Monday, November 29, 2010

speaking of ornaments . . .

Kim has me totally thinking ornaments

She's inspired me to chuck my usual tree decor which is very prim and proper.  My usual tradition of tree decorating is to do the whole coordinated tree decor thing.  So basically, I spend the night decorating the tree myself and fending of the kids who want to help because I want the tree to look a certain way.  Then I spend a month keeping them away from the tree so they don't mess it up! 

Now, that I think about it that entire tradition seems completely silly.  Why on God's green earth would I try to keep my kids OUT of the fun of decorating.  I could kick myself for doing it this way for the past five years.  Sometimes I just need a swift kick to the behind as a good wake-up call . . . so THANK YOU KIM! 


From now on my kids are going to be part of our tree traditions. 

Enter the Memory Mitten Ornaments.

I actually did this ornament for Stephanie Lynn's ornament extravaganza over at Under the Table and Dreaming.  I was originally planning on starting this tradition and putting all these handmade ornaments on a special wooden ornament tree that I have on the piano.  However, with Kim's tradition swimming around in my head, I'm excited to add these memory mitten to the tree.
These ornaments combine two things I love around the holidays: memory-keeping and tradition-keeping.  Each ornament is made from clothing that my children wore at some point during the year.  Every time I look at these ornaments I will remember this year in their lives, and every year I will make a new ornament from another article of clothing.  Then as we pack away the ornaments for safekeeping until the next Christmas, I will ask them to write down one memory from our Christmas celebration (or write it for them) to tuck inside the mitten.  I imagine the Christmas celebrations to come as we read the memories tucked inside each mitten together.

Here's what you need:
~sweaters or other clothes that your children/grandchildren have out grown and hold a special place in your heart
~yarn or embroidery thread
~a yarn or tapestry needle
~felt or other embellishments and hot glue/fabric glue (optional)

Here's what you do:
1)  Draw freehand or use a mitten to trace a child's sized mitten shape onto the sweater.  Make sure you position the mitten or draw the mitten shape so that the open cuff of the mitten will be either the bottom edges of the sleeves or the waist of the sweater.  

2)  Pin the front and back layer of the sweater together and cut out mitten shape.

3)  Thread needle with yarn and sew the two layers together by using the blanket stitch to sew around the outside edge of the mitten.  Make sure to tie a hidden knot at the beginning and end to secure the yarn.

4)  Heat seal the end of your ribbon by running the ends very quickly through a candle flame.  Push ribbon through one of the blanket stitches toward the mitten cuff and tie into a bow.  Secure with a dot of craft glue or hot glue in between the folds of the center so the bow doesn't come undone.

5)  Use felt and/or embellishments however you want to decorate the mitten.  I cut out my daughter's initial and secured it with fabric glue.

6)  Add your memory.

Craft . . . and tradition on!

Check out the great parties I may link to by clicking on the blog name below or visiting my "I like to party" page that shows off all the party buttons.  These gals go to a lot of work to host these parties.  If you participate in parties please take time to look through a variety of the projects linked up.  They are a great source of inspiration!

Weekend - Somewhat Simple Holiday Party, a little lovely, Craft Envy, Under the Table and DreamingBe Different Act Normal, A Vision to Remember, 504 Main - Tickled Pink, Funky Junk Interiors, Tatertots and Jello, I heart naptime

Monday - Keeping it Simple, Craft-O-Maniac, The Girl Creative, The Trendy Treehouse, CRAFT, Making the World Cuter, Mad in Crafts, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Between Naps on the Porch, Tools Are For WomenIt's So Very Cheri, Skip to My Lou, Sew Can Do, Polly Want a Crafter

Tuesday - All Thingz Related, Sugar Bee, New Nostalgia, Creative Itch, Lucky Star Lane, Hope Studios, These Creative Juices, My Delicious Ambiguity, Today's Creative Blog-Get Your Craft On!,

Wednesday - It's So Very Cheri, Beyond the Picket Fence, Blue Cricket DesignTrendy Treehouse, Tea Rose HomeSomeday Crafts, My Backyard Eden, Sew Much Ado, Night Owl Crafting

Thursday -  Fireflies and Jellybeans, Life As Lori, House of Hepworths, Somewhat Simple, Seven Thirty Three, The Train to Crazy, PonyTails and FishScales

Friday - The Sabby Nest, A Little Knick Knack, Fingerprints on the Fridge, It's Fun to Craft!, It's a Hodgepodge Life, Kojo Designs, Simply Sweet Home, Frou Frou Decor, Remodelaholic, Momma's Kinda Crafty


Jill said...

What a lovely idea! I'm always happy to find a new use for old clothing! Love it!

I've always looked at those perfectly co-ordinated trees enviously, but then again I wouldn't have our higgledy- piggelty mess any other way. I LOVE decorating the tree but always feel we need more ornaments! I might just try some of those mittens! Thanks for the inspiration!

Beverly {Flamingo Toes} said...

I love this idea!! It turned out so cute and I love that you will use the clothes that they've worn. What a great memory!

Unknown said...

Such a fun tradition! I'm anxious to hear how the child-inclusion for decorating the tree goes. :)

kim west said...

ADORABLE! I love that you put the memory inside! I too tried to start with a pretty tree (6 years ago) but I would find broken balls behind the couch...With all the fun stuff on the tree now...the balls easily get overlooked!

Anonymous said...

You can make it more 'individual' but tracing around your child's hand, so that you have a record, not only of their clothes for that year, but also the size of their hand.

There will be plenty of time for coordinated trees when the little ones are all grown up - but while they're little, it's a hodge-podgey mess, and it's absolutely perfect!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

That is very sweet!

Holly Lefevre said...

Absolutely adorable...what a great idea...You are amazing and clever!

Julianna said...

oh so great! I'd love for you to link up at my party here:

Charlotte said...

Very cool! I love it and we have tons of gloves here that we are able to use! Thank you for sharing a great way to R-R-R. :)

. said...

What an adorable idea!!! And I love you didn't use a sewing machine (I hate sewing machines! LOL) :)

Simone @ Doberman's by the Sea said...

How very cute. Love it. The Bavarian Christmas linky party is still open-won’t you come and join us at and while you are there join the give-a-ways going on.

Dacia said...

What a great idea!

Jana said...

Turned out great!

Come enter to win a free pair of sandals!

Mrs. Kelley Dibble said...

I am SO into recording a cherished memory. If we fail to, a chunk of history's lost! This mitten's absolutely, girl. Good job...

Then make a notebook in which you journal the history of each pictured ornament you possess. Our kids love to look at this each year... at 24 and 27!

Megan Gunyan said...

So adorable! I love it! Thanks for sharing your brilliance once again. ;)

Sabina said...

great tutorial - thank you for sharing :)

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