Once upon a time, I made sweet little keepsake ornaments for every wedding I attended. And then, life got crazy (and I got lazy) and last year I didn’t make a single one.
Over the holidays I did lots of cleaning and organizing and I came across a very sweet thank you note from a wedding we attended a few years back and it pointed out how much they loved their ornament I’d made. It just so happened we were heading to another wedding in that same family and I decided to revive this simple but thoughtful gift. It’s the perfect je ne sais quoi to go along with a boring (but oh-so-useful) gift card.
Here’s how to make your own…
Keepsake Ornament ::
Supplies :: Clear Glass Ornament (be sure to select one with a removable top, like these), Paper Cutter (or Scissors), Pen or Pencil with Rounded Sides (unlike your typical #2 pencil), Ribbon, Charm, Keepsake (such as a wedding invite, birthday card, favorite image, etc.)
How To ::
1. Start by cutting the keepsake (I like using invitations, but photos can work well too) into even strips, no bigger than 1/4″. I try to cut each line of text into one strip, which on many invitations means the strips will be different widths, but that’s okay. It looks neat.
2. Using the rounded pen or pencil (if you use one that has flat sides it results in yucky creases) curl the pieces of paper. You can curl each strip diagonally (which I prefer) or on top of itself. Below, the diagonal curl is on the top, while the “on top of itself” curl is on the bottom. Be sure to curl them so the words or images are facing outward. This will ensure you’re able to read the text from inside the ornament.
3. Remove the top of the glass ornament and, one by one, feed the strips into the ornament. I find you may need to “curl” the strips in by starting with one end of the strip and then winding it into the ornament.
For most invites I find the entire invitation won’t all fit into the ornament, so I try to get all of the strips with text on them into the ornament and then pick a couple of more interesting strips to fill the rest of the space. You may need to gently shake the ornament or wiggle the pencil inside the ornament to make some more room. Fill until there’s a wee bit of space left at the top of the ornament. If you’ve curled the strips with text facing outward you should be able to see names, dates, etc. through the glass.
4. Add the top back onto the ornament and give it a good shake to let the pieces expand and mix together a bit.
5. Using a thin ribbon in a color that complements the keepsake, tie an appropriate charm to the top of the ornament. I try to pick something that really fits the wedding theme or has meaning. I’ve had the best luck searching for and ordering charms off Amazon as none of our local hobby stores carry a huge selection of charms.
Voila! That’s it. Either wrap your keepsake ornament up in a nice box or bag, or tie it to the top of the gift as a little accent. If you make some keepsake ornaments of your own, or to share, I’d love to see pictures on our Facebook page!