The Making of Our 2019 Family Ornament

Every year since we got married, I’ve made an ornament to remember the past year in our family. This year was a bit tough. We didn’t have huge milestones as a family. We had individual celebrations. We had grief to share.

It took until Christmas Eve for me to finally figure out something to commemorate the year… and it’s silly, but it was a lovely little moment of magic that I’d like to remember forever: Jaya’s first movie, Frozen 2.

As parents, Brett and I are cautious. We have to remind ourselves that it’s OK to take risks and try new things with Jaya, even if it’s a total failure. We thought she wasn’t ready to sit through a whole movie. When we watch movies at home, she likes hiding behind us or behind furniture when scary things happen; we figured she couldn’t handle it at the theaters. But people were starting to yell out spoilers all around us, and we couldn’t wait any longer. We decided to take the risk and brave taking a three-year-old to the movies.

And y’all. Watching her watch her first movie was pure magic. She loved it. And we loved sharing that with her. I cannot wait to watch more movies with her in 2020!

Our ornament this year is Frozen-themed to capture that magic.

The front shows the big things that we shared as a family this year: Jaya’s baptism, our first family road trip (Dallas to Lubbock!), Jaya’s first movie, and the loss of my Ammachi and Brett’s grandpa.

The back is Jaya’s first movie ticket, mod-podged with the confetti that is packed with every Frozen toy… and we had PLENTY of those this year!

Here’s the making of the ornament!

Step 1: Trace!

Lol, you thought I freehanded that snowflake? Nope. Welcome to my state-of-the-art tracing system: save an image to my iPad (instant lightbox), tape the thingy to the iPad, then trace. I used my Stabilo Aquarellable pencile to trace.

Step 2: Ink!

OK, OK, it’s not “ink,” per se. It’s a paint pen. Turn the acrylic ornament over and “ink” on the other side. Wipe away the Aquarellable sketch afterwards.

Step 3: Paint!

On the same side as the snowflake “ink,” paint! I did dark blue, light blue, and purple (Martha Stewart acrylic paints are my favorite!) to stick with the Frozen color scheme.

Step 4: Write!

Flip over. I wrote the year and family milestones with Decocolor extra fine point paint pens.

Step 5: Mod Podge!

Flip. Use Mod Podge to decollage the movie ticket and confettie to the back of the ornament. I used a bit of Mod Podge Dimensional to glue the stubborn corners of the ticket down.

***NOT PICTURED: Movie tickets aren’t made to last. I tried to preserve mine as much as possible. Before applying Mod Podge, I taped mine carefully with clear packing tape. I’ve had decent experience with this as long as the ticket isn’t exposed to too much light. Fingers crossed this works!

Step 6: Love it forever!

I love that drawing the snowflake on one side and writing the milestones on the other creates a really nice floating/3D effect!

I barely got this done in time for Christmas. The Mod-Podging was done on Christmas day, and it was ready to show off to my husband when we got home that night from visiting family all day. I finally put it on our tree on December 26! Better late than never! Here is a look back at our ornaments from the past 6 years:

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My Christmas tradition: making an annual milestone/memory ornament. 2018 was a big one — we bought a house! Swipe to see my ornaments from 2013-2017, as requested by @mcpattys. Read below to see their stories. Check out my blog (link in bio) to see the making of this year's ornament! . . 2013: We got married! Inside: dried flower bits from my bouquet and his boutonniere, curled pieces of our Save the Date and invitations. . . 2014: Our trip to London and Paris. We didn’t have a honeymoon in 2013, so this was it! Inside: tickets from our trip. . . 2015: Road trip to New Mexico and Arizona. We visited Brett’s dad and stepmom, who retired to live their dream life in NM, then went to the Grand Canyon for the first time! Inside: tickets from our trip. . . 2016: Jaya was born! This is the messiest one because… well, I was a hot mess that year. I didn’t wait long enough for the paint to dry before I sprayed the sealing paint. But I love her baby handprints and footprints on the exterior. And I love that this captures exactly how I felt at that point in time. Inside: her hospital bracelet. . 2017: The year Jaya took over everything! Our pre-baby home got turned upside down. Inside: pieces from her daycare art projects. . . I was a little irritated that I couldn’t find the glass globe ornaments when it was time to create this year’s piece, but it all worked out. I wouldn’t have been able to pull off painting the house on a spherical object, and I had nothing to put into the ball except grass clippings or dirt… I’m happy with this piece! Do you have a similar holiday tradition to remember the year? Comment below if you do! Remember to check out my blog if you want to see the making of this year’s ornament! Merry Christmas, friends! . . . #tradition #familytradition #lettering #handlettering #art #homemade #makeitwithmichaels #ornament #christmasornament #merrychristmas #christmas #holidays #happyholidays #weboughtahouse #newhome #homeowners #firsttimehomebuyers #firsttimehomeowners #firsthouse #diy #diyproject #handmade #diychristmas #artsandcrafts

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I hope you had a lovely holiday! Do you have any creative family holiday traditions?

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