Our Halloween Witch Ornament is inspired by Victorian decorations of
the late 19th century. This one has it all; a crafty witch in a
pumpkin, woven black braid, and faceted beads.
This is a very versatile design, and once you get
started, you'll think of a hundred ways to adapt it into ornaments for
There are two secrets to the construction.
The first secret is - shhh - foamcore board.
The other secret is printing two mirror-image vintage
illustrations for the front and back. We give them to you, ready to be
printed, but if you start making your own designs, start with two
identical copies of your image and "flip" one of them with your
Craft knife (for cutting foamcore board) (see Tips).
Self-healing cutting mat.
Print the vintage
images on matte photo paper.
Trim them carefully with small scissors. Using one cut-out
trace the shape on the foamcore board. Cut out the shape with a craft
knife. Glue the images to each side of the foamcore, aligning the tops
of the images carefully. Press
them flat and let dry.
a 17" length of decorative braid. This will fit around the
ornament and leave 7" for a hanging loop at the top. Start at the
bottom of the ornament. Glue and pin the two ends to meet at
bottom. Work up one side, gluing the braid to the foamcore
pin in place every few inches. When you get to the top, begin
the bottom and glue and pin the other side, until the braid meets at
the top. Be sure the hanging loop is centered at the top of the
ornament. Let the glue dry.
a beading pin into a bead, dip the point in craft glue, and
insert it into the braided edge, next to the hanging loop. Continue
pinning beads around the edge until you reach the
side of the hanging loop.
Done with your Halloween Witch Ornament! Now
scour your collection of vintage images for likely
candidates, and make a batch of Victorian Halloween ornaments (see Tips)!
Who knew beading pins existed? We
tried using our regular straight pins, but the pin heads were a little
small for the holes in the beads. A quick trip to Joann Fabrics and
Crafts, and we came home with a box of "beading pins", which
are a little shorter than straight pins and the heads are larger.
Foamcore board, or foam board, is a material
constructed of an inner layer of polystyrene foam sandwiched between
two layers of heavy paper. We used black (black paper on black foam)
but this project will work as well with any color. If you fear that
white foamcore might show through the edging braid, color the edge of
foamcore black with marker or paint before you apply the braid.
Cutting foamcore board is tricky. Do not use
scissors, because they will crush the edge as you
cut. Use a long-blade craft knife or a micro-saw.
When looking for other vintage images for these
ornaments, here are the qualities you want:
well-defined shapes are the best, like
circles or other geometrics.
avoid images with words, because when the
image is flipped on the back of the ornament, the words will be
reversed as well.
you find an irregular shaped picture you like, trim it with the
background into a circle or oval, or cut out the figure and glue it to
a geometric shaped background paper. We did this with a
witch, and glued it to a yellow full-moon image for a great composite
picture. Remember, you can resize
crazy with your beading. We opted for a single row of
orange beads, but you might vary the size and color of beads for an
authentically Victorian look. On the other hand - just the
braiding looks great.