Saturday, December 15, 2012

DIY baby's first christmas ornament

When I was pregnant with Elden, I fell in love with Young House Love's first ornament for their daughter, Clara. However, I wanted to do a different spin on it. After we had Elden and Christmas approached, I envisioned a floating silhouette in a clear globe. We snapped a picture of Elden on my cell. Being completely inexperienced in the art of photo editing, I whipped out my trusty Microsoft Paint and painstakingly attempted to mimic his silhouette with the eraser and then black paintbrush. It literally took hours. I'm sure you could do it much more quickly in Photoshop. But alas, that's how I did it.
I then picked up an ornament. Once I knew the diameter of the ornament, I resized the silhouette and printed it on white cardstock. I also made a LOT of silhouettes because I wasn't certain how well I'd do at the cutting out of the silhouette or how I was going to get it to float in the globe. Better safe than sorry I say!
 Once printed, I busted out my trusty Exacto knife and cut out the silhouette.
Since my goal was to have this float, I knew I needed to have the backside black as well. I used a ginormous marker to color the back of the silhouette.
Next, I used clear packing tape to essentially "laminate" the silhouette. Once I taped both sides, I used scissors to cut closely to (but not right up to) the edges of the silhouette. At this point I used a third, narrow piece of the packing tape to attach some clear fishing line vertically up the back. It is important that you make sure the length of the fishing line extends well above and below the silhouette because you will have this sticking through the edges of the ornament when you first place it. Once you have it taped down, use a dab of super glue on each end of the tape to hold the line in place more permanently.
Next, I played around with the centering of the silhouette with the ends of the fishing line extending through the top and bottom of the ornament. The nice thing about these ornaments is you can have it snapped together while still being able to manipulate the placement of the silhouette. At first I thought I would need a second set of hands to snap the ornament into place around the silhouette but that ended up not being the case.
Finally, I used some super glue and ran it around the perimeter of the seal to hold the ornament shut. Be careful with this step--the glue dries somewhat cloudy so you want as little on there as possible. When it's dry, trim the fishing line.
One finishing touch I added was I used a paint marker to write Elden's name and the year around the top.
When done, hang it by a ribbon around your tree!
I thought this project would take me a really long time, but from start to finish it really only took me about 20 minutes so I loved that. I'm sure I could have done a better job creating and cutting the silhouette, but it gets the point across and I am so happy with how it turned out.


  1. WOW. I am so impressed!!!

    1. Thanks Kim! I've got to admit, this was one of the few times I tooted my own horn. Rearing from an artist and a photographer, I was typically not artsy at all. I guess some of that rubbed off on me though...

  2. I LOVE this!!! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful idea!!!

    1. I'm glad! I'm trying to think of an easy one to do this Christmas that will incorporate both of our kiddos so hopefully I think of something :)