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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fabulous Glass Ornaments

I spent weeks searching, late into the night, for an easy-to-make Christmas Ornament that amazed me.  After many-a-clicks, I finally found instructions to make this beauty!!!  It will be one of our Super Saturday crafts and I will show you how to make it.  First, if you would like to see the original video tutorial you can find it HERE at Liz's Paper Loft. 

Materials:
Glass or Clear Plastic Christmas Bulbs
1 sheet of Overhead Projector Film {bought at Office Max for $0.40}
1 Image per Bulb you are making
Glue-For the silhouette I just used hot glue :0)
Snow Flakes-like for a Christmas Village 
{bought at craft stores-Hobby Lobby already has theirs out in July}

Poor Baby Jesus, he got a little dirty after things got little crazy with the distressing ink.  I was too lazy to cut out another baby, so we will all just have to suffer.  How clean do you think that trough manger was anyway?

First step to this ornament is to cut a bulb shape out of the overhead projector film {also called acetate paper}.  I used my Silhouette to cut it, but you can free-hand draw one or print this file if you want.  I got about 9 out of one sheet of film.  My bulbs said they were 2 5/8" wide, so I made the ornament 2 1/2", just smaller so that the film would not bow or bubble and catch the light inside the ornament.

***Update*** This just in :0) Lori Whitlock, designer of the nativity cutout, contacted me last night to let me know she made a FREE downloadable file for the clear ornament insert.  This file includes a JPG for printing as well as SVG and DXF files for you Silhouette, Cricut Expression, and any other cutting machine that will use these files.  You can find it at this post  on her blog LoriWhitlock.com
The original video uses a circle, not the ornament shape.  They then spend a great deal of time trying to get glue dots into the glass bulb using tweezers to hold the circle of plastic in place.  Envisioning several ladies surrounding one Super Saturday table with tweezers raised in the air and cursing my name, I brainstormed for a better way to make the film stay in place.  That was when I decided to just leave a stem on the circle, like an ornament!  Ahoy!  It works perfectly...but more on that later. 

Glue the image to the ornament shape, just below centered, and with the step pointing straight up.  In the end, you will put a bow on the ornament and need the image down a little to be able to see it after you glue the bow on.

***2013 Update***
I no longer use paper nativities.  I have fallen in love with vinyl and skip the whole glue the shape to the insert step with self adhesive nativities.
Here is what I do instead:
Purchase Nativities And/Or Ornament Inserts from TheBubbleBox on Etsy {also known as me ;0}  Once they come in the mail, cut the nativities apart, pull out your clear inserts and follow along.
Peel the white paper backing off the transfer tape. The nativity should be stuck to the transfer tape {the opaque sticky paper}. Lay the transfer tape with nativity down on a table, sticky side up. Now take your clear ornament insert, with tab at the top, and lay the clear insert on top of the transfer tape/nativity. I like to do it this way so I can see where the nativity is going. 

I center the nativity in the middle of the insert side to side, but just a little lower than center when you look from top to bottom. . If you put bows on you will want the nativity just a little lower than centered. 

Turn the whole thing over so the transfer tape side is up, and rub it all down with your fingers to make sure the black nativity sticker is stuck down. Now you will peel off the clearish transfer tape, leaving just the nativity stuck to the clear ornament insert. 

When I peel that transfer tape off, I don't pull it up necessarily, I like to start it peeling back, then more or less drag it off. By dragging it, the vinyl tends to stay in place better. If you lift up with that transfer tape it can pull the vinyl up as well.

I give one extra for every dozen ordered usually so you have extras to play with. I suggest making one ornament from start to finish first so you can adjust anything that needs to be changed.

When you are done, your insert will look something like this.

Here is the magical part.  Put your wands away ladies, you are gonna fold it!

Roll 'er up like a taco and....

Insert!  Like a message in a bottle.  This is so fun, the kids will love it!  You just may want to buy the plastic ornaments so you aren't Swiffering glass shards off the kitchen floor in the middle of your craftiness time.

OK, once it is inside it will just pop open, but you can see how the sides are still bent inward a little.  

Grab the tweezers now and bend the sides backwards until they lie straight on their own.

There!  Aaaawwwe!  How sweet is that!?!

