When I was 3 years old, my Gramma Pat and Grampa Bob came to stay with my family for Christmas. Grampa Bob presented myself and each of my sisters with one of these:
Whereupon he gave the instruction: “Squeeze his cheeks and he’ll give you a kiss.” Even at 3 I was kind of sarcastic, and my thought was, Yeah, right, Grampa. Nice try. But lo and behold, I squeezed the cheeks, and the mouth popped open, revealing a Hershey’s Kiss. Magic! So cute! So clever!
Over the years, all but one of these was lost, and last year when I went home for Christmas, I was saw the ornament on the tree and started to reminisce with my mother. Neither Gramma Pat nor Grampa Bob are with us anymore, so my mom proceeded to get very weepy and insist that since I was the only kid who remembered getting the ornaments, I should keep the sole remaining frog.
Ever since last Christmas, I’ve been meaning to replicate him. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I think it’s a great and unique Christmas ornament. Put candy or money in it for kids. Stick jewelry in it as a surprise. Put some potpourri in as an air freshener…The possibilities are endless!
So last week, I finally sat down and figured it out. It was a little frustrating trying to determine how it all came together, but I’m VERY pleased with the result. I decided to really Christmas it up and make a Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer instead of a frog, which quite frankly, isn’t really Christmas-y at all. Not sure why Grampa got frogs in the first place, but that was just the kind of man he was. One year he gave me a plastic eyeball in my stocking.
Tan or brown yarn
Red pom poms
Brown pipe cleaners
First things first, you need to cut your plastic canvas into squares 1.5″ by 1.5″-each square should have 10 holes in it. Each ornament will require three squares, so cut in multiples of three. One sheet of plastic canvas cost me $0.79, and I got about 10 ornaments, so these are VERY cost effective, just time consuming.
Now, cut a piece of yarn about 1 arm’s length. If you use too much, you’ll have a hard time “sewing.” Thread your yarn needle, and pick a corner, any corner, to start. Starting from the bottom, thread your yarn up through the first hole, and wrap it around the outside of the square. Bring it up through the second hole. Wrap the free end under as you go to secure. Continue threading around the edge until you get to the next corner.
For extra coverage, thread through the corner hole twice, then continue along the second edge, keeping the yarn wrapped nice and tight. When you get to the next corner, come back up through the corner hole, and, on a diagonal, thread into the next row–you are leaving two of the four edges empty for now.
Continue on a diagonal throughout the next row. When you get to the end, turn around and go back the way you came. Continue in this fashion until you cover the entire piece of canvas, and then finish the edges too. Now, cover 2 more squares of canvas the same way.
Once you have three completed squares, it’s time to attach them. Take two of the squares and line up the edges. Starting in one corner, start sewing them together-thread up, around and through as you did for the first edges.
When you get to the corner, sew the same hole twice like you did before. Go around the other edge, and when you get to the nextc orner, tie off your piece of yarn-you are only attaching two sides to each other. Don’t sew all the way around or you will be very sad. This is what it should now look like:
Now, push the two attached pieces apart to form an open diamond:
Grab your third square and line up the edges. Starting in one corner of the “mouth, ” sew around the top edge from one corner to the other, knotting at the end. This is what you should end up with:
Sorry this one’s a little blurry!
You’re almost done! Now all you need to do is add the embellishments. Take a 10 inch piece of yarn and sew it through the top corner of the ornament. Knot at one end to form a hanger.
Now, stick on your google eyes and pom pom. I used tacky glue, but I’m sure Elmer’s would be just fine. Lastly, cut a pipe cleaner in half, and thread each half through one side. Twist to secure and bend into antler shapes.
I got some better, bigger red pom poms for the noses after I made this one!
Great job! You now have a unique, lasting Christmas ornament. I hope it brings you as much joy as mine brought to me. I love you Grampa!