Make a Kitschy Embellished Ornament

embellished-ornamentIt’s time to start tree #2! Like my Nostalgic Tree, this one started last year with a vague idea of doing something 60’s themed. But the ornaments I was making kept fighting. The mod foam ornaments did not work with the Holiday Shadowboxes, despite my best efforts in pretending they did. And my pom pom garland, as adorable as it was, clashed with the mason jar vignette. So I took the ornaments I made last year, grouped them together with what worked, and came up with the solution. I had two different trees on my hands. One old-fashioned and traditional, and the other full of all the mod styles I love so much from midcentury design. I leaned all the way in to that mod style until I went straight to kitsch. And I couldn’t love it more.


step-1I found a giant bag of satin thread covered ornaments at my thrift store and I snatched them right up. I remember a few of these still hanging around from when I was tiny, but no one makes them these days. The thread can unravel and make quite a mess, but I’ve got a plan to fix that. These ornaments were a serious staple for a long time, so you can find them pretty regularly at thrift stores, and really easily on ebay.


step-2I made several different options with my embellishments, playing around with patterns and different combinations. For this one I gave the ornament a ric rac belt with the help of a little hot glue. A tiny amount of hot glue to the ends will keep that ric rac from fraying, and now that those satin threads have the glued ribbon to hold them in place, they’re a lot less likely to unravel.


step-3Then I glued on some great big iridescent sequins. Be careful with the hot glue because it will come up through those holes in the middle and get you if you’re not looking out.


step-4To finish off the little holiday satellite look I’ve got going on I added some little pearl beads and then a pearl head pin. These satin threaded ornaments can occasionally be found with a styrofoam middle and if that’s the case you can stick that pin straight down and in to the foam. If you have a plastic ornament like me, use a wire cutter to cut the head off the pin. Glue the pin onto the pearl bead and then on to the sequin. If you glue the pearl first it can be hard to get everything lined up correctly, so pin to pearl, then pearl to sequin.


kitsch-ornamentBefore I decided this ornament was finished I added a few smaller sequins sprinkled between my little pearl towers. It’s hard to know when to stop, but on this kind of a project more is more. It is supposed to be kitschy after all.