Now for the messy part.  I happen to have a funnel just the right size to fit into the ornament.  If you don't, you can make a cone out of paper {I do this like once a week-when Emmalee has stolen my funnel and is using it to play doctor with the cat ;0} and insert it into the ornament to act like a funnel.  The lady on the video just shoves the snow right into the hole using her fingers, no funnel.  You could do it that way too, but it is even messier.

Put the funnel on the front side of the film and put in somewhere around 2 tsp. of snowflakes.  Take the funnel out, then put it back in the ornament behind the plastic film.  Put in another 2 tsp. of snow.  I am just guessing here, but I think you can get 24 or more ornaments all snowy inside with one small bag of the snow.  I bought the sparkly kind, which comes in an even smaller bag, and have plenty of snow for two dozen ornaments or more if I feel so inclined.

There :0)  Cute baby lying in a manger all surrounded by snow {Sigh}  

Whatever part of the plastic film that sticks out of the top of the ornament, snip off with scissors so you can put the lid on.  

Here is the other ornament.  I bought this image from the Silhouette store online and used my Silhouette machine to cut it out.  Don't you just love it!!!   If you have another cutting machine, she sells the file in different formats.  You can contact her at her personal website.

Here are the ornaments after I put bows on them, plus two more I made.
Hubby asked what would happen if the snow got shaken, so I shook it.  This is what happens.  You have snow stuck to the glass.  I think I kinda like it.  It makes me envision a snowy, blissful night.  I guess it is kinda like a snowglobe too.  You can decide if you like it better with or without the snow.  
Here is the ornament, same shape, without the snow.  You really have to see these in person to get the beauty, and magic, of how the image just hovers and you can't see the film holding it there.  Liz, the inventor, is a genius!


I used die cuts to make these two.  Really any shape would be awesome.  You could do family photos also.  

Four stars were used to make this ornament 3D inside.  I made one mistake when I chose pattern paper that was only one sided.  You can see the white one the sides of the star that are folded out-watch out for that.

I did a holly bulb because I am obsessed with holly.  I think it is adorable.  

Anyway, this was, hands down, the most amazing, easy to make ornament I found.  I would love to see yours if you decide to make some.  I may just have to re-post this idea when Christmas is actually near and the rest of the world is thinking about what to put on their tree.

In the mean time, we will be making these at Super Saturday!!!  Yay!  Only 6 weeks to go :0)

***UPDATE***I now have the nativity cutouts {made out of vinyl} for sale on my Etsy Site for $4 a dozen!!!  I also have a listing for BOTH the nativities AND the acetate ornament cutouts for $8 a dozen.  I can cut out as many as you need!!!  Read more about that HERE or just go right to the source to pick up a set or more :0)***

79 comments:

  1. These are so pretty!!! Thanks for the awesome tutorial!:)

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  2. These are beautiful! I am so glad Ashley (Cute as a Fox) sent me over here.

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  3. aaahhhhh!!!! i ADORE these, they're wonderful! : )

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    1. I absolutely love this. I am so picky with my ornaments.....and this is a 12!
      thankyou for sharing.LW

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  4. I'm glad you liked my ornaments. I love the way you changed them and made it your own!

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  5. How can I find the nativity image? I do not have a silhouette machine but would love to make these ornaments with the nativity scene inside. Any suggestions?

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  6. OK, as far as getting your hands on the nativity pieces, if you don't have a silhouette machine, but you do have a cricut or other electronic cutter, you can purchase the file from the designer directly at:

    http://www.loriwhitlock.com/blog/die-cutting/

    If you simply want the cutouts, email me and I will see about cutting some out for you. My email is vanessa.cam5@gmail.com

    Thanks for asking!!!

    Vanessa
    The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker
    www.sewcakemake.blogspot.com

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  7. Thanks for posting this! I may have to make some of these myself : )
    I hadn't thought of using my nativity that way. I've seen others cut it from vinyl and adhere it to a tile, etc. Have a lovely day!

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  8. Thanks for posting your great ornaments! I printed my pictures right on to the transparency paper...the black ink ones look the best but so excited about finishing them!! I will try to send you a picture when we finish them!

