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  • Create a Holiday Keepsake: Ancestral Ornaments

  • The holidays are a time to be with family—present and past. Remember your ancestors this year by creating a special keepsake ornament. When made with family members—especially children or grandchildren— you’ll not only create new family memories, but also share a piece of family history.

    Printable Instructions       Ornament Template

    Hilda Kern_ca.1905Suggested supplies: Family photos; a computer, scanner and printer; scissors, glue stick, hot glue gun with glue, hole punch, cardstock or poster board. Suggested Trimmings: ribbon, lace, tassels, sequins, yarn, buttons, feathers—anything! CAUTION: Supervise children when using scissors. A hot glue gun should only be used by adults.

    Step 1: Scan & Print Your Image

    Scan your family photos, resize to approximately 3" x 4", and print. Be sure to scan your images at 300 or 600 dpi for best printing quality. You can resize your photo in Microsoft® Word, Adobe® Photoshop, or any number of image viewing programs. If you don’t have these resources at home, a local copy center can help.

    tracedtrimmedStep 2: Select Your Shape

    Determine what shape will work best for your picture. Cut out that shape on colorful cardstock or poster board. This is the backing for your ornament. Use the templates on our website, or make your own.

    With a pencil, trace around the cut-out backing on the printed picture.

    Cut out the traced shape and glue to the backing. Trim any exposed poster board.

    Finished ornamentStep 3: Trim Your Ornament

    Trim your ornament using ribbon, lace, tassels, sequins, yarn, buttons, feathers—anything! A hot glue gun is needed for heavier trimmings such as buttons and bows. You can also use a tapestry needle to stitch ribbon or yarn around the edge. Add a loop for hanging using a hole punch or glue.

    Don’t forget to write the “who,” “when,” and “where” on the back!

    Step 4: Trim Your Tree

    Your Ancestral ornament is complete! Trim your tree and save your keepsake creations for years—and generations—to come.

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