Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Homemade Christmas ornaments - for crafters and kids alike

homemade christmas ornaments from kids and crafts

I love making homemade Christmas ornaments and make at least one new ornament a year. As soon as the craft supplies come out of the closet and get spread on the table, you can guarantee the kids are going to be drawn to the project and very eager to add their own creative touch.

While not a professional crafter by any means, I have captured some of our creations here for others to immitate. Since this is a work in progress spread over several decades, I can't give credit to many of the originators for their ideas that have borrowed.

Easy Christmas Crafts for Kids

Miniature Baskets

Miniature Basket Tree Ornament

This little basket is only about 1 1/2 inches wide. It was filled with tiny pinecones and artificial greenery 30 years ago. Granted, it takes extra care to keep fragile ornaments circulating year after year, but is worth the effort.

Super Easy Lace Snowflakes

Lace Snowflakes Ornament

This simply requires white lace and small plastic sewing rings (I include the Amazon links for a few products on this page so you know what I'm talking about.)

Simply thread one edge of the lace around the ring. It's as easy as putting keys on a key ring. Well, actually it's easier.

Wedding Bells

wedding bell ornaments

Here's a quick and easy ornament kids have fun making. Bells or any other miniatures can be hung together with red ribbon. These wedding bells were made by the kids for our tenth anniversary party and given to each of the guests.

Miniature Ornaments

maroon miniature ornaments

Another miniature ornament, these are great for small apartment trees or for the difficult-to-decorate top branches of a large tree. Here two small balls are twisted together and a miniature snowflake and metalic bow are combined. Your local craft store has an aisle of miniatures to provide kids with lots of options for making unique and delicate miniature homemade Christmas ornamanents.

Jingle Bell Wreath

Jingle Bell Wreaths

The kids made these from kits, but they were so simple we got the basic supplies and got more. A green pipe cleaner forms the wreath and the jingle bells are strung onto it. Add a red bow and some gold string for a hanger. Easy makes it happen!

Painted Ornaments

Plaster Ornaments to Paint

Ceramic Church Ornament Ceramic Church Ornament

Your local craft store offers a variety of ceramic ornaments that you can paint. Nothing seems to draw the interest of children more than colorful paints and tiny paint brushes.

If there is much detail on your ornament, it is worthwhile to invest in the more expensive thin paintbrushes used by artists. The packages of 12 brushes for $1.00 are not going to serve you well with these projects.

horse tree ornament

Animals and toys are fun to paint as kids (and adults) can use the colors they desire. This rocking horse was painted to look like the rocking horse I got for Christmas when I was two years old. Yep, I still have him and he was happy to pose as a model for this simple to make homemade tree ornament.

Wooden Painted Ornaments

Wooden Nutcracker Ornament

These wooden nutcrackers came from the store ready-to-paint. Even the white hair and beard were already in place. Look for a wide variety of wood ornaments at your local craft store for kids to paint in addition to the nutcracker. But a tree is definitely missing something if it doesn't have a nutcracker ornament.

Ceramic Painted Ornaments

Gingerbread Painted Ornament

Ceramic ornaments are also available to paint. The gingerbread man is an easy design that even young children can decorate.

Satin Balls and Sequins

sequins and satin ball

Here is a DIY project your kids can do with a bag of sequins, some straight pins, and inexpensive satin balls. The smallest sequins were put on the pin first and larger sequins added step by step afterwards. The point was stuck in glue before being inserted into the ball. The kids can create any design they desire.

Classic Sequin Ornaments

White & Red Ornament Red & Gold Ornament

Pink & Red Ornament Orange & Yellow Ornament

I think these were all made from kits. They were made by me when I was a kid; yep, decades ago. Don't look too closely at the yellowing satin. But this shows that they do hold up for a long time.

Made from Christmas Cards

Cards in Casting Resin

casting resin

Christmas cards with small designs can be preserved forever if sealed in a mold with resin casting. These were made many years ago with the Plasticast kit (smile if you are old enough to know what that was.) Craft stores and Amazon can still supply you with the resin and you can use any molds.

You do want to secure the hook or something for the hook on the back before it dries completely.

Cut With Decorative Scissors

christmas card ornament

My daughter made this card in Sunday School. All you need are old Christmas cards, decorative edge craft scissors, and a template for the child to trace.

Made from Christmas Balls

The Year in Glitter Glue

write the year on your Christmas ball

Doesn't get much easier than this. An inexpensive plastic Christmas tree ball, and two colors of glitter. You can write the year as a keepsake. You can also write the names of everyone in the family.

Some of the balls also had feathers glued to the top.

Handprint Snowmen

handprint snowmen

I saw this kit in a magazine and confess I used the idea without buying the kit. The kids placed their hand in white paint then grasped their ornament. When they were dry, they painted the snowmen figures out of their fingers.