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  9. I love these, Vanessa! We still have the baby Jesus ornament that you "helped" Zach (now 8) make in Nursery many years ago~You are one talented woman!

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  10. What ornament design did you use from Silhouette? I have a silhouette and wanted to find the same one so I had the right shape.

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  11. Tiffany,

    I just drew an ornament I think. Email me directly and I will forward the file to you. It is already in Silhouette format, all ready to use.

    Thanks,
    Vanessa
    The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

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  12. Vanessa-
    I just shared a link to this great post on my blog. These are indeed beautiful, thanks so much for the how-to!

    Wendy
    www.wmcraftgoodies.blogspot.com

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  13. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these!!! I just bought the same nativity for my Silhouette. Next trip out I'm gonna get some glass balls, ribbon and Overhead Projector Film. AWESOME!!!!

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  14. I am in love with this ornament!!!! I can't believe how easy it is. It looks like it would be so hard to do. Thank you for sharing. Can't wait to make this.

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  15. Thank you! Your idea is wonderful. I'm going to give it a try. I'm making ornaments for small children using kid photos. I'm excited to do this!
    I love your tips on the projector film sheets.
    Happy Holidays to you!
    Love, Brenda

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  16. These are amazing!! Thanks for the tutorial!

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  17. Neat Idea. I bought the Silhouette Navity scene just the other day, so I'm off to try this. Can you tell me the size you cut it out at?

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  18. These are so cute! I already have the nativities and I have downloaded the plastic shape but how do how do I get the plastic shape into my silhouette library. Can you help a tech challenged lady?

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  19. I made the nativities 1 3/4" wide and almost that tall. Just as a note, I ran out to buy three more overhead sheets from Office Max and it cost me a total of $1.30!!! How is that for affordable!?!

    Thank you all for your comments :0) Warm fuzzies all around!

    Vanessa
    The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker
    www.sewcakemake.blogspot.com

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  20. Tammy,

    If you click on "File" at the top of your Silhouette Studio software a drop-down menu will appear. Seven options from the bottom, "My Library" should just magically contain your files. Double click on your image you want to use, and it should appear on your page. If that isn't the case, you can try the "Import My Library" option and see where that gets you. Feel free to email me with any other questions!!!

    Vanessa
    The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker
    vanessa.cam5@gmail.com

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  21. Love this idea! Thanks for the great step-by-step instructions.

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  22. I'm new to using the silhouette sd. Do you know what blade I should use (or if you have the Cameo - what is the mm?), and the cut settings (depth, speed?) and which mat? I'm sorry to ask so many questions, I'm trying to learn from those more experienced :) This is a beautiful ornament!

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  23. I'm sorry, for the above comment - I should've specified. I'm wondering that information for cutting the transparency, not the vinyl. :)
    Thank you!

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  24. Holly,

    I use the red blade on my Silhouette. I don't have the Cameo so can't help you there. Use the deepest cutting blade I would guess. The red blade doesn't quite cut through, more like scores the plastic overhead film, but with a little tiny bit of scissors they are pretty easy to cut after the silhouette has gone through.

    Don't know if that helps :0) Thanks for commenting!
    Vanessa
    The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

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  25. Would you mind sending me the ornament template for Silhouette? Thanks very much for showing how you did this! I clicked over to the original to watch her video as well...

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  26. Also, I am a relatively new Silhouette Cameo user... HOW, in the name of all things Christmas! did you cut your nativity scene so small and have it turn out? I sized mine to 2" and it's still a disaster! Did you use vinyl or cardstock? So sorry to bother you with all of my questions!

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  27. These are so wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing this amazing project!

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  28. Tara, I cut the nativities out of black cardstock. If yours are not cutting well I would ask two questions. 1-how old is your blade. If it is tearing things up, that could be the problem {do you use your silhouette alot?} Next, is your mat sticky enough to hold the paper in place. If it isn't sticky any more, you can re-stickify it with this glue...Aleene's Tack-It Over & Over Glue

    http://www.amazon.com/Aleenes-Tack--Over-Glue--oz/dp/B00178QQ84/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1322882116&sr=8-1

    Squirt a tiny bit in a paper cup or something like that. Add equal parts water and stir until mixed. Next, brush it on you mat, covering the whole area that is supposed to be sticky. Then just set it aside to dry. In 20 minutes to an hour it should be ready to go and stickier than ever. I think I bought my glue from Micheals, but it might have been Hobby Lobby.

