Saturday, December 28, 2019

Art Elements Theme of the Month December 2019: Handmade Christmas

First off, let me just say that I hope that each and every one of you has had a delightful holiday season... whatever holidays you choose to celebrate.  Our Christmas holiday was spent making and eating tons of yummy food including my very first (and thankfully, quite successful) attempt at making gougeres (also known by me as cheesy poufs!), spending some quality time with good friends that we don't see nearly enough, and finally getting to the new Star Wars movie!

I love the idea of sharing all the handmade goodies that we create this time of the year.  Seeing what other creatives have been up to and how they respond to each theme of the month is always fun, but I especially love seeing the special holiday treats that everyone dreams up.

For me, this handmade holiday challenge reveal isn't too very different from what I did last year, but I thought I'd share what I've been up to anyway since I do have some new designs!  Once again, I went a little bit overboard with the saltwater etching.  I had a friend who has a guillotine cut down a bunch of copper sheet for me into manageable rectangles.  I stamp my images on the copper pieces using rubber stamps and StazOn ink and then etch them using batteries and a hyper-saturated kosher salt solution.  Fun mad science times!!

After the pieces are done etching, I antique them with liver of sulphur, cut my desired shape out, sand and file the edges.  When that's all done, I punch any holes I want and add beads and/or charms and a ribbon to hang them.

Some of the ones I made this year are designs that I used last year and some are totally new for 2019.  Here's what I've managed to make:

Three brand new designs!  

Happy Christmas was new this year... I love the leaf charm and red "berry" beads on this one!

The middle one was new this year and the first one I sold.

I added all of the ornaments that didn't sell in my holiday shows into my Etsy Shop (you can see what I still have for sale HERE).  From that I ended up with a special order for a very specific saying... "Deck Them Halls Y'all!)  Since I didn't have a rubber stamp for that, I had to get creative!  Luckily, Heather Powers had shown us an image transfer technique at her Inspired by Nature Retreat in 2018 so I went to work trying to figure out how to use that for the desired results.  I played around with the words and some holiday graphics in PicMonkey and then got them printed onto transparency film.  From there I was able to transfer the image onto my prepared copper and proceed with the etching and ornament making process.

Special order ornaments.  I'll be making more of this design for next year!
Last but not least I'll share an ornament that's doing double duty for this reveal as well at the last Art Bead Scene Art Journey challenge of the year.  I had pulled a large porcelain snowflake pendant by Nancy Adams of Round Rabbit thinking that I might make a necklace with it for the ABS challenge.  The more I looked at it, the more I thought that it was just too big for me for a necklace.  I switched gears and whipped up a little Christmas ornament that currently is gracing our tree.

That's all that I have for this month, but this is a blog hop.  I hope you'll check out what everyone else created for a Handmade Christmas!

AE team: 



  1. Your etched copper ornaments are gorgeous. I've tried salt water etching with very mixed results. Not sure it the fails were just user error or something about the supplies but I didn't stick with it long enough to figure it out. You've definitely got the knack for it.

  2. Beautiful ornaments Sarajo!! So cool that you could could figure out the transparency for the Deck Them Halls You All!! I am very impressed. Happy New Year!!

  3. I love your etched ornaments. Well done! have a happy 2020.

  4. Lawdy! Those etched ornaments are so lovely. I'm smitten with that butterfly one that looks like it has some patina within its wings. And, the custom order has me giggling. That sounds exactly like something for someone down here. Too cute! I hope y'alls Christmas was nice and hope you have a most excellent new year!

  5. Sarajo, I just LOVE all of your etched ornaments!! And the transparency technique I'll have to try next year. I'll be at home in France come January and don't know what supplies I'll be able to procure over there since I started all my jewelry making in 2017 when I came over to help MomCare! Alysen

  6. I just love all your etched ornaments. I have only ever etched with PCB etchant. It is messy but usually works well. I think I need to try the saltwater though. My favorite is your new 'Believe' one for this year. Happy New Year!

  7. Wow - I love the etched ornaments. They are fantastic!
    I am going to have to try the salt water etching - I want to get away from the chemicals.
    I really like the commissioned ornaments - those are amazing!

  8. Really beautifull etched ornaments!

  9. The etched ornaments are fantastic! I could think of a whole load of personalized designs for those :-D

  10. Beautiful! Access to a guillotine - I'm jealous. This may be the year I salt water etch? Hmm. I will pepper you with questions if i do... That snowflake is a stunner. I agree that its great on the tree... but if you hang it in a window it can be up even longer. ;-)
    Thanks for joining us - and Happy New Year to you and Eric!

  11. Love your etched ornaments! Happy 2020!

  12. Great ornaments SaraJo! Impressed you made goujeres! I would love some!

  13. Your copper etched ornaments are wonderful. I love the compilation of design in each one.