Monday, 5 December 2011

Handmade Christmas baubles

On the 5th of December Dutch people celebrate "Sinterklaas", a tradition that has similarities with Santa Claus, apart from the fact that it could be seen as discriminative for someone who doesn't know anything about this Dutch tradition. Until this date most people won't be thinking at all about Christmas. The Brits however have been in the Christmas mood since the end of November. TV ads, newspapers, radio jingles , supermarkets and shopping malls are bombarding everyone with their "amazing" offers. Roads to town are gritlocked due to heavy traffic of stressed shoppers who are socially pressured to get their presents.

For me, it's a slightly different experience. It seems ages ago since I last celebrated Sinterklaas. Christmas in our family is also more about spending quality time with eachother than about impressing eachother with expensive gifts. Preparations for this festive season started however very early for me this year because I wanted to display my handmade and painted Christmas baubles during the fair I organised for the golf club last month. People asked me how I made them so below I give you some kind of instruction. Have fun!

What you need:

* Small, medium and large polystyrene balls
* Long skewers
* Acrylic paint
* Medium sized flat brush, small round brush and another small brush
* Hot foil pen(s); (Foilplay)
* Foil (Foilplay)
* Glitter (Foilplay)
* Small pins
* Silver and golden decorative hooks
* Ribbon and/or thread

How to make your baubles:

Place a polestine ball on top of your wooden or aluminium skewer. Apply a layer of paint in a chosen colour. When dry, apply another layer in the same colour. If the layer is not opaque enough, paint another layer.
Once completely dry, take some hot foil from the pen by pressing on paper en take this liquid onto your flat brush. Apply in random strokes onto your bauble. Once dry, rub a sheet of foil over the bauble. Make sure you press hard enough and in all places. Tear off the foil. If you're not happy with the result, add some more in the same or another colour. Once dry, get some more liquid from the hot foil pen and transfer it to your small round brush. Paint a design with your brush and liquid onto your bauble. Once dry, apply some glitter with a separate brush. When you've painted and decorated the bauble, remove the skewer, add some ribbon and pin the decorative hook over it on top of the hole where the skewer was. Voila, you've got your very own, unique Christmas bauble. You can hang them in your Christmas tree, but I think you can see them better when they hang in some dried branches with lights.

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