    If you still aren't getting those to cut, let me know and I can mail you some lickety split :0) I am charging $3, shipping included, for 12.

    Feel free to keep asking!!!!

    Thanks and good luck!
    Vanessa
    The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker at
    http://sewcakemake.blogspot.com

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  29. I love this.
    Can you send me the file for the overhead plastic circle thing? my email is christinestrong@gmail.com
    Thanks,
    Chris

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  30. Does Office Max sell the transparency paper by the sheet? What do I ask for?

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  31. Jacquie, They sure do! Just ask for a transparency...actually two transparencies and they should come to less than a buck! What a deal

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  32. I can't wait to make these. I'm having a bit of trouble getting the file to work in the Silhouette studio software. Any tips?

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  33. Thank you! I am heading there today. I love this ornament.

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  34. I know this is kind of an old blog post...

    How did you manage to glue the silhouette to the projector material? I know you said hot glue, but I can't even begin to imagine how that would workd (and how you could avoid ruining your image)!

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  35. Well, they do sell fine tipped hot glue guns. I bought that and it works sometimes :0) The glue gun I use now is the ad tech Project Pro {bought at Micheals} {you can see it at the ad tech site at this link:

    http://www.adtech-craft.com/shop/page/product_detail/Product/77f9cc2c4fe62a28043b7e42a6da7aea.html

    I just use that glue gun, only high heat glue sticks {low heat does not stick once cooled} and go slow. Try it. You can hold your paper piece with tweezers if you need to. Every once in a while I get a blob of hot glue that oozes out the the front of the paper piece, but usually it can be hot glued fairly neatly and easily.

    The product I would have used other than hot glue, had I any in my house at the time,would be the Xyron 2.5" sticker maker {available at Amazon at this link:

    http://www.amazon.com/Xyron-XRN250-CFT--Sticker-Permanent-Adhesive-Cartridge/dp/B000E147WW/ref=sr_1_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1323291172&sr=1-1

    or my other favorite is the sheet of sticky dots by Thermoweb. Here is a link for that at Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/Sticky-Die-Cut-Adhesive-Sheets-Package/dp/B000XAJ5GC/ref=sr_1_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1323291266&sr=1-1

    Either the sticker machine or the sticky dots can be found at Micheals, Joanns, Hobby Lobby... and they all have 40% off coupons right now. Just remember if going for the sticker machine, the cheaper, 1.5" machine is not big enough to fit the dies!!!

    Thanks for you question and let me know if I can answer any more :0)
    Vanessa
    The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

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  36. Hi again,

    I was able to get the transparency. Thanks. I just have one more question. How did you do your bows? Did you tie a bow and then attach it or tie it on the ornament? If you tied it and then attached it, how did you attach it?
    Mine are coming out cute. Great project. Thanks again.

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  37. Now you want me to expose my secrets, huh? It gets kinda dirty here :0) I tied a bow, then hot glued it to the front. Shhhh...Don't tell anyone I cheated!

    Vanessa

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  38. Okay, I'm impressed even more. So simple and yet who knew. As far as adhering the items to the transparency, I tried my spray sewing adhesive. It is temporary and the edges are coming up but I am going to go pick up some other more permanent one today.

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  39. I guess I'm just kind of confused about HOW the adhesive (hot glue, in this case) is applied. Where is it applied? Do you only apply it on the paper? Do you apply it in a thin layer all over the transparency sheet? And how is it applied?

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  40. Thank you for such an awesome project! I'm so excited to make these, and happy I found them right in time for Christmas gifts.

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  41. Haha, oh no! I tried a "test run" today, and it was so messy and gross looking. Are you sure you use hot glue on this? It's so sloppy and doesn't have a seamless look whatsoever... either I'm totally doing it wrong, or I'm (hopefully) way off the mark!

    Here's what my test run looked like: http://imgur.com/a/qEZTL

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  42. I did apply the hot glue to the paper piece. I am sorry it didn't work for you. I have shopped around quite a bit for hot glue guns for my clippies and have one that puts out a fairly small stream of glue.

