Celebrate the last weeks of winter with Victorian Christmas Ornaments featuring holly and ivy and antiqued mirrors. Christmas may be long gone but I had some requests to add this tutorial to the blog. Make these ornaments now (while you might have some extra time) or catalogue this idea for next season. These Victorian Christmas Ornaments are perfect gifts or a charming addition to your own tree. Happy winter!
DIY Victorian Christmas Ornaments
Why in the world am I posting a Christmas project NOW? I know, I know. I really debated whether I should add this project to the blog or just wait until next season. So many of us are (1) anxious to move as far away from 2021 as possible and (2) very, very ready for spring to arrive. BUT, I had some requests for a tutorial on this particular project so I felt like I should oblige. Some people like to prepare early for Christmas so that they don’t feel the frantic seasonal anxiety. If this isn’t you and you couldn’t care less about Christmas 2022 right now, then no worries, I have plenty of other projects up my sleeve for this spring season. But if you’re up for a wintry project, then gather the following materials and forge ahead. It’s gonna be great!
Step One: Antique the Mirrors
The first step to creating your Victorian Christmas ornaments is to antique the round mirrors. You do have the option of keeping the mirrors as they are. However, they will look very shiny and new and will not have the vintage, antique effect that is desired for a Victorian aesthetic.
Please visit the following in-depth tutorial on how to antique a mirror: https://boroughfarehome.com/how-to-make-an-antique-mirror/
Here is a brief breakdown of how to antique a mirror:
- Lay the mirrors so the backside is facing up on a protected surface (plastic, cardboard, etc.)
- Spray generously with paint stripper, allow to sit for 20-30 minutes, then remove the mirror backing with a straight edge tool.
- Spray lightly with muriatic acid (be very careful, this stuff is hardcore). Whatever the acid touches will be eaten away so use with discretion. You only want to take away small bits of the mirror for the antique effect to work.
- Use a paper towel and gently dab the muriatic acid dry.
- Spray paint the entire back of the mirror with gold antique spray paint. Let dry thoroughly.
- Spray paint over the gold with black spray paint. Let dry thoroughly.
Step Two: Adding the Holly & Ivy Image
- Once the mirrors have been antiqued, it’s time to add the holly & ivy image. Download the FREE Holly & Ivy PDF below and print onto the Inket Film Paper. Be sure to print on the rough side of the film paper. Allow to dry before handling.
- Following the lines, cut the holly & ivy images from the printout. Using the spray adhesive, spray the mirror and then adhere the image to the mirror, smoothing out bubbles and edges.
- Allow the image & glue to dry before moving on.
You can see how the vintage Victorian aesthetic is starting to come to life at this point. Now we will start to add some ornamentation.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE PDF BY CLICKING THE IMAGE BELOW
Step Three: Adding the Diamond Dust Glitter
You are welcome to use any glitter of your choice but I’m going to plug this Diamond Dust pretty hard because it just looks amazing. I don’t get any benefit from my endorsement other than knowing you are using some of the best stuff for your project. It’s actually crushed glass so it has a sheen and luster that you can’t get with regular craft glitter. But it also comes with a precaution: handle carefully! It’s basically thousands of tiny glass shards, which can easily give you splinters. Just be cautious, maybe wear some gloves, and it will all be worth it.
- Using a paint brush (or tool of your choice), apply a generous amount of Mod Podge around the edge of the mirror.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of Diamond Dust onto the Mod Podge.
- Carefully lift the mirror and shake off excess glitter.
- Lay on a protected surface to dry.
Victorian Christmas ornaments here we come! We are getting closer to the finish line.
Step Four: Finishing the Victorian Christmas Ornaments with Red Ribbon
First, I have to apologize for the ugly, convoluted images. Normally, they would be cleaner (prettier) and easier to see but I was under a stressful deadline to finish these ornaments for a holiday event. I’m just grateful that I had the clarity of mind to take photos as I went so that I had something to show you. Hopefully, it’s all been easy to understand.
Now it’s time to add the red ribbon. I found beautiful red ribbon at Hobby Lobby for fairly cheap, especially with their 50% off sale. I’m pretty sure I purchased 1/4″ ribbon.
- Cut the ribbon into 7″ lengths. One for each mirror.
- Turn the mirror over and glue the ribbon neatly to the back with hot glue. I just eyeballed the center of the mirror and went for it.
- Allow to dry.
Victorian Christmas Ornaments: An Homage to Queen Victoria
Like I mentioned earlier, these ornaments were created for a Victorian Christmas event where we attempted to recreate Queen Victoria’s famous Christmas card illustration. The card, depicting her family gathered around a plump, glowing evergreen tree, was circulated throughout the whole country of England. Queen Victoria (and Prince Albert) were known for being trendsetters and this holiday card marked a new way to celebrate Christmas — centered around a grandly decorated Christmas tree. For our event, we decorated a 10′ Christmas tree with dozens of tree candles, golden glittering sleigh bells, and holly & ivy antique mirror ornaments. The tree was placed atop an 8′ circular table, much like Queen Victoria’s. It was breathtaking. I really wish I had taken a photo but unfortunately I was too preoocupied with hostessing.
But here are some styled photos of the ornaments for your enjoyment:
Though I made these ornaments as part of a to-do list for an event, I also made them just for pure enjoyment. I love recreating history. It really touches a chord within my soul. I am a hopeless romantic and even though romanticizing the past is shunned these days, I can’t help myself. There are so many beautiful, good things about our history that would be a shame to ignore or throw away just because we’re mad at the bad stuff. Though these Victorian ornaments are not truly antique, they still have a way of helping me connect with the beauty of the past — and I love it.
I wish you the best during these frigid, dark winter days. It seems as though everyone is getting cold, snowy weather, no matter where they live. Mother nature is a little confused, I guess. I hope you have something warm to cozy up with. Just writing this is making me crave a cup of hot chocolate. So, I think I’ll go get one. Cheerio!