Broken PVC pipe ornament
image by Photo and debris ornament by Ryn Gargulinski
Your Christmas tree can be filled with original art at a fraction of the cost of those store-bought ornaments. Just put on your creative cap and make Christmas ornaments from debris. Not only is this practice inexpensive, it’s also easy, fun and will make any ho-hum tree quite unusual.
Find your debris. You want lightweight pieces usually no bigger than your fist. If you plan to draw a picture on them, look for a smooth surface, such as plastic, metal or sanded wood. Make sure they are not too heavy for the tree. An old tire won’t work. A small hunk of rubber from a tire will work. Whatever you choose, rinse well and wash in soapy water if necessary. Good places to fish for debris include outside, at flea markets or salvage yards, or in your own garage, basement or attic.
Paint the base coat. If you hate the blackened look for the rubber hunk, paint it with a more soothing hue. Likewise, spray or brush on a thin coat of color to other debris that needs one.
Adorn with details. Holiday pictures are good if you like to draw. Pick an illustration that matches the shape of your debris. If something has jagged edges, make it a star. Fat, round pieces make very good snowmen. Triangular shapes want to be Santa hats or Christmas trees. Anything that looks like a body is screaming to be a gingerbread man. Rather than filling the debris with one picture, you can also draw a series of festive polka dots, stars or little sprigs of holly. Once it’s dry, spray the ornament with a sealer, such as polyurethane.
Secure wire in place. Take advantage of any holes, loops or crevices in the debris to attach a loop of wire in place. If your debris has none of the above, glue a small picture hanger loop to the back and then loop the wire.
Hook the hook and hang with care. Once the glue and top coat is dry, attach an ornament hook or unbent paperclip to the wire. Hang your ornament in a safe place that won’t get easily knocked down.