    Couple thoughts, try a glue stick. I can't guarantee it will stick forever, but you could try. That or Elmers glue...or even modgepodge. It dries pretty clear. YOu could modgepodge the whole plastic ornament piece, stick your paper piece on that, and modge podge over. I can't guarantee it will be see through, but you could give it a try. The other thing would be to laminate the shape, then cut the ornament shape out of the lamination. Don't like that idea? Just take your cut outs to the copy store and have them print the design directly to the transparency. I didn't like the look, the shape ended up transparent too, but it might work if the glue is an issue for you. You can always go over it with permanent marker to make it darker if you want.

    Keep me posted...I love the picture! Even if it is of something that didn't turn out right :0)

    Thanks,
    Vanessa
    The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

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  43. I am having luck with spray adhesive. I spray the paper piece and wait a few minutes then use tweezers to place it on the transparency. (If I put it on right away, it was too wet and slid around, making a big mess) Let it set a minute or so and then roll it and put it in the ornament. I am just using using 3M general purpose 45 spray. It was one of the cheapest at JoAnns.

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  44. This tut is great! I made one this morning and gave it away at an ornament exchange tonight! It was loved. I didn't use the ornament cut-outs provided in file from Lori...and wish I had. So I'm gonna try those next. Thank You so MUCH!

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  45. Katelyn,
    So glad to hear your ornament turned out. Thanks so much for coming back and telling us about it!!! I love to hear about success!

    Vanessa
    The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

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  46. Okay...I'm late to the party on this...does anyone have the settings for the Cameo, to cut transparency?

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  47. I don't have a cutting machine, so I think I'll try printing the image directly onto the transparency. I'll let you know how that works out!

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  48. You know, I did that. It totally works, but the image is a little see-through. Maybe tell them to make it extra dark or something. My Office Max might have been holding back on the ink :0) Good luck to you!

    Vanessa

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  49. If you by chance remember, what was the total cost for this craft? We're thinking of using it for our Fall Super Saturday in October.

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    1. I think we charged $2 a bulb, but I try to make Super Saturday support its self and add a little extra to each item to pay for food and other supplies. You could probably get away with charging less if you want to make it cheaper, but our sisters still ordered tons at $2 and no one thought that was high :0) I was able to get the glass bulbs at 40% off at HObby Lobby. I have a silhouette, but if you need the circles and the nativities cut, my friend at http://www.cuteasafox.com/ is willing to cut them out for like $.30 a piece {nativity}. If you want the project stress free it is a great way to go!

      Vanessa

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  50. DARLING!! And so easy!!! I'll be featuring this tomorrow. Come join in on the fun at a linky party! 15 weeks of Christmas, 15 different themes!! See you there.
    http://justsimplychristmas.blogspot.com/p/please-read-to-participants.html
    Jess

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  51. Thank you for sharing your idea. I think a family picture would look great too!

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  52. Thank you for sharing. Your ornaments are BEAUTIFUL!!!!

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  53. Thanks so much for sharing - I LOVE it! We've linked up to you in our post "Clear Ornament Inspiration."
    http://youpinspireme.blogspot.ca/2012/12/clear-ornament-inspiration.html

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  54. I have also made ornaments like these, using the clear acetate, but I print a picture of my child's face and cut it out smaller then the acetate circle, write the pertinent info on the back, glue it on the center of the acetate then wrap it around a pencil and slide the pencil down into the ornament then pull the pencil back up leaving the acetate. I then decorate the outside of the glass ball with gold and/or silver paint pen with stars, put a ribbon on and ta da, a floating head ornament. It's fun to put them up each year and look back at the old ones and how the kids have grown.

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  55. I wish I was in your ward for Super Saturday! My ward doesn't do them and I really miss them! Just found your blog and I'm obsessed with it! :)

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    1. Kari, you are a doll :0} I know what you mean about Super Saturday. We just moved into a new ward and they totally don't do it. Guess I will have to strike here too until they let me put one on. So glad you like the blog. Let me know if you ever have any questions!!! I love questions :0}

      Vanessa
      The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

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  56. I have a quick question. Did you use the transparency paper with the star one? I am making 25 of these for a meaningful Christmas exchange and I just wanted to know:))

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    1. Yes I did. I used the transparency for all.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Vanessa

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  57. I'm confused. LOL The Star looks 3D. How did you do that on a transparency? To me it looks like there is an actual 3D star hanging in mid air. Amazing!! Love you tutorial. It's very easy to understand (except the magic star).

