Saturday, November 14, 2009

Retro Mice Ornament

retro walnut mouse ornament 1

Yes, that is a walnut shell! I have always remembered these sweet ornaments that my Mom made with us kids. They hung on our tree for years. That crafting time with my Mother is what inspired my own Walnut Shell Mouse Christmas Ornaments!

retro walnut mouse ornament 2

When we made these with my Mother, we used a homemade clay recipe. I tried getting details about these from my Mom and Anjeanette, and this was what I came up with. We did not have Polymer Clay growing up, so I was quite excited to do this craft using Polymer Clay (not that I have an obsession with Polymer Clay…I swear I don’t have every shade imaginable…). With Polymer Clay you can add so much more detail and finishing touches.

retro walnut mouse ornament 3

If you look closely at these, I made them all with minor differences. My favorite is the one with the Santa hat! Some have paws holding onto the top of the blanket, others have pink or white centers in their ears, I added cute tails to some, and I changed up the colors for their bodies. Other differences are the size, whisker marks, shapes of ears and heads, and kinds of eyes. One even has feet, but what is the point of that because you will never see the feet (though I know they’re there, and that’s why I did it…it makes me smile).

retro walnut mouse ornament 4

I had to decide what kind of material to use for the blanket, and what/how to tie them to the tree. I have a nice collection of ribbon (again, not something I would be obsessed with, I’m just saying) and first wanted to go with a delicate ribbon that ties in a bow at the top. However, once I decided to go with felt for my blankets, I knew I wanted to do a simple loop with yarn, to carry the retro feel of these ornaments. Tonight my kids and I are carrying on the tradition of making these. I can’t wait!

A few tips for when you make these. When using yarn, I just hot glued the yarn on the side but I also made sure to coat the yarn end with the glue so the yarn didn’t come apart (but use it sparingly so that you don’t even see it). Also, hang the ornament on your finger to make sure that they are evenly balanced. I also hot glued these mice into their shells. I would hate for them to fall out and end up broken (or just missing…not that things would go missing in my house…especially tiny things…).


Heartfelt and Handmade Holidays

I love this month. I love being reminded to be grateful for what I have. Right now I am very thankful for all the wonderful teachers. I truly believe in the old saying of it taking a village to raise a child. I wholeheartedly believe that children will be more successful by being taught by many different people in their lives. I am so thankful to teachers that take a special interest in my children (this is professional teachers as well as my friends and family that my children also learn from). Erika will be teaching one of my daughters to cook/bake. My Father-In-Law did a wonderful series of once a week art lessons for my children. There are so many instances where my friends and family are helping to teach my children and shape them into who they are! I am so thankful for this. I have been so lucky that my children have gotten some phenomenal teachers at school as well. These teachers can make or break a child.

Thank you to all those who teach and inspire people! Your time and effort is invaluable!


These are adorable!

For our readers I have a tip for you on how to easily crack a walnut in half. First of all look at your walnuts. Some of them have a seam that basically cuts it in half. Some of them when you look at the smaller end look like they have a seam that splits them in thirds, you don't want to use these. Now that you have selected your walnuts with a nice seam. Get a hot pad to work on so your nut does not slip around. You will need something like a butter knife or flat chisel. Hold your walnut with the fat end up and insert the tip of your knife into the center of the seam (there is a bit of membrane there that is easy to push through). It may not look like it but your knife should slip in at this point with a little pressure. Push the knife in as far as it will go and then slide it down the seam (kind of like when cutting a melon in half). Some of your walnuts won't separate into two perfect halves but your will most likely get at least one good half out of just about all of them.


We are adding to the Christmas fun by joining some link parties here and here.


Debi said...

I love these... I remember making them when my kids were little. So cute!

Kendra said...

I love these. They remind me of an ornament series Hallmark had out in the early 90s: Chris mouse.
Thanks for posting!

CitricSugar said...

Thank you for a sweet memory of my childhood!

Morgan said...

Those are adorable! Thank you for sharing!

Meg@MegaCrafty said...

These are too cute- can't wait to try making some for our tree. I love that they all have there own personality. My favorite is the little gray mouse with the pink ears- adorable.

Michelle said...

So cute! Any tips on how you halved your walnuts without crushing them? Thanks for the inspiration!

Bettina Groh said...

your mousies are great... we are going to have a mouse making evening after eating the turkey. Much more fun than cleaning up!

Bettina Groh said...

I must have bought a bag of the most uncooperative walnuts in Atlanta! But some mousies were made and slipped into their beds. I had trouble making them small enough! If anyone would like to look, they're on my blog:

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Oh my goodness!! They are so adorable!!

Lindsay @ Makely said...

We had these when I was a kid! My grandmother made them. My mom is going to try to dig that stuff out of the attic for me.

Marianne said...

These are so cute and I know my kids would love these.
They are going into my todo box for next Christmas.
Thanks for sharing at Holly Bloggy.

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home said...

Oh! These are so cute! I collect mice ornanments. So I just had to come see these!

Sue said...

These are adorable! I am so going to make some this year for Christmas!