Every Christmas I try to give some sort of handmade gift to friends and family. Some years I have totally overdone it with Pinterest projects that either failed miserably or took 3 times as long to make as directed. So this year I wanted to create something from the heart that was small but meaningful; easy enough for us to make for several people but sentimental in a way that would be kept and cherished for future Christmas'.
I honestly had no idea what we were going to try this year - until I saw the smaller sized wood blanks we had left over from the Z|W DIY Winter Wonderland Snow Globes. Then I remembered I had a set of clear alphabet stamps that could be used to stamp initials, turning those blanks into custom ornaments and gift tags! The end result turned out to be such a fun and easy craft to make with my toddler, I knew it had to be shared!
round birch wood craft blanks - JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores sell them in a bag with 4-5 assorted sizes for under $2 (look up a coupon on their website or mobile app and pay even less).
1" alphabet stamp set - I prefer the clear stamp sets that you can mount to an acrylic block and easily see through for proper placement when stamping. You can pick these up at Michaels or Joanns for under $8 using one of their weekly coupon promotions for 40% off any regular priced item. Or opt for some of their seasonal themed stamps in the $1 bins instead of doing initials.
ink pad and/or permanent acrylic paint
fine tip sharpie marker pen
To stamp the initials I used both an archival ink pad and acrylic paint. I stamped with ink first and then stamped over it again using the acrylic paint.
You can smear a thin layer of paint on a paper plate and then dab your stamp in it like you would on the ink pad or use the flat side of a bristle paint brush to dab the paint onto the stamp. Layering the paint over the ink creates a more rustic and textured feel to the lettering. Using the clear acrylic stamps makes it's really easy to layer mediums or re-stamp over places that appear splotchy or too light.
For a fun alternative to initials, Zella picked out a few winter and Christmas themed stamps from the $1 bins. These were perfect for the larger sized wood blanks we had left over.
Once we stamped the front, I had Zella sign and date them on the backside. We picked up a 'handmade by' stamp from the $1 bin and used that on the back of the larger blanks. Then she signed them using a fine tip permanent sharpie marker pen.
When you have the front and backside finished, it's time to drill some holes. You can use a handheld drill, Dremel tool or drill press to do this. Whatever tool you have on hand just fit it with a 1/8" size drill bit or approximate equivalent. Then drill one whole at the top center of each ornament, large enough to fit your craft twine through.
Cut your twine long enough to loop a knot at the top of each ornament. I cut mine around 6" and trimmed off any spare once the knot was tied. It's always better to have too much rather than not enough in this kind of situation.
When you're finished, they're perfect for tying to packages as gift tags. They'll be special keepsake ornaments that will put a smile on the faces of family and friends at Christmas time for years to come.
Because we moved from Southern California to Texas this year, we even made a custom family keepsake ornament to commemorate the adventure!
The possibilities are endless with these Z|W DIY ornaments and gift tags. I hope this post inspires you to have as much fun making them as we did!