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    1. Lol. Well, I punched four of these stars out of paper. I also cut out an acetate ornament shape. I glued one star, centered, onto to the transparency. I just used hot glue for that too. I took the next star, ran a bead of hot glue down the center of that second star and placed it right on top of the first. Next, I turned over the transparency and did the same to the other side. Now is the kind of tricky part. I rolled the whole thing up and stuffed it into the bulb. Once it was all in there, it opened up, but the papers are all rolled or curled up a bit. I used a pair of tweezers to bend the curls in the opposite direction of the curl to try and straighten them out. Once they looked good, I used the tweezers to open each side of the stars.

      Does that make any sense? I will be posting new ornaments tonight or tomorrow and will try to show that one too. I will let you know if I get it up.

      Thanks so much for commenting!!!

      Vanessa
      The SewCakeMaker

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    2. Thanks Vanessa, that does make sense. And here I thought it was some kind of magic! Looking forward to the new ornaments. Your instructions are so easy to follow and understand. Thanks for that. Some tutorials leave you more confused than when you started. : )

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  58. Love your blog and this project - so creative and fun! Just wanted to let you know I featured it in my roundup of glass ornament crafts here. Feel free to check it out if you want and hope you like it! : )

    -Mel the Crafty Scientist

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  59. Your directions are the most comprehendible and complete on this project! So glad I found it. I was inspired to make a bout of dozen of these for my catechist team. I printed a color image of the Nativity right onto the transparency. My thanks to the owner of the image, I wish I remember where on the web I found it, I'm not selling them so I hope I am forgiven. Not sure how to post a picture here so I will message you on FB. Thank you again for directions on this project.

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    1. Well Thank you! And I do love your picture you sent me through FB. I plan to re-post it on the FB page. Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and share!!!

      Vanessa
      The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker

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  60. Likable post,
    Firstly, I want to make a design where I want to put in my family photo. After that I go for making some new design friend and colleague.
    Egyptian Jewellery

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  61. I hope this isn't a duplicate post. My first post disappeared. Firstly, I love the ornament! I'm having so much trouble getting the file in to my Silhouette library. It is on my desktop but when I try to open it in my library it says the type of file can't be accessed. Any help would be appreciated!

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  62. Peggy, tell me first if you have a mac or a pc. Second, have you updated your silhouette studio recently? I am out of town, but will be home Monday if you can wait that long for me to email a new file. Email me at Vanessa.cam5@gmail dot com and I can message you more directly til we find a solution. Best of luck! Vanessa

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  63. Thank you for you quick answer! I just saw this but I will e mail you. :)

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  64. I just saw this link posted on the "Silhouette for Beginners" facebook group! So fun to see something I recognized ;-) I'm going to give these a try this year!

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  65. GREAT TUTORIAL I posted a link to your blog on my site on Facebook Silhouette Crazy Crafty, Thanks it has been inspiration and helpful to many!

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    1. Awesome!!! Thanks so much Sarah. Things are more than crazy around my house with Christmas so close and so many people making these ornaments. I appreciate you taking the time to link to my project! Best wishes for a happy, snugly warm holiday season to you!
      Vanessa
      The SewCakeMaker ;0}

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  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  67. I haven't read through all of the posts. (There are so many!) But couldn't you just draw the scene on the clear transparency with a permanent marker? Beware the picture will be backward if you turn it around, so don't use letters or words unless they are symmetrical! If you aren't adventurous enough to use a permanent marker you could use white board eraseable markers, but you'd have to be careful not to touch the picture when you get it just right. Also I have seen glow-in-the-dark glitter that would probably work inside the bulb . These are very pretty ornaments! They'd be great for any church activity!

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  68. {bought at craft stores-Hobby Lobby already has theirs out in July} ... hobbylobbychristmas.blogspot.com

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