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Christmas Ornament Exchange

Since becoming a “big girl,” I have bought a Christmas tree once and it happened about a week ago.

I’m all for Christmas – holiday scented candles burn throughout the year in Chateau Madalynne and holiday tunes, including N’SYNC, start playing on June 1st. By this time every year, I’m a full-fledged bundle of holiday everything, except décor, and it’s because I’m still a youngster (twenty-five-years-old) and the memories of Christmas before I moved out of the home I grew up in are still fresh. I hesitate to decorate because I don’t want to tamper with those memories. In a sense, if I don’t decorate, I’m still living at home. I’m still a child. Kind of.

I received an email about a month ago from Kelli of True Bias inviting me to join an ornament exchange. After reading the email, my mind instantly recited the Toys R’ Us jingle – “I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys R’ Us kid…”  but looking at the roster of participants and considering my age, I decided to give it a go. So, over the past month, Sonja, Mika, Suzanne, Miranda, Megan, Jen, Dixie, Lizz, Kelli, and I have been secretly crafting holiday ornaments for each other. Today, I show you how I made my ornaments, tomorrow, I will send each one of my ornaments to its new home, and in a couple of weeks, I will post a recap with photos of my tree with everyone’s ornaments in it. Tis’ the season for giving!

Kelli… thank you for putting together a wonderful collaboration.I’m glad you pushed me to grow up, although I’m still am and always will be a Toys R’ Us kid!


YARN: The yarn I used was yarn that was being thrown away from the knitting room at work but here, here, and here are great places to find yarn

TWINE: I used this cotton twine but this Sisal twine and this Jute twine are other options

PINS: I used these pins but these holiday sewing pins are another cute option

RUBBER CEMENT: I used Elmer’s rubber cement but spray adhesive is another option

ORNAMENTS: Simple, clear, glass ornaments are the best option

STEP 1: Coat ornaments with rubber cement. It is recommended BUT NOT NECESSARY to roughen the surface with sand  paper as it will help the glue absorb to the glass

STEP 2: Start wrapping yarn around ornaments in a circular motion so that all areas are covered EVENLY

STEP 3: Wrap some more

STEP 4: When no glass is VISIBLE, wrap the yarn around the shaft of the ornament once or twice

STEP 5: Remove tab at top of ornament and insert yarn into the opening, making sure the yarn is pulled tightly into the opening

STEP 6: Put tab back on to close opening

STEP 7: (not shown): Use cotton twine to make an ornament hook. Ornament hook length is approximately 2″-3″ and is tied in a bow to secure (see picture above)

Relating to this post, Kollabora is hosting a handmade holiday contest called “Put A Bow On It.” I’ve been hesitant to dive into Pinterest but this contest created the good opportunity to become addicted to the world of pinning. So, I created a board with fun DIY holiday gift ideas that I would make as gifts this holiday season, including the ornaments above. I’ve also created other boards so that my Pinterest page doesn’t look too meager. Check it out. Maybe you want to join the Kollabora contest too? Two hundred and fifty dollars worth of Kollabora goodies would be just as good as – maybe better – than what Santa will bring me this year. I know it!



  1. Reply

    Carmen Hui

    I love the woolly one. It is so nice to hear that they are all going to nice new homes.

  2. Reply


    purty 🙂

  3. Reply

    Michelle Flanigan

    very cute and original! bring a few home – your tree in Ft Laud could use them 🙂

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I will! Oh you bet I will!

  4. Reply

    Bekuh Browning

    Love this idea! It’s so homey, and sweet.

  5. Reply


    Adorable! “You’re a big girl now!” (Name THAT jingle?)

  6. Reply


    Cute!! I’m 27 and I still haven’t been bitten by the holiday decorating bug. This could be because I’m constantly traveling for the holidays so I’m never home to actually ENJOY my tree – or maybe the hubby and I are just lazy… Either way – hopefully we’ll get there eventually – because there is nothing like a pretty Christmas tree to get you in the spirit!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      the smell too! I don’t have to buy scented candles for my apartment to smell like a Christmas tree!

  7. Reply


    These are so pretty! And what a great way to use leftover yarn scraps! We skipped putting up a Christmas tree last year since we were going back home and wouldn’t be in NYC very long to enjoy it, but decorating my own tree sort of extends the Christmas season! I’m looking forward to having one of these on my tree this year! 🙂

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I can’t wait to send it to you!

  8. Reply

    carrie elias

    These are so fun and charming……now I can’t wait to make some XO

  9. Reply

    Rochelle New

    Those are very elegant! What a clever idea 🙂

  10. Reply


    How fun, your ornaments are beautiful! We had an ornament decorating party at our Shabby Chic store but I didn’t take pics. I love your tree too!

  11. Reply


    Well, well, well, I see you have fallen for Pinterest’s charm. Be ware, it might suck you in and never let you go. I am so addicted!

    These ornaments are so charming. I love how colorful and textured the yarn is. Congratulations on our first tree!

    I refuse to let go of my Toys R Us memories and, most days, I also refuse to stop being a kid.

  12. Reply


    When I saw your post I instantly thought – this is so Maddie. They are gorgeous, ethereal, fanciful, modern. I just love them. I can’t wait to get mine. I am so happy that you participated!

  13. Reply


    I so know what you mean with the decoration-trepidation-emotion! I’m in a similar limbo, between needing space from home but holding onto home traditions oh-so-tightly…especially this time of year. Love your yarn tree, and good luck making new memories!

  14. Reply


    These are beautiful! I’ve definitely got some random extra yarn laying around that I can use for these. 🙂



  15. Reply

    Meg the Grand

    These ornaments are perfect. I love that you’ve used such common household supplies to make such a marvelous piece! These will be such welcome additions to the other trees around the country 🙂

  16. Reply

    Becky Stets

    Great idea! This is perfect for all those yarn scraps I have hangin’ around!

  17. Reply

    Megan Nielsen

    SO cute!!! and i feel like they are completely your style too. I can’t wait to get mine 🙂

  18. Reply

    Ruffles Gazebo

    ah this is so awesome! i wish i was going to be home for christmas, but ill be overseas and so will my parents so i dont think we will be putting up a tree this year! otherwise id be all over this!!!

  19. Reply

    Jackie Saffert

    That is such a wonderful idea! I can’t wait to see a recap of all the ornaments in the group. 🙂

  20. Reply


    I can already tell I’m not the only one in my house who will love this ornament, my cat is going to be all over it, haha! Super cute and just your style

  21. Reply


    So pretty! I’m looking forward to the year when I’ll be in my apartment for Christmas and I can justify decorating more…

  22. Reply

    Marisa Noelle

    What a lovely idea! I’m off to chop down a tree with my little fam this week and am itching to start decorating (especially after last year when we just moved into our new house and I didn’t have time to put up one Christmas decoration). Your ornament is perfect! The yarn kind of reminds me of funfetti cake 🙂 (which I totally love)

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      funfetti cake? yum! The yarn kind of reminds me of one of your outfits (in a good way!)

  23. Reply


    I love this!! I have a tradition of making a few handmade ornaments every year, and so now that I’ve been a grown up for like, 7 years (!!!) I have a lovely little collection! I love the texture of these, and also, I’ve got to say, you have such pretty tutorials! I need to study your style some more!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      7 years? oh you’re DEFINITELY a big girl now!

  24. Reply


    This is so so beautiful! I love it 🙂

  25. Reply


    These are so lovely! I really like all the textures. They look especially pretty catching the light on the tree.

  26. Reply


    Hello! Stumbled upon your blog through boredandcrafty. Awesome photos and mad crafting skills! 🙂 Have a great day! 🙂

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