Handmade Wedding Gift

24 May

One of our former youth back home in Texas is getting married soon.  These kids grow up too fast, as it doesn’t seem possible that any of them can now be college graduates and getting married!  But they have grown up, and now we’re past graduation gifts and into weddings.

I typically do something for the home, like towels or kitchen items.  I did buy bowls.  Really fun confetti bowls, actually.  But I wanted to do something a little more personal, as well.  I remember the first Christmas Steven and I had together after we were married.  We went out and bought a special ornament together for our first tree.  I also unwrapped an entire box of ornaments that my mom had saved from my childhood.  Lots of great memories.  Steven stood and looked on sadly as I gleefully unwrapped all my special ornaments because he had none.  They didn’t do Christmas trees in his house when he was growing up.   Isn’t that terribly sad?

I don’t know whether or not this young man and his fiancee have ornaments from their own childhoods for a tree or not, but I wanted to make sure that they have at least one ornament waiting for them for their first Christmas tree.

I didn’t want to do anything overtly Christmas-y.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not really into snowmen or Santas or other typical Christmas scenes.  I’m not against them, but they don’t really have any special meaning.  Nor did I want to do something lame like cut up their wedding invitation and put it into a Christmas ball.  Not only is that not very attractive, but to me, it’s like giving someone their invitation in a frame; it comes across as cheap and not very creative.  (I’m a strong believer that couples will save their invitations and other wedding mementos in their own way that befits their own style.)

I went more with a (loose) theme of love, home, and happiness.  I opted for a bluebird of happiness.  The old story goes that two young children went all over the place looking for the bluebird of happiness, only to go home and find it there.  So this was my Christmas-ornament interpretation of that:

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The secret to getting the bird in there is acetate.  I’ve tried in the past to get paper inside one of these glass ornaments, and it was a disaster.  The paper didn’t want to unroll properly once inside, and it looked crumpled and messy.  I searched a long time online one night and ran across this tutorial, which neatly explained how to do what I wanted to do.  The one change I would make to the instructions is to buy acetate in the specialty craft paper section of the craft store.  (I bought mine at Hobby Lobby.)  The instructions say to use overhead projector sheets, but as a former teacher, I can tell you that they yellow.  Badly.  One summer in a Texas attic, and that ornament will be ruined.  (Although, admittedly, I don’t know how the stuff from the craft section will fare.  I’m just hoping it’s better, as it appears to be made of much sturdier stuff.)

A little touch I added was to use shrink plastic to cut out their initial.  (Remember Shrinky Dinks?  Yeah, that stuff.)  I cut their initial out with my Sizzix, colored it in with some Tim Holtz Distress Stain, punched a hole in it, then put it in the toaster oven to shrink.  I then threaded some ribbon through it and attached it to the top of the ornament like a little charm.

I also changed things up by using seed beads inside the ornament, instead of glitter.  The beads can rattle around in there, but they won’t stick to the glass like glitter does.  This was super important, as the ornament had to be shipped from Oklahoma to Texas.

I like big, fluffy bows, so I added that to the top.  As for the bird itself, I used a Martha Stewart stamp and watercolor pencils to color it in like an Eastern Bluebird, which I’m fully aware the stamp is not.  It gets the point across, regardless.

I sent it to a friend back home to take to the church shower for me, as I couldn’t be there.  I’ve already heard some nice things about it, so I think it was a success!

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2 Responses to “Handmade Wedding Gift”

  1. Nancy May 24, 2013 at 3:02 PM #

    That is such a neat idea and I’m sure will be a treasured heirloom for the lucky couple! You did good!!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Christmas Ornaments | The Oklahoma Texan - October 8, 2013

    […] a regular gift, I made a Christmas ornament for the couple’s first Christmas tree.  Like last time, I went for a bluebird of happiness, but I changed things up a bit.  First, this shower was for […]

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