I started making these beautiful vellum ornaments last Christmas. They’re outlined in gold, filled in with felt markers, and embellished with adhesive crystals and glitter so they are rich with color and sparkle. They are also lightweight which means even the smallest tree branch can support one and they look lovely with light coming through them.
Starform Stickers are what inspired these ornaments. I found some of their gold outline stickers at Scrapbook Territory in Berkeley. I picked up several different packages, not knowing what I was going to use them for, but knowing I loved how they looked. There are tons of designs – I think the first ones I picked up were doves, koi, and poinsettias. The designs are very detailed and peel off from a backing and press on to your project; in this case, vellum. They give you a slightly raised line around open space which can easily be colored in – think of the lead in a stained glass window.
I use the Starform Stickers but I don’t usually use them as they came on the sheet. I adapt them by cutting out pieces and putting them together for the designs that I either sketch myself or copy from other sources. The vellum makes it easy to trace your design from a coloring book or from clip art you can get online. I’ve even held a piece of white copy paper up to the computer and traced a simple design right from my computer screen.
This can be a bit of a fussy and painstaking project. If you are looking for something fast and easy, this is not the craft for you. (UPDATE: For a really easy project, see the next post on Paper Heart ornaments.) If you like something that will take your focus and concentration and you have good lighting, sharp scissors, a steady hand and a few hours (and in my case, good reading glasses) you will probably enjoy this. The end results are worth the time spent. The simple designs take less time and are every bit as beautiful as the more elaborate ones.
Vellum Paper – I use 17 lb. letter weight (Stampin’ Up)
White Copy Paper
Colored Felt Pens
Small, Sharp Scissors
Small Hole Punch
Craft Knife, such as X-acto, with fine point
Sketch or find a design for your ornament. I’ve found lots of designs off the internet. I traced the Swedish Dala horse off of my computer from an image I found on Pinterest. The peacock was traced from a picture of a beautiful, jeweled earring.
To make the design easier to see through the vellum, I like to go over the lines with a fine, black Sharpie.
Put a few X’s with pencil on the white paper. Tape the vellum paper over the white paper and mark the X’s on the vellum so if you move the paper it will be easy to align it again.
Take a look at the various curves, curlicues, dots and lines of the sticker sheet and look at your ornament design to see what can be used without changes. Start cutting and piecing together parts of the design from the Starform outline stickers. I have made fairies and used butterfly wings that didn’t need much adapting.
Flower petals worked for flounces on the skirt. Leaves worked beautifully for peacock-tail feathers with only minor alterations, and the mermaid ornament started out, naturally, as a fish sticker.
The sharp point of my scissors is what I use to pick up the stickers but you can also use the tip of a craft knife or piercing tool. A piece of vellum works great for the bits and pieces of stickers you are cutting apart to use and the leftovers (which you may use before you’re done).
Once you’ve finished with the outline, undo the tape and turn the vellum over.
Using a gold pen, go over all the lines on the back. This way your ornament will look beautiful when seen from any angle.
Do a rough cut around your shape, leaving at least a half inch border of plain vellum. You want to make a hole for hanging it up but depending on the shape it isn’t always easy to tell how it will hang. Once it is cut out, hold the vellum on the edge and see how it hangs.
Once you’ve determined where the hole should be it is nice if you can find a small bit of sticker that you can put on and then punch a hole using your small hole punch. Some sticker sheets have various sizes of dots or small circles that work perfectly for this. If that feels like too much fuss, simply punch the hole and (if you want) outline it with gold ink.
Now go back and cut carefully around the whole ornament. Cut close to the sticker edge but with some small detail areas it is best to leave a little of the plain vellum around it for structural integrity.
Get out your colored markers and color the design. I put color on both sides of the vellum, sometimes using two colors on opposite sides to create a third color.
Embellish your ornament with stick on jewels and if desired, glitter. A glue pen is a great way to put glue exactly where you need it before adding glitter. Let it dry.
Thread a piece of gold cord through the hole and tie into a loop for hanging on a tree or in a window. For a finishing touch I like to put a very tiny tag made from scrap paper folded over the cord. I put my initials and the year the item was created.
Thanks you for taking time in this busy season to visit and read my post.