Thanks to everyone who contributed to schlazathon 2021! We ended up raising over $7,000 for 46 different nonprofits! I finished making the ornaments on Saturday and was able to get everything packaged up Sunday, so if you were a contributor, expect to see your priceless treasures soon. I’m already thinking about plans for next year.

supplies acquired!

I had a great time making the ornaments. I’m certainly no skilled crafter, but I do enjoy making things with my hands from time to time, although my projects usually involve more hobby electronics than pom poms.

oops, got a bit aggressive trimming the left side

The picture for the ornaments were actually custom gift tags from Simply to Impress that I cut down a bit, and I think it worked out pretty well. I backed it with some tag board, then glued some painted popsicle sticks to make a border and applied some pom poms. The tags came with jute twine for attaching to gifts, so I just hot glued a loop to the back. I think they turned out pretty nice, at least considering it’s just for a laugh.

prototype! plz ignore the sloppy glue blobs!

While I was hot gluing the jute loops (lol Jute Loops! The worst breakfast cereal? High in fiber, I bet.) the smell of hot glue instantly brought me back to a Christmas from my childhood where my Dad and I built a doll house for my sisters. (And by built, I’m sure it was a kit that we just assembled and painted, but I was probably around my son Iver’s age, and it felt like an enormous task at the time.)

Painting popsicle sticks. I promise it’s paint, not blood. Only cut myself once while cutting the sticks!

Smell and taste can be such a powerful memory trigger, as my new Internet pal Becky wrote about in her piece about original Chapstick, which is the best Chapstick; I don’t care if it works the best or not and don’t tell me if it’s made out of straight crude oil, it is childhood winter in a tube. I’m not sure if it was the dollar store hot glue or what that triggered the memory, but I’m thankful it did. Connecting that childhood experience of making something with my hands for my sisters with my silly little fundraiser gave it a little extra meaning, and might have played a part in my decision to make… kind of a lot of ornaments.

fa la la la la la la la lot of ornaments

My original plan was to make maybe 15 or 20 of them as I didn’t know how much time it would take to make them. Instead I ended up making one for everyone that was interested in one. I’ve mailed out or delivered many of them, and the rest will be making their way to their new homes soon.

Thanks again to all the participants, and I hope you’ll consider participating next year!