Homemade art has the ability to spark memories. Families in the community have their own holiday traditions, and many create Christmas ornaments as a way to connect with the people they care most about.
For many, the sight of homemade Christmas ornaments rekindles warm memories of years past, which is why the art form is attractive to Cherokee County residents.
Yvonne Moss is an artist and a member of Oklahoma Home and Community Education Woodall Club, and she has made a tradition of creating ornaments. This year, she is making gingerbread cookies out of brown paper bags. Last year, she made larger gingerbread cookies that can be hung on a full-sized tree, but this year, she is concocting smaller versions that she will hang on a desktop tree.
“Here, I’m going to make some bitty ones, and I’m going to put them on my Christmas tree, like that little green one over there with my angels on it,” she said, indicating the ornament.
She recommends acquiring a paper bag, like one from Reasor’s or Braum’s. Next, trace the design with a stencil or a hand-drawn pattern. Then cut out the gingerbread cookie shape using scissors, and glue two of the paper cutouts together with the plain sides facing outward. The paper cutouts can be decorated with colored paper and hung up with ribbon.
“This is some card stock that you use to put decorations on. Slippers, mittens, hat, and a bow,” she said. “I trace the design and cut them with scissors. If you don't get them exactly right, they won’t be even. I like to put the hat on the side and make them cocky-looking.”
Last year, Moss made 21 angels that she put on her desktop tree, and she won a blue ribbon for it at the Oklahoma County Fair. Her angels were made from clear beads that she assembled with string. On top of the tree is a bracelet with a bow attached.
She also recommends making candy cane ornaments with pipe cleaners, beads, and bows.
More recently, she started cutting out old Christmas cards and turning them into holiday boxes and bird house ornaments, and she uses a part of a cinnamon stick as the perch.
This year, other popular homemade Christmas ornaments include Christmas scenes in Mason jars, bejeweled Christmas balls, cookie cutter ornaments, twig ornaments, matchstick stars, salt dough ornaments, etched wood slice ornaments, and jingle bell ornaments.
For those who would like a steady hand to help them to create their ornaments, Shannon Stacy is setting up shop at Town Creek Mercantile on Saturday mornings. For a fixed price, locals can make their own ornaments, which she prints using a Glowforge laser cutter.
Laser cutouts are popular because they allow the user to create homemade ornaments that look professional.
“We cut the ornaments on our Glowforge laser cutter, and then you pick your ornament, then you use your creativity to paint it the way you want. Then we’ll put it together with some glue, and then you’ll have an ornament to take home to put on your tree," said Stacy.
Those who have access to a laser cutter can also use it to create art from plexiglass and some powder-coated metals.
“It gives a whole new dimension to art. And you take it from the Glowforge and your paint and other elements. Your imagination is your only limit,” said Stacy.
Each Saturday before Christmas, Stacy will help visitors to make Christmas ornaments from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m at Town Creek Mercantile. For questions, call 918-931-3700.