How Our Ornaments are Made
Watch Us Create Ornaments at Our Studio!
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"Our passion is to take rare and unique antique and vintage finds and turn them into beautiful Christmas ornaments you'll treasure for generations." - Glenn & Gail Giaimo
It is a 60 second commute from our Queen Anne Victorian home to "Santa's Workshop", a 25' x 50' spacious sky-lit workspace of creative organized chaos. A dazzling assortment of gold, silver and multi-colored tinsel garland is draped on wooden clotheslines. Ornaments in various stages of development are scattered on work-tables illuminated by diffused natural light. Treasured remnants of antique lace, fabrics, old gift-wrap paper and ribbon are draped over shelving or tucked into nooks and crannies. Materials are laid out in plain sight to help us with the creative process of making an ornament. SEE OUR STUDIO ON MARTHA STEWART TV SHOW.
The idea of making a living creating Christmas ornaments always makes people smile; it's something everyone can identify with, evoking memories of one of the biggest traditions of all time - hanging your favorite ornaments on the tree with your loved ones at Christmas. Having a year 'round business allows us to keep Christmas in our hearts every day! We have produced over 5,000 totally unique ornaments over the past 15 years that have been admired, pinned and shared. It continually amazes us to see the impact we have made in the area of making Victorian-inspired Christmas ornaments. Since we are committed to using the finest quality of antique and vintage materials, our craft continues to grow with more variety and quality each year.
To make an ornament, we generally start by selecting paper ephemera from our large collection of 19th century die-cut papers called “scraps”. Victorian artwork, organized by every imaginable subject - from Santas and angels to fairies and kitties - wait patiently for their opportunity to become part of an ornament. The scraps are stunning, nostalgic and whimsical; they are an essential part of what goes into a Dresden Star Ornament. Trays of antique and vintage glass ornaments organized by size, shape and type are on shelves lining one whole side of the shop so we can scan through hundreds of unique ornaments to select just the right one to go with our paper subject.
We came up with the name, Dresden Star Ornaments, because we use Dresden trim (pressed foil paper) from Germany to create our ornaments. In addition, Dresden Germany is the city where beautiful and intricate embossed cardboard ornaments were made between 1880 and 1910.
Most of the materials used to make our Christmas ornaments are between 50 and 120 years old. That's why each ornament is truly one-of-a-kind, and has the look and feel of a 19th century decoration. The gold and silver Dresden embossed papers (stars, borders, embellishes), Lametta tinsel and spun glass are original old-stock. On occasion we use Dresden paper and tinsel more recently produced in Germany with the same manufacturing processes that have been used for over a century.
All these fabulous Victorian-chic Christmas decorations come from our collection of vintage and Victorian supplies. Our favorite things are cotton batting, die-cut papers from the 1880s, Victorian glass ornaments, antique tinsel garland and the daintiest of hand-made lace. We love to search for these beautiful materials and remake them into new creations that people will keep for generations to come. SHOP NOW.
We are busy crafting ornaments year-around! In addition to our diverse subjects - Angels, Santas, Children, Animals, Flowers, Fairies, Ladies, and more - we create ornaments for specific holidays such as Valentine's Day, Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, and even St. Patrick's Day. We list new arrivals for these holidays approx. one month in advance (i.e. January for Valentine's Day).
We never run out of new ways to express ourselves through our art. As a husband and wife team, we love to share our ideas, and come up with new, inventive ways to create and market our ornaments. We would love the opportunity to make an ornament just for you and can work within your budget and preferences. Our customers inspire us to do our most creative work when they request custom orders. LEARN MORE ABOUT CUSTOM ORDERS.