I had a box of art straws that I just started playing. This is what I ended up with.
It is simple enough for kids to make and cute enough to keep for years.
I have been making paper ornaments for my mother-in-law's tiny tree. She has been trapped in a rehab center for the last few weeks. (Apparently it only takes one little fall to change your whole world. A broken femur will change your whole family's holiday plans.) She is gong to be there for the entire holiday season. In order to brighten up the room and people's spirits, I am making holiday ornaments for her to share. She has already given away a few dozen--to staff, to visitors, and even to other patients.
My mother-in-law is a wonderful person who loves to give to others. Now she is stuck on the receiving end. She cannot put any weight on her leg for weeks while the pins and plates that were put in her leg allow to bone to heal. People have to do most things for her. Giving back--even if it is just a small ornament--makes her feel more like herself.
Step 1: Materials:
Paper straws or paper rolled into long thin tubes
Red marker or paint
Cotton or wool roving
Wire ornament hook
Step 2: Getting Started
Flatten your straws. Fold the end of one tube at an angle so that you can slide the end into another straw. Secure with a small spot of glue.
Attach as many straws as you want. My straws were about 18 inches so I used 4 or 5 for each ornament. If you use a longer string of straws, you will end up with a bigger hat.
Step 3: Winding the Base
Start at one end and wind a tight flat coil. When you reach the end of the straws, secure the end with a spot of glue.
Gently press the center of the coil to form the hat. If you are too rough, the center end will pop out of the coil and the whole thing will unwind. Yes, it happened once or twice. Be patient.
Step 4: Lots of Glue
Once you like the shape of the hat, apply glue to the inside. I use my finger to smooth the glue into all the nooks and crannies. It can get messy but it can be done. Use a small paint brush if you don't want to use your fingers.
It will take a while to dry. It must dry completely. If you are doing this project with children, now is a good time to wrap things up until tomorrow.
Step 5: Applying the Red
I could have used red paint but to be honest, I was too lazy to find it. Instead, I chose to use a red marker. When I was done, I realized that I saved myself some drying time--happy bonus. I like the slight streaks of white that are visible where the marker could no get completely into the crevices. Paint would allow for more complete coverage. It all depends on the effect you are going for.
Color the outside of the hat.
Step 6: Attaching the Hanger
Feed the end of an ornament hanger through any of the tiny gaps near the center of the hat. From the inside of the hat, use your plyers to wind the end of the hanger into a tight loop. This will prevent the hanger from falling off.
Step 7: Fur Trim
Take a strip of roving and glue it to the edge of the hat. My roving was too thick for my ornament so I split it down the middle and used it for several ornaments.
Take a piece of roving and tie it into a tight knot. Trim the extra roving on either side of the knot. Glue the knot to the top of the ornament.
Date the inside of the ornament.