Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Easy Starfish Ornaments

I am helping in my 3rd grade son's class tomorrow with the children's holiday craft.  I really wanted the children to make something easy and stay on a tight budget.  On a recent walk around Balboa Island (in Newport Beach, CA) with my friend Gail, we saw this adorable wooden tree with seashell and starfish ornaments inside a local store called Hersey's Market.  The starfish were very simple; bleached white stars with glitter and a plain white piece of yarn glued to the back for hanging.  The idea was so simple and so elegant at the same time.  I ran the idea by another mom from our class and my son's teacher and we agreed this would compliment the other crafts nicely.  My version for the class varies just slightly from the one I saw on my walk.  Here's what we are using:

* White Starfish ~ purchased in bulk on ebay to save money. I believe I searched under "lot white starfish" I was able to buy 25 for $16.00  I decided to buy 2 sets because these starfish measure 2" which is nice but not that big.  I also thought that if any of the children needed a gift for mom's house and another for dad's or for grandma, etc. that having an extra one to share would be nice.
* I found a wonderful spool of Christmas ribbon at a local wholesale store called Shinoda.  The ribbon is gold, red and green.  My son went with me and he said "mommy this is perfect!"  Its a huge spool that I got for about $4.00.  Tonight I discovered the really great thing about this ribbon: its wired! It makes bending it so easy!
*Sparkle Modge Podge available at Michael's Arts & Crafts and other places I am sure, but strangely, not at our local Joann's Fabrics.  Modge Podge also makes Glitter Modge Podge in Silver and Gold but I opted for Sparkle because I've used it before and I just love the way it looks! The large jar was around $6.00 and will be enough for the entire class plus I'll have left overs.
* Sponge brushes for appying the modge podge
* Hot glue gun & glue sticks for adding the ribbon. This requires just a small amount of glue on the back and dries immediately.
*This step is optional but I used a small piece of recycled foil to let my starfish dry on so it didn't stick to a paper surface.  I didn't want to risk breaking one of the delicate legs off the starfish trying to peel it off paper.

The only step that takes a few minutes is letting the modge podge dry.  Other than that, this is an extremely quick and easy craft. I cut all of the ribbon pieces ahead of time tonight so tomorrow it will be very easy to attach them.  I recommend attaching the ribbon after the modge podge dries so the ribbon remains nice and clean.  I'm sure this goes without saying, but I will be operating the glue gun for the children.  Have you ever burned yourself on a high temperature glue gun?  The worst for me was a burn on my thumb that lasted a month last year when I was making a Christmas Seashell Tree for my mom and dad. Ouch is all I can really add! So rest assured, the children will not be operating the hot glue gun ;)

If you try this craft, I'd love to hear your feedback and post any pictures you have to share. Another thought is that these would look adorable as an embellishment to a gift bag or tied onto a package.  My friend Gail gave me a birthday present recently and she took a plain white claim shell, wrote on it with black pen and drilled a small hole into it and hung rafia ribbon through it and hung it off the handle of my gift bag.  It was unique and very cleaver and pretty!  Here's a picture of how my sample starfish looks on our Christmas tree. Enjoy!