I love antique Christmas ornaments! I have quite a few in my decorations that I have collected from auctions and from family. I like the vintage spun cotton icicle ornaments but I haven’t managed to snag any of those yet so I decided to make some of my own spun cotton icicles with a primitive twist.
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Creating the Icicle Form:
To give the icicles some substance, I started with a wooden skewer. I broke the skewer in half to make it the length I wanted for my icicle. (Mine are 5-6 inches long.)
Then I took cut strips of news paper and wrapped (wadded) it around the skewer. To keep it all together, I then wrapped the entire icicle with masking tape.
I made one end of the icicle more narrow than the other end.
Since I wanted my icicles to be Christmas tree ornaments, I added a wire hanger next. I cut a 5″ piece of rusted wire and twisted one end into a spiral and poked the other end down into the top of the icicle ornament.
Preparing the Cotton:
I grabbed a few cotton balls from my medicine cabinet. If you look real close at a cotton ball, you can see that the cotton is wound around into the ball. If you start picking at the outside of the cotton ball, you can unwind it into strips of cotton.
I used several cotton balls unwound into cotton strips for an icicle.
The Grunge – Glue Mixture:
I mixed a grunge glue mixture for adhering the cotton balls onto the icicle. I poured ModPodge Spray On into a bowl and added some instant coffee. The more coffee you add, the grungier the finished icicle ornament will be.
Adding the Cotton to the Icicle:
I brushed the glue mixture onto the icicle form and wrapped the cotton strips around it, moving up the icicle in a spiral.
After the icicle was entirely covered with cotton, I added a second layer of cotton.
Then I brushed on a coat of the glue mixture over the entire icicle and let it completely dry.
After drying overnight, the icicle feels pretty solid.
The next step was to add a spiral “bump” all the way down the icicle.
For this, I used more strips of cotton ball that I twisted until they resembled a thin yarn.
I brushed the entire icicle with another coat of the grunge mod podge mixture and then added the “spun cotton” to the icicle around it in a spiral.
To make sure the cotton stayed in place and to “age” this cotton, I applied a coat of the grunge mod podge mixture over the spun cotton.
Add Glitter to Icicle Ornament:
The icicle had a nice primitive look at this point, but I wanted to add just a little bit of sparkle. After all, the antique spun cotton icicle ornaments had a little glitter to them!
Since the icicle was already damp with the glue mixture, I just sprinkled a little bit of clear crystal glitter onto the icicle before hanging it up to dry.
Be sure to check out our other primitive craft tutorials.