Make your own
Whimsical Ornaments

Create a charming, Victorian-style
ornament of your very own!
We offer everything you need to make a
whimsical ornament, from traditional
old-time European craft supplies to
crafting tips from our artists:
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Whimsical Ornaments • Craft Supplies Index
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Listed below are links to the European crafting materials which are used
in the creation of traditional, Victorian-style glass ornaments ~

• Design and Crafting Tips from our Artists •
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Need help getting started? Our artists have compiled a list of various tips
and suggestions which are drawn from nearly 25 years worth of experience
in designing and handcrafting Blümchen's exclusive holiday ornaments.
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• Tips for Designing Your Ornament
• This may sound quite obvious, but the first step
is to decide what holiday or theme will be the
design inspiration for your ornament. The very
next step is to decide if you will be making a
whimsical ornament, or if you would like it to be
historically-accurate to a specific time period.
This is an important distinction to make, because
it will have a bearing on the types of crafting
materials which are appropriate for use on your
ornament. For instance, you may want to use a
sparkly, iridescent glitter to accent an ornament,
but that most certainly wouldn't have been used
on a Victorian-era original!
• Now that you have decided what theme of
ornament you will be making, it's always helpful
to consult reference material. Whether you are
creating a whimsically-styled ornament, and
especially if you are making a vintage-inspired
piece, we do recommend that you check out
Christmas history books that picture examples
of antique and vintage ornaments. Two authors
that have published excellent pictorial reference
books are George Johnson and Robert Brenner.
Not only will the old ornaments inspire you, but
they will also give you a good idea about what
kinds of materials were used in the past.
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• When making a vintage-inspired ornament, you
may want to "antique" the materials first to better
fit in with your design. A light wash of a brown
acrylic paint over a foil Dresden trim will make it
less obvious and new looking - but do remember
to have a light touch with the antiquing! Most
vintage ornaments were stored in boxes in an
attic, so while they might not be bright and shiny
after 100 years, neither are they going to be quite
as grungy as some "shabby chic" creations we
have seen. Try to make your ornaments so that
they won't be too obviously new if you are going
to display them on a tree with other antiques.
• Mix your materials! Way back in 1989, when
we designed and produced our first Victorian
Whimsey® ornaments, we started the trend of
mixing antique, vintage and authentic old-style
materials to create decorative, Victorian-inspired
ornaments. Gather an assortment of new and
vintage supplies for ornament crafting: Victorian
scrap pictures, tinsels and trims from broken old
glass ornaments, vintage flowers, ribbons and
bows, passementerie trimmings... all of these
materials, when combined with old-time crafting
supplies such as those we offer, will add the
integrity of old-fashioned quality to any design.
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• Whimsical ornaments can be as simple, or as
elaborate, as you like. Not all ornaments need be
as intricately designed as the examples that are
pictured above! Just a few bits of tinsel trims, a
scrap picture, and some Dresden borders and
embellishments can transform any glass blank
into a charming holiday keepsake ornament.
• And finally, have fun! There's just no "right" or
"wrong" way to design an ornament, so do enjoy
making whimsical ornaments to please yourself!
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• Tips for Crafting Your Ornament
• While most ornaments, and figurals especially,
are molded with a definite front and back, this
may not limit you depending upon how you will
decide to decorate your ornament. For instance,
the Zeppelin glass blank has Roman numerals
and the word 'Deutschland' embossed into the
front of the ornament. For Blümchen's Cherub
Zeppelin ornament pictured above, we flipped
the glass blank so that the front had a smooth
surface for decorating with scrap pictures; on
the reverse we covered the words over with
decorative silver Dresden trims.
• Geometric and free-blown shapes can be
used in a myriad of ways when designing a
whimsical ornament. You can usually feature
any side, or even "flip" the blank upside down
for a clip-on style ornament. Our artists have
connected two separate glass blanks together
to create unique new ornament shapes such
as Victorian-style "balloon" decorations. And a
blank like our Pointed Oval Indent, when hung
horizontally, can easily be transformed into a
little boat hull, a bird's nest or even a manger
to cradle a precious infant Baby Jesus.
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• An old-fashioned way to add sparkle to an
ornament is mica flakes. For our method all you
will need is a wooden skewer or chopstick,
white glue-all, a paint brush for brushing on the
glue, and mica flakes, of course! Hold the blank
so that you can paint the white glue, in one even
coat, onto just the section you want to sparkle.
Working over scrap paper or a box lid, sprinkle
the mica over the moist glue. Always use fresh
glue, and don't thin it with any water, or the glue
won't have enough "stickum" to keep the mica
flakes in place. Carefully slip the open pike end
of the ornament onto the skewer to dry. Here at
Blümchen we sometimes plant sparkled blanks
on their skewers in the garden, so when drying
in the sun they look like magical flowers!
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~ Other Decorative Finishes ~
~ How will you use the Glass Blank? ~
~ Tips for Painting the Glass Blank ~
• You can paint a glass blank using almost any
type of paint, but our artists recommend using
an acrylic paint that is specially formulated for
use on "Glass, Ceramic and Tile." Because the
natural, un-lacquered glass surface is slippery,
you may have difficulty getting a standard paint
to adhere properly in a smooth fashion.
• Use acetone to strip the glass lacquer paint
off of an ornament blank. The active ingredient
in nail polish remover, this solvent is great for
cleaning a glass ornament back to its original
state. As most Christmas ornaments are made
with a silvered lining on the interior surface,
do be careful not to get any acetone inside the
ornament or it will lift up the silvering. If you are
going to paint the ornament with a translucent
glass paint, make sure that the blank is fully
cleaned and has no "cloudy" areas remaining
from the original lacquer finish.
• After painting the ornament blank, it is best to
protect the surface with a spray coating. Our
artists' favorite spray finishes are the Krylon®
Matte Finish, Satin Finish and Acrylic Crystal
Clear Gloss. Tinsel wrapping an ornament with
Bouillon crinkle wire, or trying to re-position a
glued-on trim can sometimes damage a painted
or lacquered surface. A thin coating of one of
these protective finishes will help keep your
blank as unblemished as possible.
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Blown Glass Ornament Blanks
Undecorated Blown Glass Ornaments from Germany
Glass Supplies for Crafting Holiday Ornaments
If you have ever dreamed of creating your own old-fashioned, Victorian-style decorative ornaments, Blümchen can help make your dreams a reality! Our selection of authentic blown glass ornaments from Germany is available in a variety of basic and fancy shapes that can be decorated to suit any holiday or design motif. And to aid in your ornament-making artistry, we also import all of the traditional, old-time European crafting supplies needed to create your very own one-of-a-kind treasures. Glass blanks are individually gift boxed.
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Whimsical Glass Ornaments
Design and Crafting Tips from our Artists
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