Feature Friday- Vintage Christmas Ornaments

by Susan Myers on October 26, 2012

Vintage Christmas Ornaments/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #ornaments #holiday @suzy6281

My grandmother was a crafter too.  She was amazingly talented with sewing, crocheting, cooking…well, you name it.  I like to think that I got some of my talent from her.  When she passed away a few years ago, I was given her collection of unfinished craft kits that she had stored in her attic.

You see, my grandmother belonged to the National Handcraft Craft Club, and every month she received one of their kits in the mail.  Each included everything that she would need to complete the kit, including little packets of paint and glue and fully illustrated instructions along with a postcard illustrating the finished project.

Vintage Christmas Ornaments/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #ornaments #holiday @suzy6281

The National Handcraft organization no longer exists.  In fact, this particular kit is exactly 40 years old!  Last year, I put together a different one of these kits – the Vintage Bouquet, where I used seeds that were nearly as old as me.  Now I’m going to try my hand at a Christmas ornament kit!

Vintage Christmas Ornaments/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #ornaments #holiday @suzy6281

Don’t you just love the vintage plastic pieces!  Everything in the kit seemed in prime condition.  Well, except for the red ribbon.  You can see in the photo that it is fraying.  In fact, it fell apart on me shortly after this photo was taken.  But everything else was there and ready to go after waiting patiently for 40 years.

This Kit Included:

Clear Plastic Tubes
Foam Half Balls
Plastic foliage, and holiday pieces
“Snow” material
Red Ribbons
Gold Cording
Gold Rick-Rack Braid
Special Adhesive
Styrofoam Dust

I know some of those kit components sound vague, but that is how it is written.

Vintage Christmas Ornaments/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #ornaments #holiday @suzy6281Vintage Christmas Ornaments/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #ornaments #holiday @suzy6281

I started with the six foam half-balls, coating them in the “special adhesive” which I’m pretty sure was just white school glue.  I place a toothpick in each one for easy handling and then dipped them into the styrofoam dust.

Vintage Christmas Ornaments/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #ornaments #holiday @suzy6281

After they dried, I began to assemble my little scenes using the plastic pieces and the “snow material”, which appeared to be bits of batting.

Vintage Christmas Ornaments/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #ornaments #holiday @suzy6281

Vintage Christmas Ornaments/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #ornaments #holiday @suzy6281

Vintage Christmas Ornaments/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #ornaments #holiday @suzy6281

Here are the ornaments before I encased them in their plastic tubes.  My favorite are the deer.  I just love the vintage look of all of them.

Vintage Christmas Ornaments/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #ornaments #holiday @suzy6281

Final assembly included gluing the clear tubes to each of the scene bases, and gluing the other half-ball to the top.  Since the red ribbon had expired, I went with some red and green ribbon from my stash.  I glued it around the top and bottom edges of the tubes, and then added the gold rick-rack to the outer edges of the ribbon.  Plastic red beads were glued to the bottom, and the gold cording was added to the top as hangers, along with tiny ribbon bows.

After 40 years, this Christmas ornament kit has finally had it’s day!

Vintage Christmas Ornaments/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #ornaments #holiday @suzy6281Vintage Christmas Ornaments/Suzys Artsy Craftsy Sitcom #ornaments #holiday @suzy6281

I love these little vintage pieces of the past.  I have plans on re-creating similar ornaments with modern materials.  Stay tuned for that tutorial in the near future!

In the meantime, if a monthly craft club interests you, you might want to check out Craftsy as they do offer a similar club.

Daily Crafting Deals at Craftsy.com

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rena December 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm

my mother also belonged to this craft club years ago and I have one of these ornaments, the one with the little red bird. It is my favorite memory to get out each year when we unpack the decorations. I can’t wait to show my daughters this blog when they come home for Christmas, it will be really cool for them to see the whole collection. Thanks for sharing the wonderful memory!

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2 Cindy Stiles November 29, 2012 at 8:11 am

You should join the site called http://www.pinterest.com so others can pin it and enjoy your work – love the idea!!! Cindy

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3 Suzy November 29, 2012 at 8:21 am

Hi Cindy,

I am a member of pinterest- http://pinterest.com/suzyssitcom/
There should be “Pin” buttons on every page of my site. Let me know if you don’t see them.

Thank you so much for your kind words!

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4 Lois November 3, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Oh my gosh, my mother had those! I remember that craft-of-the-month club she subscribed to. She also put together a cute music box with mice on it, and lots of other things that I don’t recall. All gone now, of course, as they fell apart after years of being packed away, or else she gave them away to friends. Some of my best childhood memories are of my mother and I making holiday decorations every year at Christmas time. How lucky you are to have found these!

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5 Suzy November 4, 2012 at 11:42 am

Hi Lois!

That is what I love about them the most. The memories they bring back! Thanks for stopping by!
suzy

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6 Debra October 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I like those. I would hang them on my tree. What a wonderful inheritence. :D

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7 Pam Rush October 27, 2012 at 10:25 am

My great-grandmother used to make similar ornaments but she used the plastic balls from the toy machines at the store. You know, the ones with the little toys inside them? She came up with the original idea, but my mom perfected it by adding cute little details that made the figures inside easier to see. She took one out to the fair a few years ago and won a first place ribbon.

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8 Suzy October 27, 2012 at 11:51 am

Hi Pam!

That’s a great idea! Not having kids in the house, I totally forgot about those toy machines! Sounds like you have a whole family of crafty folks too!

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9 Jane George October 27, 2012 at 7:31 am

Suzy, I have those ornaments, my Mother belonged to the club, there was a group of neighborhood women who joined it together and they would get together once a month at each others houses and put the kits together. For some reason I put those ornaments together, don’t remember why, I was newly married and was probably trying to build up my Christmas Ornament collection. I still hang them every year, I remember a long ago neighbor wanted one for her collection, but I would not part with them. We just celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary and those ornaments will come out again this year. Enjoy yours and your memories, I know I will. Jane

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10 Suzy October 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Hi Jane!

I think it is just wonderful that you have a set of ornaments like this to remind you of your mom. I know I won’t part with mine, even if I’m the one that made them, in my heart, they still belong to my grandmother. I just finally brought them to life.

I love that you mom used to meet with a group to put together their kits! I actually meet with several family members once a month to do a Pinterest project. It’s a great chance to get out, try something new and gossip away. :)

Thanks for writing!

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11 Laura / Pet Scribbles October 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm

How fun that you have these kits after all these years! I love that – especially that your grandmother belonged to a “handcraft” club back then. Crafting runs in your family!

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12 Lynda October 26, 2012 at 11:22 am

They turned out beautiful!!!! Grandma would be so happy to see those finally finished.

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13 Paula October 26, 2012 at 9:48 am

there gorgeous, and do love the Deer, and what a keepsake, to remind you of your crafty Grandma!!!!!!
cant wait to see how you make updated ones!!!

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