Friday, November 7, 2014

Sculpt Miniature Cotton Batting Pumpkin Ornaments

      You don't need much money to craft Thanksgiving heirloom treasures from recycled egg cartons and cotton batting. All it takes is a bit of imagination, glue and confidence to shape and paste cotton batting pumpkins like these.  My miniature pumpkin ornaments are also hollow so that I can include a small token, scripture or money gift inside of each of them for my guests and family members.
      From October through November I decorate my Blessing Tree with small delicate ornaments like these little cotton batting pumpkins.  

Left, a finished cotton batting pumpkin. It's hollow so that I may add a message.
Right, Here you can see it hanging from a very delicate branch. Cotton batting
ornaments are very light weight!
Supply List:
  • egg cartons
  • white cotton balls
  • white school glue
  • thin wire
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • acrylic paints: red, orange, yellow, white, gold and green

Step-by-Step Instructions:
  1. Cut dome shapes from paper egg cartons to use in this Thanksgiving Tree craft. You will need two dome shapes per pumpkin.
  2. Glue the two halves together to shape a round pumpkin. Use tacky glue for this process and also add a bit of white cotton around the seam to give it strength. Brush the surface again with white glue and then let these forms dry over night. 
  3. Cut out a shape at the top of each pumpkin with a small pair of very sharp scissors. I cut out a cross shape at the top of my pumpkins.
  4. Now you will need to roll in the palms of your hands some log-like shapes from your cotton batting in order to form the ribs of your pumpkins. Pinch down on either side of the log shapes  to taper off the ribs at both the top and the bottom of the pumpkin. Glue these to the sides of your egg carton shapes. Let them dry.
  5. Now brush on a layer of white glue and let this dry.
  6. Pull of more cotton from your cotton balls and gently add this with another coat of glue to the surface of your pumpkin in order to shape a final layer of the batting. Let this dry.
  7. Add a final coat of white glue and stick a pencil into the bottom half of your pumpkin. Pushing and twisting gently in order to give the pumpkin a more organic shape. 
  8. Glue a whole clove into this indention and let the pumpkin dry. 
  9. Now you may paint the surface of your pumpkin using gold, orange and red acrylic paints. I mix these together roughly while applying paint to the surface of my ornament. Paint the crevices with darker shades and the ribs with lighter ones.
  10. Take your sharp scissor points and make two small hole on either side of the opening at the top of the pumpkin.
  11. Insert a cotton coated wire and shape a handle. Paint this handle green to mimic a "vine."
  12. I will insert a scripture in each of my hollow pumpkins for every guest I treat this year. I've listed a few popular blessing scriptures below.
Egg cartons make excellent craft material.
Left, I've cut out the cup shapes of an egg carton in order to shape my miniature pumpkins. Middle, Glue two of the egg cups together to form a hollow pumpkin shell. Cut a hole at the top so that you can insert a little treat, gift or message inside the pumpkin shell. Right, Glue a thin layer of cotton batting around the seam to conceal it and make your ornament stronger.
In these photos you can see how I shaped the cotton batting to form an organic looking pumpkin. A small clove is glued to the bottom of each miniature shell where the blossom end would normally be on a real pumpkin.
Here I have added handles to each pumpkin so that these may be hung from my Blessing Tree.
I used acrylic paints to color these old fashioned, hand sculpted ornaments.
Just a Few Blessing Scriptures to Include Inside The Pumpkin Ornaments: NIV versions
  • Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9
  • Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. Proverbs: 16:20
  • A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45
  • Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6
  • But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:27-28
  • Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalms 34:8
  • Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you. Exodus 23:25
More Pumpkin Crafts for Your Thanksgiving Table:

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