2012 Ornament Exchange

Our second annual ornament exchange transpired last weekend. To see how our exchange works you can read my post from last year. A dozen ladies make a dozen handmade ornaments, then we come together to exchange after chatting over salad, rolls and desserts.

This year’s hostess made these amazing felt owl ornaments.

This Santa key is tied to a poem explaining how the magic key opens the door on Christmas Eve when there is no chimney to come down. It fits into a hand stitched burlap envelope.

This salt dough star was stamped with the tree image, then baked and tied with a blue ribbon.

This “honeycomb” ball ornament is made by sewing circles, then hot-glueing ends and middles together.

Buttons strung on wire make this wreath very sweet.

This ornament was made with vintage church art sandwiched between tiny glass panes and soldered together, with a little bling at the bottom.

This is a Norwegian elf – complete with long beard and red cap, perched on a pinecone.

This wire ornament was made using a jig to get the basic shape of the letters, than free formed to get the loops.

A dozen of these scrabble-inspired ornaments were pieced together from multiple game sets found on ebay – with different Christmas sentiments expressed on each one.

The cupcake is made by gluing a red ball ornament to a cupcake liner, then applying caulking “frosting”, bead sprinkles and tiny cherry ball on top!

This snowman is covered in glitter, with puffy paint features and an orange sculpey clay nose. The hat is a finger from a mini glove, snipped and rolled.

My ornament was also a key – and goes with a poem and “Symbol of the Innkeeper’s Key”. I made velvet pouches to store the keys, and stamped the words, “Let Him in” to an antique brass round which I attached to the key. It is a reminder that Jesus is waiting at the door, but we need to let him in.

Following is the poem I wrapped around the key:

A Prayer For December:

 Dearest God, Please never let me

Crowd my life Full to the brim.

So like the keeper of Bethlehem’s Inn,

I find I have no room for Him.

Instead, let my heart’s door be ever open,

Ready to welcome the newborn King.

Let me offer  the best I have

to Him who gives me everything.

-author unknown

Each of us is an innkeeper which decides if there is room for Jesus

-Neal A. Maxwell

You can download the printable I made here.

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33 Responses to 2012 Ornament Exchange

  1. Jaime says:

    Very cute! Where did you get the keys and round plate to stamp on? LOVE the idea!

  2. Christine Hathaway says:

    I LOVE this so much!! I’m going to make these for some special friends and my kiddos this year! Thank you for such an inspirational & meaningful gift idea! Way to keep Jesus in Christmas – thank you!!!

  3. Karen says:

    I absolutely love the key ornament and poem. Love, love, love. Thank you for sharing.
    Merry Christmas.

  4. Megan says:

    fantastic ornaments!

  5. Stevi Ann says:

    I really love this!! Is there a way to down load that poem like on the paper you have for the Innkeepers Key?

  6. Holly says:

    I LOVE your key and poem!! I would also like to get the down load of the poem if you are willing to share it. Your font is beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing this idea!! Do you think Oriental Trading will have the keys later on? It would be nice to know the item number for them, if you have it. Merry CHRISTmas!! =]

  7. Lisa Leavitt says:

    I would love a copy of the poem of the poem as well!!!! I LOVE this idea and want to make one for each of my children!

  8. Cate says:

    What size letter stamps did you use? would a 1.5mm stamp be too small?

  9. Christie says:

    What a wonderful ornament idea! I have never stamped metal before. What kind of stamp does it take?

  10. Amanda says:

    I love these keys so much. After searching for keys I found ones that I ordered from Etsy that seem like they’re going to work great, http://www.etsy.com/listing/110697081/bulk-skeleton-keys-antiqued-copper-68mm?ref=sr_gallery_19&ga_search_query=bulk+skeleton+keys&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all

    They are flat on one side but they still work. Now I just need to find some matching circle’s and punch them with my stamping kit 🙂 my YW are going to love this!!

  11. Renee says:

    Kristin, I just discovered you from pinterest. These are all lovely handmade ornaments. I will be complementing you and your friends by borrowing some of your ideas for gifts and additions to our tree in the years to come. Thank you for sharing your talent. Just a note…I searched on ebay for antique bronze keys and there were tons of them at very reasonable rates.

  12. Mandie says:

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It’s the little changes that produce the largest changes.

    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  13. Lori says:

    Hi Kristin,
    This is such an awesome project. Where might I find the download of the poem? Thanks so much for sharing it.

  14. lori b says:

    What size keys would you need to purchase? I’ve looked at several but cannot get a good feel for what’s required. Thank you for sharing your creativity.

  15. Jenny says:

    Thanks for the great idea for my ornament exchange. I am sorry to be a pill, but I just wanted to point out an error in the printable to go with the key. It is gramatically incorrect to say “Each of us is an innkeeper WHICH decides….”. The correct phrase is “….an innkeeper WHO decides…” I also checked the quote on lds. org. Neal A. Maxwell did say it correctly. It is misquoted in your printable. Unfortunately, I had to make my own version since I couldn’t edit yours.

    • Jenny says:

      Oops. Typo…”grammatically”….also, my spell-check doesn’t seem to agree with me that the “which” is incorrect, but the grammar information I have checked does. At any rate, it didn’t sound right to me.

  16. Jenny says:

    I forgot to mention, for anyone who wants to find keys, here is a great site:


    They have several different types of keys in three different metals. The keys are 3D, not flat on the back, come in varying lengths, up to over 4 inches, and they are willing to customize if you want a particular key in a differnt length or metal. The prices are reasonable. I got my keys there and I am very happy with them.

  17. Denise says:

    Thank you so much . I have been looking for something for our exchange that would stop me when I saw it…we’ll yours definitely stopped me. Not only will this be for the ornament exchange, it will be for family gifts. This brings tears to my eyes and will become a great gift with significance. Thank you again. Now to make a list

  18. What a lovely message with the lovely key. I think I will have to try stamping metal, as that does make all the difference instead of just a key. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Marian says:

    This is one of the most special ornaments I have ever seen!

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