Although I keep announcing that I’m not making anything for Christmas this year, I guess I keep proving myself wrong, because I got inspired and had to make a cute handmade ornaments to give out, gift, and decorate with! These handmade ornaments are made from pom-poms, corks, ribbon, and buttons – all things that I had readily in my craft supplies. Even if you don’t compulsively stash craft supplies like I do, you should be able to find what you need pretty easily.
To make the pompom trees you need pom-poms, cork, something to cut the cork with (I use a little metal saw), a hot glue gun, ribbon, and buttons.
If you don’t have pre-made pom-poms, it’s really easy to make your own! Wrap yarn around a couple of your fingers. Pull the yarn off carefully, and tie a knot around the center with another piece of yarn. (I used a different, smaller yarn because it was sturdier for knot tying than the large un-plied yarn I used for the pom-poms). Trim the yarn you tied around the middle, and cut each loop on the pom-pom.
Trim your pom-poms into a tree shape. Go around the tree, cutting with your scissors at an angle. Remember that you can always cut more off on a second go-around, so don’t get too carried away!
You’ll have a cone shaped pom-pom and a bunch of fluff that you can toss. Remember that trees in nature aren’t perfect, so don’t worry about making your pom-pom trees too perfect.
Thread your ribbon through the holes on a button and tie it into a knot on one side. Since my ribbon was a bit large for my button, I cut it at an angle and melted the tip a tiny bit with a candle so that it was pointed and firm so it thread through the buttonhole more easily. These would look pretty and rustic with twine, fishing wire would make them hang invisibly, and gold wire would give it some bling – so work with the materials you can find and be creative.
Trim off the free ends of the ribbon.
Cut your corks so that they are shorter. I found that corks cut in 1/2 were a bit too tall for my taste and corks cut in 1/4 were a bit too low for my taste. Corks cut in 1/3 felt just right! But these are your trees, so experiment with what you like. I like to gently saw through my cork with a little metal saw (with fine teeth) but you can also cut them with X-acto knives, boxcutters, or possibly even scissors. Just be careful with whatever sharp tool you are using!
Place a dab of hot glue on the top of the cork slice and glue it to the bottom of the tree.
Put a dab of hot glue on the knotted part of the ribbon that you threaded into the button and glue it to the top of the tree.
If you want to, you can glue on buttons to decorate the tree. These are fun and easy to whip-up in batches and make cute household decorations as well as ornaments. I got inspired to make these trees as a participant in True Bias’s 2013 ornament exchange, but I’ve decided to make another batch to stick in stockings and give to friends!