Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Handmade Christmas Photo Ornament By Jill Lambert

Christmas and sweet memories go hand-in-hand (most of the time) and I love pulling out my box of ornaments each December and seeing the ones I've collected through the years.  The ones my daughter has made through the years are my favorites.  I also love the personal ones that have photos of my family as well as ones given to me as gifts.  When my younger nieces and nephews were born I decided to make them homemade ornaments for each of their first Christmases.  I know how much new parents love to receive something made just for them with a sweet picture of their baby on it so my first Christmas ornament usually involves something with a super cute picture of their baby as well as the name and year. This July our niece Charlotte was born so I'm excited to create a first Christmas ornament just for her that she'll hopefully have as she grows through the years.

Materials needed:
  • round wooden, flat circles (mine is 3 inches) - purchased from Michael's
  • gesso
  • acrylic paint, colors of your choice
  • glitter (optional)
  • stencil or stamp (optional)
  • Mod Podge or Gel Medium (I used Mod Podge)
  • photograph of person ornament is for 
  • (I printed mine on Epson ultra premium presentation paper, but regular paper would work fine, but be a bit thinner)
  • ribbon
  • glue gun

1.  Cover the wooden circle with a layer of gesso.  I do this so the paint doesn't get sucked into the wood.  It just makes a nicer layer for the paint to adhere to.  Let it dry and gesso the back side as well.

2.  Paint a layer of color of your choice over the dried gesso.  You can paint both sides the same color or two different colors if you want.  To keep it simple, I did the same on both sides, a deep red.

3.  I'm into fun patterns lately, so after your base color dries, I painted a pattern with a contrasting color using a chevron stencil.  Using a stencil is optional.  Of course, you can paint any pattern freehand too!  As you can see depending on how big you make the photo, your original background pattern may not show so much.  Decide how much you want it to show when you choose how big to make your photo.

4.  Size and print your photo.  Let it dry!  After it dried I even sprayed it with Krylon varnish so the ink didn't smear when I put Mod podge over it.

5.  Cut your photo to shape and size you want then put Mod Podge (or Gel Medium) under it, pushing out any air bubbles so it's smooth and flat.  Then put Mod Podge ALSO on top of the photo.  This is very important to seal it and allow you to paint possibly over and around it without ruining the photo.

6.  I painted/outlined the photo with a deep red and then I painted some Mod Podge around the edge and sprinkled white glitter around it to make it sparkle.  As you can see my chevron pattern is no longer showing that much, so the glitter is optional if you want your background pattern to show.

7.  On the backside I hand-painted her name, the year 2014, "first Christmas" and added a snowflake.

8.  After all is dried, varnish both sides for protection.  After that is dry then you can hot glue your ribbon on the back side.  Unfortunately I wasn't thinking about where the ribbon was going to go when I painted "first Christmas" so be sure you know where you want your ribbon to go so it doesn't cover anything important up.

I hope this gives you a fun idea that you can make as a gift or do with your children.  Family pictures from the year, maybe a fun vacation you took or pictures of the kids make great gifts for aunts and grandparents!  

This could even be the start of a new tradition - making a yearly, personalized ornament!

Find Jill's wonderful, bright artwork in her shop.

More about Jill can be found on her blog.

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