Sometimes, a little help from a fellow Crafter is all you need!
You can skip my chatter below and check out the video's here!
I can't tell you the number of emails I get from people looking for a little extra
advice on how to tackle the heads for the Twelve Days of Christmas Ornament Series by Larissa Holland of MmmCrafts. The emails are always a little shy because people know I make the heads to sell. However, I'm a huge believer in sharing knowledge and helping to enable others develop crafty skill sets so I am happy to share what I've learned over the years.
Larissa does offer incredibly detailed visuals within her pattern instructions, as well as additional resources within her blog here, but sometimes visuals just aren't enough! I thought for 2023 I would create a little video series on how I go about making these heads to try to further help anyone that wants to give it a try!
I have been making heads for these ornaments for years now, and I do retail them. They are a perfect alternative for those of you with shaky hands, and a fear of ending up with garish looking faces on your beautiful ornaments!
However I KNOW there's a segment of you out there that maybe just needs a few additional hints & tricks sent your way to give you the confidence to at least try! I think the biggest problem is people forget it all starts with marking up a 20 cent bead with a pencil. That's it. The bead is cheap and the pencil is erasable! There is literally no commitment here, if you make an incorrect line, or look at it and realize you made an error, you can easily fix this!
Even now, I begin every head with a set of construction lines to help keep everything square, and features relatively matching. I could never tackle these heads if I did not first start with a basic set of construction lines drawn out on the beads!
Selecting the correct types of markers and such is also incredibly important - you may get frustrated if you finally go to draw in an eyebrow and the marker bleeds all over the bead you JUST finished drawing on! I review the supplies I like to use in the first video, Maid a-Milking. On her MmmCrafts Blog, Larissa goes over her material preferences in depth.
The next important thing is keeping that hand steady! If my elbows were not resting on something, and my fingers not oriented in such a way against the bead to reduce shake, I would have a lot of trouble making these! It's one of those things you don't always think about, but as you watch through my video series, you'll see how I use my hands rested against each other, against the bead itself, and you'll hear me talking about anchoring my elbows to really channel every ounce of stillness into my fingers as they work!
Another juicy tidbit to share with you is to wait 24 hours after using your markers before you do any erasing! I can't tell you the number of times I rushed this step and ended up with a smeared mouth or eyebrow because the marker was still a bit wet when I tried to erase. And when you erase, if the features fade a bit, it's no big deal, just go over them with the same markers again!
One thing I don't go over in the video is the use of a fixative spray. I don't bother using this on my Twelve Days heads because the marker is permanent, once it's dry it does not come off, and I've never had a fade issue due to sunlight or whatnot. However I DO use fixative on any of my heads that I use actual powder blush. I find over time the blush can fade and using a quick spray of adhesive really keeps it fixed in place! You will see me use this in the upcoming Christmas Past and Present Head Tutorials.
And that's all there is to it! I do hope you make the time to watch these videos, and let me know if they have helped you in any way! Post some photos of how your heads are turning out, I would love to see the results :)
And if these videos intimidate rather than inspire you to make the heads, please visit the Heads section in my shop and check out all the heads I have ready-made for you to purchase!