How to Make Victorian Tree Ornaments

Written by cynthia myers
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The storybook Christmas depicted in works such as "The Nutcracker" and "The Night Before Christmas" are set in the Victorian Period (1837-1901), a time of lushly decorated trees, lavishly wrapped packages and abundant velvet, lace and frills. This is the romantic Christmas of holiday cards and idealised dreams. You can re-create this Victorian look with handmade ornaments for your tree. Victorian ornaments are a fun craft project to work on with children.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Styrofoam balls
  • Red tissue paper
  • Gold braid
  • Red satin ribbon
  • Old Christmas cards
  • Dried flowers
  • Lace
  • Walnuts
  • Gold spray paint

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  1. 1

    Create kissing balls, a good foundation ornament for your tree. Cut squares of red tissue paper 10 inches square. Stack two squares of paper and set a styrofoam ball in the middle of the tissue. Gather the paper around the ball and tie at the top with yarn or a metal twist tie. Glue gold braid in a decorative pattern on top of the paper, using the hot glue gun. Make a ribbon loop and glue this to the top of the ornament for a hanger. You can add a tassel on the bottom if you like.

  2. 2

    Add paper cones to the tree. Make cones out of coloured paper or the fronts of Christmas cards. Roll the paper into a cone and fasten with tape. Add a loop of ribbon. Fill the cone with dried flowers. You can also make cones out of lace or velvet and fill with flowers.

  3. 3

    Hang paper fans between the kissing balls and paper cones. Cut a half circle from coloured paper or the front of a Christmas card and pleat into a fan. Trim with ribbon, lace or flowers. Add a ribbon loop to hang.

  4. 4

    Spray walnuts with gold spray paint and hang by ribbon loops. You can also spray paint small pine cones and hang these for a touch of gilt to your tree.

  5. 5

    Finish off the tree with paper chains. Use any scrap paper for the chains, from construction paper to Christmas cards cut into strips. Drape the chains around the tree like garland. Alternately, you could use strings of popcorn and cranberries.

Tips and warnings

  • Ginger cookies, wrapped candies or fruit were also popular tree decorations in Victorian times.

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