Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DIY Gem Ornaments

As much as I love our Christmas tree, most of our ornaments are generic ones - balls, snowflakes, and icicles from big box stores. I've been purchasing a few special ornaments each year to make the tree our own, but I've also been wanting to create some handmade ornaments. The gem digital cut files in the Studio Calico digital shop this month sparked an idea and I decided to make them into ornaments! Here's how I made them...


I wanted my ornaments to be thick and durable so that I can use them for years to come, which is why I decided to use chipboard/thin cardboard. I used opened the PNGs of the gem cut files in Silhouette Studio and traced two of the gems, then duplicated them. I'm making two ornaments, and I want 2 layers of chipboard and 2 layers of white cardstock for each gem. 

Since I didn't have any Silhouette chipboard at home, I used some thin cardboard that came with my SC kits. I fiddled around with the cut settings for my Cameo...I used the Coverstock setting (speed 1, thickness 33) but bumped up the blade depth to 9. It cut cleanly for the most part, but I did use my xacto knife to remove a few parts that didn't get cut all the way through.

I cut the gems again with my Cameo on white cardstock. So now I have four of each gem :) 

I used glossy accents to glue the layers together - my 'sandwich' was white cardstock + cardboard + cardboard + white cardstock. I'm using so many layers so that my ornament wouldn't be flimsy! 

Here's what it looks like...and you can see the thickness as well after I layered the four pieces together.

You can pretty much do anything you want to decorate it! I debated between misting my gem ornament with some Mister Hueys or embossing, but the gold glitter zing won out.

Embossing is super easy. First, press the gem onto your versamark ink pad.

Then pour on the embossing powder and shake off the excess.

Pull out your heat gun to emboss the embossing powder! I love watching the embossing powder melt and change color. It's not too noticeable in this photo but you can definitely tell when it starts to melt in real life. I decided to heat emboss gold glitter zing on both sides of the ornament so that a white side wouldn't be showing when it's on the tree.

I did the exact same steps for the second gem. Now all you need is some twine to string them :)

This was actually my first time using gold glitter zing; it is so pretty and photos don't do it justice. Love how the light reflects off of the gold and it shines.

And now the ornaments are hung on my tree! :)

I have a long list of holiday DIYs I want to try...many pinned on my Christmas pinterest board, haha. There's always too many ideas and not enough time! We'll see :) Hope you enjoyed this tutorial & happy holidays!


  1. These are awesome! Thanks for the tutorial too - I'm adding this technique to my To Do list

  2. This is so cool!!! Now I really want a Cameo!