We’re having a Swiss Chalet theme decoration this year. My 4, 5 and 7 year olds were wow’d by the transformation of boring old curtain rings and spent an afternoon making their own designs. Apart from using the hot-glue-gun, they were able to design and construct christmas baubles very easily by themselves.
How to make them: Christmas Baubles
You will need
- Curtain rings
- Ribbons, trimmings, buttons & embellishments
- Hot glue gun
- Needle craft/fabric scissors
- You may also need, design dependant, fabric glue, wool needle, sewing needle & thread
Most haberdasheries will stock all of the above. Or, online, eBay has a great selection of craft supplies here (also a great place to bulk-buy glue sticks!) and Amazon has some well reviewed glue guns under £10 (and with next-day delivery on Prime) here.
Prepare & design:
Use trimmings that suit your Christmas decor. For each bauble you want trimmings that complement each other so experiment with rough mock-ups until you are happy with the overall look. Don’t worry exactly how the bauble is arrange at this point, its just to get an idea of the combination. Once happy, I took a quick snap of each mock-up to remind myself later, and placed all the pieces needed for one bauble into separate containers.
Add the base layer:
Some of my baubles started with one ribbon tightly wrapped to cover the whole ring, this used about 70cm of ribbon, depending on ribbon width etc., over-laid by another ribbon with a wider wrap. For others I wrapped 2 or 3 at the same time. Either way, secure the ends at the top with a dot of hot glue, get wrapping and finish off with another dot of hot glue.
Add the side detail:
The bauble needs to look great from every angle so side-on is important too. Thread a loop of ribbon one way through the eyelet then poke the end back the other way to create a bow effect. For thin ribbon you can repeat this to add a double bow effect. I skipped this step doing my ‘Swiss Chalet’ baubles because the jute ribbon on the front & back was clearly bulky enough to cover the side-view too!
Add the bells:
If your design includes a hanging bell(s), bead etc. its easier to add this before your flourish of bows. Tying it in place is much nicer than gluing because it allows movement. Thread the bell etc. onto the cord you are using to hang the bauble up. Tie the ends of the cord off with a double knot over the ring. I used a wool needle on my lacy bauble to thread the cord underneath the lace. Then thread the cord through the eyelet and tie it off again. If space is tight you may need a wool needle to get the cord through the eyelet.
If you can’t decide on a bell etc., you can always glue or sew one on afterwards but it is a little tricky. I added a hanging wooden snowflake to my Swiss Chalet bauble as an after-thought. Stitching it on with the final bows already in place was a lot more difficult.
Add the flourish:
You don’t need to be an expert bow maker to add a great flourish. Use dots of hot glue to easily secure loops of ribbon into bow shapes. It’s even easier with wired-edge ribbons: you can position the ribbon without it bouncing apart, and tweak it into shape after gluing. I also used leftover rosette-ribbon from a previous project to create mini-rosettes on some baubles. Once you’re happy with your bows glue them on to the bauble in order and add your finishing touch. I used buttons and ready-made mini flower embellishments as finishing touches – they look great and niftily hide the messy gluing underneath. When the front is done turn the bauble over and add a flourish to the back. Finally, check all the ends, trim them off neatly and you’re done!
Thank you for reading my first blog post! Please share! And add a comment below! If you make these Christmas baubles let me know how you get on.