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This time of year is full of special traditions, both new and old. One of the longest standing traditions in my family is exchanging ornaments at the beginning of December. Every year since I can remember, my mom, dad, and I have each gotten a new ornament that we opened when we decorated our tree. Although I’m married now with a family of my own, we’ve continued this tradition, now we just include hubby and Little Crafter too!
I like to shop for our yearly ornaments early so that I get the best selection before everyone else buys them all. This year, I was hoping to find one for hubby that would be a memento of our move to a new home. As I was doing some shopping at my local Walmart the other day, I came across the perfect Hallmark ornament; a cute little gingerbread house that says, “New Home 2015”!
I grabbed it right away, then took a minute to look at some of the other ornaments on display. There were plenty of Hallmark ornaments to choose from, including 16 Walmart exclusives, resin figurines, Holiday Barbie, new deco figurines, and more. As I searched for just the right ornaments, I saw the cutest little snowmen wearing hats and scarves. Their hats were labeled with, “mom,” “dad,” “son,” and “daughter”…perfect! I chose one for each of my parents as well as one for Little Crafter, who absolutely loves building snowmen. And singing the, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” song…
We like to exchange these ornaments early in December so we have plenty of time to display them on our respective Christmas trees. I thought it would be nice to have cards to go along with them too, so I chose a few Hallmark cards while I was right there in Walmart.
Little Crafter is going to love this cute one with smiling snowflakes, and it goes so well with his ornament too!
Once I had my ornaments at home, I decided to come up with a fun way of packaging them. I haven’t bought my wrapping paper yet, but what I did have were some of those unfinished paper mache boxes you can find at the craft store. Here’s how I made them festive:
Paper Mache Box
DecoArt Metallic Lustre
If you haven’t seen any of my previous posts using Metallic Lustre, it’s a fabulous metallic, water-based wax that works on many different surfaces including glass, plastic, and wood. All you have to do is apply the wax evenly to the surface of your box and let it dry, which takes about five minutes. I find that it’s easiest just to apply the wax with my finger; no special tools required.
To make your box look extra fancy, choose one that has a pattern embossed on it. Apply a coat of wax, let it dry, then lightly apply a coat of a different color over top to highlight the pattern.
You can also add your own detail to a plain, flat box by alternating colors and developing a pattern of your own like I did here with red and green Metallic Lustre.
Once all the wax is completely dry, gently rub it with a soft cloth to get an even more brilliant sheen. It’s that easy! You can use holiday colors or your loved one’s favorite colors to make it extra personal. In fact, he/she might even want to keep the box to hold small pieces of jewelry, trinkets, or other odds and ends all year long!
This project only takes about 10 minutes to do, and the time will fly by if you listen to the “Hallmark Holiday Favorites” custom audio channel on Pandora while you work. All that’s left to do is place the ornament inside your special box and it’s ready to exchange! I can’t wait to give out these ornaments and to see what new ornament I receive this year!
See more great holiday ornament ideas and tell me which ornament you’re most looking forward to this season. I’d love to hear about your favorite family traditions!