We all like Christmas ornaments; they add sparkle and interest to the Christmas tree. They come in so many different shapes and sizes and there are new ideas in the stores each year. Some of us like to buy ornaments, and some of us like to make them. When you are looking for Christmas ornaments to make, if you are anything like me then you will be looking for the unusual or different, something out of the ordinary. Some of the more unusual handmade Christmas ornaments that I have come across include temari balls, beaded charms, quilted balls, and beaded snowflakes. As you can see I like decorations that glitter!

Temari Balls

Temari Balls are from an ancient Japanese folk craft. The balls can be made of anything (originally it was bits of old kimono shredded but nowadays anything from paper, wood chips, felt, Styrofoam balls or rice can used). The interesting thing about these balls is that there is a lot of preparation to get the structure and texture correct for what is essentially embroidery on top. After getting the ball, a layer of wool is wrapped around the ball, as evenly as possible until nothing can be seen of the ball. Next a reel of normal thread or cotton or silk is taken and wrapped over the top of the yarn, again as evenly as possible to cover the yarn and give the base for the embroidery. After this step it really depends what design you choose to follow. The ball is divided into sections to make it easier to follow the embroidery and there are many colors and stitches that can be used. Here is an example of a temari snowflake

Temari Snowflake By WK LagerPhoto Courtesy WKlager
The pattern is symmetrical as you can see. For more patterns try TemariKari

Beaded Ornaments

Beaded Christmas ornaments can be made using a variety of different size, shape and color beads. There are two types that I have found to be different Brickwork beading and Swarovski drops.
Brickwork beading is using small seed beads woven together to make a picture. This is worked using a needle and thread. The woven beads will make a two dimensional image that can be seen from both sides. I have used this method to make Christmas Earrings for friends, and to use for bon bon gifts and also to hang on the tree. There are patterns available for Christmas Trees, angels, snowmen, Santa, reindeers you name it.
The best beads to use are Delica beads and they come in such a huge range of colors, even glittery ones!

Swarovski Crystal can be used to make wonderful reflective Christmas decorations for the tree. Swarovski crystal for beading is available in so many different shapes, sizes and colors, you can find something to suit your theme. I like the pear shaped drops and use them to make angels that can be used as ornaments on bon bons, crackers, or napkin rings. The bigger the base crystal the larger the finished decoration.
Swarovski Crystal Angel
This is a Swarovski crystal angel made with a teardrop body, circle head and wings, the halo also has a small Swarovski bead on top. The whole charm was put together on silver wire and was used as a necklace charm.

Quilted Christmas Balls

I have not made these types of ornaments, but have seen some stunning examples of the results. Basically a Styrofoam ball with contrasting patchwork materials quilted around to form a design.
The patchwork material is cut into small squares of approximately 2.5 in, then folded and pinned onto the ball to create the design. The ball is quilted one half at a time and the raw edges of each side meet around the circumference of the ball, these are covered with ribbon to finish it all off neatly.
Quilted Christmas Ornaments by Rita Marie

There are many interesting handmade Christmas ornaments around try some of these for this Christmas.