Nothing gets me into the spirit of the holidays like crafting! Making DIY (Do It Yourself) ornaments for your tree can be very rewarding, and they make great gifts! Not only that, but a craft project can be a good way to use all those stickers you have lying around from your favorite breweries (see my previous article on making Refrigerator Magnets). I also made Beer-Themed Coasters from 6-pack holders I’ve collected. It’s amazing what you can do with scissors, glue, a little craft paint, and Mod Podge!
For this project, I used a combination of stickers and coasters collected from local breweries. Depending on the type of ornament you decide to make, you’ll need a few crafting supplies as well. Coasters are the easiest and require the least amount of work. In the past, I’ve simply punched a hole in the top and added twine or ribbon as a hanger. But, with a little bit of effort, you can create something a bit nicer and more durable.
If you are using stickers, you’ll need a base for your ornament. Craft stores carry a variety of ready-made DIY ornaments you can use. I found them in shapes made of wood, cardboard, and ceramics. Many of these have hangers already attached, making your job easier. But existing hangers aren’t necessary. They can be easily added. You can even recycle cardboard you have lying around the house by cutting it onto the shapes desired for your ornaments. Think about what will fit the stickers you have, and keep in mind that stickers can be trimmed if needed.
What You’ll Need
Stickers and/or coasters from favorite breweries
Ready-made DIY ornaments or other base for stickers
Mod Podge (decoupage medium)
Acrylic craft paints (white, red, green, silver, and gold are pretty much mandatory)
Scrapbook paper and/or felt for backing (optional)
Twine, ribbon, string or other cording for hangers (if needed)
Other embellishments (crystals, bows, sequins, beads, jingle bells, etc.)
Other Supplies You May Need
Pen or pencil for tracing
Paint sponges for texture
Heavy books (if using scrapbook paper or felt backings)
This is a no-brainer. The only issue I’ve found is where to punch the hole for the hanger without losing a part of the design. A smaller hole may be the answer here. Or, if you only care to see one side, gluing a hanger on with a backing to mask it, is another option. See below for instructions on that method.
- Punch a hole at the top of the coaster.
- If desired, using a paint sponge, dab a complementary color of craft paint around the edges of the coaster, and let it dry.
- With a foam brush, apply an even coat of Mod Podge to each side and the edges of the coaster.
- Let dry, then apply a second coat.
- Add any embellishments using craft glue
- Thread a length of twine, ribbon, or whatever you’re using as a hanger, through the hole and tie in a knot to create a loop.
- Decide what you want as a background for your brewery sticker. This could be a color of paint or a piece of scrapbook paper.
With a foam brush, give your ornament base a couple coats of paint first. Don’t neglect the edges.
- If using scrapbook paper, trace the outline of your ornament on the back of the paper. Cut it out. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the ornament base and carefully lay the paper over it. Smooth out the paper, carefully wiping any oozing excess from the edges with a paper towel. Lay a heavy book on top and allow to dry for at least 15 minutes.
- If desired, using a paint sponge, dab a complementary color of craft paint around the edges of the ornament, and let it dry.
- If you wish to use stencils on the front or back, do it now.
- Apply the sticker to the front of the ornament. If sticker hangs off edges, use scissors to trim taking care not to nick the ornament itself. As an option, you can use stencil or paint tape to adhere sticker to your ornament, then turn it over and trace an outline of the ornament edges on the back of the sticker. Cut it out first, then remove backing and apply.
- Apply an even coat of Mod Podge to each side and the edges of the ornament with a foam brush.
- Let dry, then apply a second coat.
- Add any embellishments using craft glue.
Adding a Hanger and Backing (optional)
If your ornament base doesn’t already have a hanger and/or you don’t wish to punch a hole in it, this is an alternative. When using scrapbook paper, do this before applying the finishing coats of Mod Podge. When using felt, do this last.
- Trace the shape of the ornament on a piece of scrapbook paper or felt and cut it out.
- Cut a length of ribbon or cording to use as a hanger. You won’t want to use something bulky here.
- Create a loop and glue both ends to the back (top edge) of the ornament with craft glue. Let it dry.
- Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the back of the ornament.
- Lay the piece of scrapbook paper or felt on the back and smooth it with your fingers. Wipe any oozing excess of Mod Podge with a paper towel. Lay a heavy book on top and allow to dry for 15 minutes.
- If you used paper, proceed to apply any paint embellishments (sponge dabs, stencils) before finishing with Mod Podge.
You may also use this technique to add dangling embellishments (such as jingle bells) by threading them with a small cord or ribbon, looping and gluing ends to the back (bottom edge), then sandwiching between your ornament and the backing.
When applying paint or Mod Podge, a light, even coat is best. Do not overload the brush. Apply the coat quickly, smoothing the paint/Mod Podge as you go. As it starts to dry, stop brushing and leave it alone. Allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next. Rinse and squeeze out the brush between each coat so that paint/Mod Podge doesn’t dry in the brush.
Paint sponges work great to create a texture. Get them wet first, then squeeze the water out. Use a paper towel to remove excess water. Dab paint into the sponge so it covers the surface you’re using but isn’t oozing out. Apply lightly, adding layers as desired. Sponges also work well for stenciling.
Now pour yourself a festive beverage, find some empty branches, and hang these awesome beer-themed ornaments on the tree!