2016 Annual Ornament for the Non-Crafty Mom

Every year, I make a new Christmas ornament for my kids. When they leave, they’ll have a big collection of ornaments for their own tree. Hopefully, they’ll be a special keepsake for them as mine are for me.
The struggle is finding something that I feel capable of making with my short term attention, aversion to following directions, and busy time of year (I could not put it off but where’s the fun in that. Deadlines, people!)
This year, I’m particularly pleased because the idea wasn’t from Pinterest or the internet, directly. I wasn’t even sure if it would work, but I decided to try it.
I bought these cute little wood Christmas shaped cutouts for about a quarter a piece. Then I bought these brass colored tacks for a lot more than I needed for $2 (linoleum tacks?).  I also purchased embroidery floss in the appropriate colors.  I knew I had buttons & bells from previous years’ ornaments.
Add a piece of metal and Jason’s needle nosed pliers, and my own little hammer, and I was ready to go.
So, starting at the top of the ornament, I set the cutout on the metal and hammered one tack into the center, then worked all the way around the outside of the cutouts.  I made sure it was on the metal so the tack didn’t go all the way through the very thin piece of wood.  
Once I went around all three ornaments (and I did too many tacks on the snowflake), I started to string them.  I tied my embroidery thread (all strands together, I wanted it to really stand out) with a long, 4″ tail to that top center nail with two knots (a box knot?) and I went around the outside of the tree, looping the thread around each tack.  I pushed those down to the bottom of the tack. Then, I randomly started stringing – well, the bell was a pattern. 
When I thought I was near the end of this process, I aligned myself to add the extras.  I threaded the floss through them, then placed them where I wanted them.  The lights are moveable, the jingle bells are knotted in place (I wanted them at the clapper), and the mittens neeeded to stay in the middle, so I put the thread through the loop to look like they were hanging, then through the button on the back and put the thread under one of the decorative layers of thread. Does that make sense? That just will keep it from sliding too much.
I maneuvered the thread back to the top nail where I again made two knots. Cut off the floss with extra even with the end of the long tail I started with. I knotted those ends together to make the hanger and I was done.
I’ve never done string art before, the whole process for three ornaments probably took an hour and a half including the nailing which seemed to take forever.
I’m pleased with how they turned out.
If you’d like to see my other non-crafty mom ornaments, I have a video where I show them all here:


  1. Dawn, I love the title of your post. 🙂 The pic of the tacks spilled out and the pliers and the hammer proves otherwise. Your family's ornament-making is beautiful tradition.

    1. Haha … I *can* craft, I just only do so once a year because I don't have the patience for it so I don't consider myself crafty. If you can hammer a nail, you can do this!

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