Tomtens – For the Solstice Tree

I’ve posted on here a bit lately about traditions; what they mean, how I want to incorporate them into my family, which ones ‘feel’ right to me etc. One tradition I’ve really enjoyed so far is getting a Solstice tree with Maple every year. Since we met in early November getting a tree together was one of the first things we did together as a couple and is a tradition that even sweet ‘Humbug’ Maple thinks of fondly.

Us! Before we had a sink or a wall shelf or many other things...but we had our first Solstice Tree!

Us! Before we had a sink or a wall shelf or many other things…but we had our first Solstice Tree!

One tradition that I’ve started that I’m committed to continuing over the years is to make a new ornament every year for the Solstice Tree (to be fair, this tradition is only in its’ second year so it’s a baby tradition). Some of these ornaments I give away (see last year’s sheep, musk-ox and moose) and I usually keep a couple for our tree. When Maple and I first got together we had a grand total of two ornaments between us and a decided lack of interest in purchasing more. I like the idea of slowly filling a tree through the years with handmade ornaments that you can look at and remember when and how you made them.

This year, in the spirit of all my new knowledge and interest in the Tomten, I decided to make wee Tomten ornaments for the tree. I found an image on (where else) Pinterest that seemed fairly easy, straight forward and cute.

9084e36309f807cdf85942923f224a04I then spent roughly 40 minutes trying to find a How-To for the above ornament (or something similar) and finally found one here.

After buying all the recommended gear I settled down with some lady friends to watch ‘Love Actually’ and to craft some tomtens! I cheated a bit with this DIY and cut a few corners. I quickly gave up on sewing the edges shut and settled for gluing them closed with the ol’ hot glue gun. I also didn’t stuff my hats with batting (though I did use the fabric wire so I could bend the hats). It didn’t make a huge visual difference to me but I suppose the hats could look a little ‘plumper’ and that’d be good too.

All the tools (minus the yarn for the beard).

All the tools (minus the yarn for the beard).

I don’t know if it was my brain or what but I could not cut a cone hat to save my life during this project. All my cones were huge and trying to cut them down left them too tiny to fit around the ball. So I ended up with tomtens with very tall hats.

Tiny tomten. Tall hat.

Tiny tomten. Tall hat.

Beard yarn!

Beard yarn!

Almost done...

Almost done…

The yarn I ended up purchasing for the beards was awesome, though I did end up burning my hands with hot glue roughly three times per tomtens. The Holiday spirits were getting a little low by the time I got to my 11th tomten (and I gave up on making the final two).

The felt I had purchased for the nose ended up being too light (you couldn’t even really distinguish it from the beard) so I ended up leaving that off.

At the end I was a little ‘meh’ on this DIY. The final product was cute but not something I was all that in love with. I still gave them away as presents and put one on the tree but I think that can attributed to sheer stubborness (“I made it from scratch – IT WILL GO ON THE TREE AND BE GIVEN AS A GIFT. THIS EFFORT WILL NOT BE IN VAIN.”) than anything else. Maybe next year I’ll craft little hipster glasses to hot glue on our tomten…but for this year I think I’ll leave him alone, my hands need a break from the hot glue gun for a few weeks.

Cheers and Love,

Maple and Me

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