News Flash Home
The original item was published from 11/23/2020 4:54:38 PM to 11/24/2020 3:24:24 PM.

News Flash

Hampton History Museum

Posted on: November 23, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Get Your Free Ornament Making Kit!

Temp Square  Heirloom Ornaments

Hampton History Museum Offers Free Heirloom Ornament Making Kits

Hampton, VA—While the Hampton History Museum won’t be able to host its annual Holly Days Open House this year, they are keeping alive the tradition of making their popular heirloom ornaments. 

Beginning Friday, November 27, the museum is offering free kits available for pick up in the museum lobby featuring craft materials to make tin-punch ornaments, God’s eye ornaments and hanky angels. Crafting instructions will be posted on the museum’s website, Facebook page and YouTube playlist.

Each style of ornament has its roots in history, and harken back to early American rafts and the holiday traditions of a young nation. The story of the origins of each style of ornament is included with the kits.

Prepared by museum educator Kris Peters, the kits contain the materials needed to craft one example of each ornament: 1 aluminum tart pan; 4 paper patterns; 1 “hanky”; 1 felt ball; 1 pipe cleaner; 1 piece of gold ribbon; 1 craft stick cross; and several yards of yarn. Crafters will need scissors, tape, thumb tacks and white craft glue. The materials provided can easily be supplemented or substituted with other materials as a crafter desires. 

Tin Punch
 Tin Punching as an art form dates back to the beginning of the 17th century. The English soldiers stationed at Fort Algernon (what is now known as Old Point Comfort) probably had punched tin lanterns. By the middle of the 18th century punched tin was being used for one of the most iconic pieces of early American furniture, the pie safe.  Prior to the invention of refrigerators, pies, bread, and even meat would be stored in cabinets with walls and doors that had panels made of punched tin. The holes in the tin sheets allowed air to circulate around the food but kept insects out. By the 19th century pie safes were considered as much a piece of home decor as they were a practical kitchen fixture.

Hanky Angel
 Prior to the invention of cheap disposable paper tissues everyone carried a handkerchief. The Hankey Angel is a creative way to reuse handkerchiefs that were getting old and worn out. The hanky would be wrapped around a ball of cotton furniture batting and then yarn or ribbon would be tied around the ball to form the angel’s head. Once that step was complete there were countless ways to decorate the angel. The hanky could be folded and sewn into various patterns, wings, halos and other additions could be made to make each angel unique.  

God’s Eye
 Originally crafted by the Huichol People in the Sierra Madre Mountains of western Mexico, the gods’ eye served as a gateway between the physical world and the spiritual world. Each god favored different colors or color patterns, so the person crafting the gods’ eye would chose colors that would attract the attention of a certain god. The craft went on to become a popular Sunday school activity.

Quantities are limited, and available while supplies last. Kits can be reserved for pick up in the museum lobby by calling 757-727-1102.

The Hampton History Museum is located at 120 Old Hampton Lane in Downtown Hampton. Museum hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Sunday, Wednesday, 1:00-4:00 p.m. For more information visit

Like the Hampton History Museum on Facebook!
Facebook Twitter Email