Clita Crasta: Making Christmas ornaments from Scrap

As a Christmas special feature, presents on ‘Pots and Paints’ some unique Christmas ornaments and accessories made by Clita Crasta from Oman. 


Clita is an energetic, enterprising and extremely creative person who is known to almost everyone in Oman.  Hailing from Bijai in Mangalore, she has served on the MCCP (Mangalorean Catholic Centre of the Parish) for two years as Vice President and one year as its Cultural Secretary.  During her tenure, the MCCP committee has held some extremely innovative cultural programs.  She has also been a member of the Toastmasters, in fact the first woman ATM in Oman.  At present she is an active catechism teacher and a member of the Parish Cultural Committee.  She also runs a successful restaurant called ‘Mother’s Kitchen’.  Though each day for her is packed with busy activities, Clita still finds time for her hobbies which are painting, candle making, designing and making wedding bouquets, Communion candles and wreathes.  Clita says ?I can never remain idle. The making of something creative with my own hands, relaxes my mind and takes away all the worries of this world.?  This Christmas week, the creative work of Clita’s hands is there for all to see. 

The uniqueness of these Christmas decorations is that they are all made from throwaway articles.  From old bangles, beads, dupattas, pieces of cloth, bottle caps and rings, ribbons, broken toys, stationary, paper rolls??.things we would discard without a second thought.  But Clita recycles them and transforms them into beautiful little pieces of art.

Centre-piece with old dupattas!

Casurina Ornaments:  Take Casurina seeds (seeds from the Gaalimara Tree in Kannada or Chapkacho rook in Konkani).  Clean them, wash and dry in the sun.  Spray them with gold paint, fix with pins and hang on the Christmas tree for some authentic looking ornaments.  You can do the same with Pine cones.

Gift Boxes:  Take old toy blocks or discarded thermocol pieces and cut them into square box like shapes.  Wrap with old gift wrappers and tie with gold strings.

Bottle Rings or Circular Box Rings:  Collect circular bottle or box rings, smoothen the edges with a knife.  Wrap with glass paper or ribbons.  Twist gold thread around them and make them into hanging ornaments.  You can work similarly with the cardboard insides of paper rolls.

Old Bangles:  Take old glass or plastic bangles of different sizes.  Twist gold or silver thread around them.  With the same thread you can attach a smaller bangle to a bigger bangle linking the hoops.  You can also string beads in between.  Leave a little thread at the top to make into a small loop to hang from the tree.

Broken Pencils:  Take a broken pencil and cut off the broken end.  Wrap the pencil with glass paper.  If the paper is plain you can paint silver or gold dots or stars on it.  At the top of the pencil stick a couple of colored feathers from an old duster.

Ornaments on this tree are all made from casurina seeds. The wreath at the bottom is made from discarded plastic flowers!

Tennis Balls:  Take old tennis balls and wrap with Christmas paper, with Christmas designs on it. Or you can use plain colored paper and stick a Christmas picture on it.  Stick a cushion pin on the top and tie a gold thread for the loop.  A tennis ball and a table tennis ball can be stuck together to make a snowman.  Paint the tennis ball white to match the table tennis ball.  Then paint the snowman’s face on the smaller ball.  The snowman’s hat is made from old cardboard and painted shiny black.

Old Hair Ribbons:  Collect brightly colored old ribbons in satin, organza or silk.  Make pretty bows out of them and attach little gold bells with gold thread in the middle.

Old Beaded Chains:  Take old broken beaded chains, string them together in a particular design and then hang on the tree.  You can attach holly, mistletoe, plastic flowers, bells, etc in between.

Ornaments made out of old blocks  bangles  tennis balls  pencil and old ribbon!

Christmas Centre-piece with Old Dupattas or Cloth:  Take two to three old colored dupattas Hold them together and tie a knot at one end with a string.  Then start braiding them together like a plait, tying knots at regular intervals.  When you reach the bottom tie the final knot.  Then place one end of the knot on a flat circular mat and hold firm with your left hand.  Twist the rest of the braid around and over the first knot in a circular motion, almost like fashioning a turban.  When you reach the end tuck the end knot under.  Glue the bottom of the design on to the mat at regular places and press down firmly in place.  Around this knotted centre-piece, you can place Christmas candles or holly or poinsettas to form a border, or put satin bows or shiny Christmas streamers in between.  You can make this centre-piece without the Christmas streamer also.  Instead of rolling it into a turban shape, it can also be hung in an inverted arch on the wall.

This Christmas tree is mostly adorned with hand-made ornaments! thanks Clita Crasta for sharing her creative ideas on the Pots N Paints section and wishes her and her family a joy filled Christmas.