Wednesday, December 19, 2012

diy modcloth inspired dinosaur ornaments

If you don't know by now, I really love dinosaurs. So when I saw this:

Source: via idle on Pinterest

I knew I had to make some myself.

The hardest part of this whole project was finding the dinosaurs. I knew I'd seen them at the dollar store at some point in time, so every time I visited a store this year, I made a conscious effort to look for them. I'm not kidding when I say I found the packages about five days before our vacation. Of the bags of plastic toys in the dollar store, the dinosaurs definitely go first. I must've lucked out and been there on a "just stocked" morning.

Next, gather some glitters and some eye screws, cheap paint brushes and mod podge.

Screw the eye hooks into the dinosaurs first. I used a piece of string wrapped around their bellies to figure out where they balanced so I could screw the hook in at that point. You want to make sure that once you attach a thread through the hook, they'll be weighted correctly and won't hang awkwardly face down or tail up. I thought I'd need a pair of pliers to hold the screw while screwing it in. I thought I'd even need to use a hammer to get it started. But this step was the easiest step in the whole project. Just screw it in with your bare fingers.

All that you have left to do is decorate them to your little heart's desire. Paint on a thin layer of mod podge (plain white glue might work, too), dust it with glitter and knock the dino over a sheet of paper to get the excess glitter off.

Naturally, I remembered a better way to glitter when I was about finished this project (because glitter's kind of the pain-in-the-ass of the crafting world). What you should do is get as many little bowls and spoons as you have glitter colours, fill each bowl with a different colour, then use a spoon to sprinkle the glitter on your dinosaur letting the excess fall back into the bowl. Don't sprinkle the glitter out of the container, over the dinosaur onto a sheet of paper, then use the paper to redistributed the sparkles on spots you missed. It works, but you'll end up with a very glittery mess (like me! You know it's been a good glitter craft when you find a collection of assorted glitter colours under your wedding ring, all over your pants, all over the table, and all over the floor).

Obviously, you can add as much or as little glitter as you want. My favourite dinos are the ones that had multiple layers of colours already on them, so I just followed those lines when applying the glitter. If you want multiple colours, too, just add the glue where you want one colour, add the glitter, let it dry and THEN do the next colour.

My inspiration dinos also had little tinsel collars which would be really easy to apply by gluing on tiny garland pieces. I also had the initial idea of cutting out tiny scarves from scraps of felt to glue around their necks, but once I glittered them, I just really loved the simplicity of the glitter so that's where I stopped. But feel free to go crazy mad with decorating power!

The final step is to apply another thin coat of mod podge to seal the glitter and keep it from infecting the rest of your ornaments (and your fingers) for years to come. It might be helpful to set something up for drying (especially if some of your dinos don't stand on their own like mine). Here's my rig, an indoor clothes drying rack, a paint brush (or skewer) through the eye hook, and hang up to dry.

Finally, thread a string or ribbon through the eye hook, and hang or use as part of a gift tag on a wrapped present.

The one thing I'm annoyed about is that the dollar store dinosaur packs only come with one carnivore and they were by far the best to glitter. The t-rex is my favourite with the raptor coming in second, for sure.

This is kind of my routine each year. Make a new Christmas ornament then use said ornament as a gift/gift tag on friend's gifts (and I'll even kind of theme the wrapping around the ornament). And usually I give away the very best of the ornaments (i.e. the ones that don't turn out wonky). But this year... I might keep them all or give these two (because their my least favourite!). Whatever happens, I'm definitely going to have a dinosaurs-only mini tree next year.


Laeli said...

Those are freaking adorable! I should make a raptor for my daughter, she loves raptors.

My thing is giraffes...a tree full of sparkly giraffes..that'd be neat!

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

These are awesome! I love ornaments that aren't exactly Christmas related. Makes the tree a little more personal and unique.

Trudy said...

Amazing! I know it's the wrong time of year, but I'm already thinking about dragging out the My Little Ponies for a spot of bling!

Unknown said...

I made these this year, and took a bunch of photos so you could see how they turned out!

GALaxy said...

Awesome job, redkarryn!