Actually, this was not a relaxed project. Because of the mess, I had them put the white paint on one at a time. We also had the baby do it, but it took two adults to carry that out. And of course, the baby couldn't paint his own snowmen.

Made from Paper

Paper Tree Ornaments

Our friend Carrie ornaments for us with her kids a few years ago. The brown paper bag from the store was cut into the gingerbread shapes. They used puff paints for the outline and features. The front and back were glued together leaving a gap to stuff it when it dried. After adding the stuffing, a hanger was glued inside and the gap in the paper closed with glue.

Made from Jewelry Beads

Cardinal Beads

One year we made lots of strings of these beaded icicles. We got red, yellow, and clear beads from Oriental Trading as well as the snowflake beads and cardinal beads at the bottom. (They have a fairly good selection of holiday beads that change year by year.)

In addition to the beads you will also need crimp beads and jewelry write. If you don't have needle-nose pliers you might want to get a pair of those as well.

Easy to make, fun to hang.

Made from Kits

snowman bell ornament

These were easy for kids to make from kits - but could also be made from scratch. There's a little of everything.

Paint a snowman's face with a fine paintbrush (black, white, pink, and orange acrylic paints.) Cut out and sew together the red felt hat. Sew a small jingle bell to the tip. Glue on a bit of ribbon and glue it to Mr. Snowman's head.

Now glue the head to the red jingle bell body. Wrap a green chenille pipe cleaner around his neck. Add tiny jingle bells to the ends of the pipe cleaner.

Stitch on the ribbon and he's ready to hang out with his buddies on your tree.

homemade bead Christmas ornament clear wreaths

Kits are great when you are short for ideas or time. Mary Maxim, Oriental Trading, and Amazon are some of the places you can find kits, as well as your local craft store.

Inexpensive DIY Christmas Tree Ornaments For Older Kids & Adults

For a few dollars you can cover your tree with beautiful ornaments if you are just getting started. Or you can create a theme-tree without spending a lot of money.

Fans from Christmas Wrapping Paper and Card Stock

Christmas Tree Fans

These are about two inches across. Cut a half circle from white card stock. Cut two half circles slightly smaller from Christmas wrapping paper.

Choose paper with small designs as paper with large snowmen or Santas is not going to fit on these decorations.

Carefully glue the wrapping paper to one side spreading the glue thin. Make sure you glue the edges. Once one side has dried, turn over and glue the other paper to the opposite side.

Dry over night before folding into the fan shape.

Add a small bow. The ends of these bows have become frayed over the years. Wish I had dipped the edges in glue back then. These, by the way, were made in 1988. I got the idea from some ornaments on the tree in a mall.

Strings of Beads & Angel Hair

Beads and Angel Hair

Older kids may enjoy making these DIY ornaments which dangle about 6 - 8 inches from the bottom of the tree. The angel hair may be a bit hard to manage for younger kids. The angel hair is twisted around strings of beads that are cut and looped around a plain Christmas ball. A bow is added to the top.

Clay Ornaments

Heart Shaped Clay Ornament

Only three colors of Sculpey clay were needed for these ornaments: red, white, and a little green.

Roll the red and white into ropes; it will bring back memories of playing with PlayDough as a toddler. Braid the ropes together.

Add the holly leaves and berries. Use a needle to carve the veins into the holly leaves. Put a hook in the center, bake, and hang.

Mirror Ornaments

Heart Shaped Mirror Ornament

Another easy, inexpensive, but pretty ornament can be made with the little mirrors available at your craft store. They come in different shapes but I chose the heart. Iridescent glitter glue and red glitter glue were applied to the perimeter of the mirror. Add a little miniature and a string for hanging.

Garland Balls

Garland Balls

A strand of commerical garland can be cut into 6 inch pieces and folded into garland balls. For a small price you get a large number of matching ornaments.

Egg Ornaments

Egg Christmas Ornament

Much sturdier than Humpty Dumpty, these egg ornaments are made by first removing the insides of raw egg. Use a needle to pierce a hole in the top and bottom of the egg. Hold the egg over a bowl and let it drip out. Patience is needed. You may widen the hole slightly with the needle, but don't get in too much of a hurry or you will crack your egg shell. (Actually, you can expect a fairly high percentage of cracked shells before you get the hang of it. So buy an extra dozen for this project.)

You can either blow on one end or suck on the other to encourage the mixture to flow out. It will. But it isn't necessarily the neatest job. Let you eggs dry out for at least 24 hours.

Make a pasting solution of 2/3 white glue (craft glue or Elmers will both work fine) and 1/3 water.

Choose a thin Christmas wrapping paper with small designs (large designs won't work.) Cut the wrapping paper into strips and squares about 1 inch by 1/2 inch. They do not have to be perfect by any means.

Soak the paper in the glue for a few seconds, they smooth it onto the egg shell. Add layer after layer.

Be sure to add the sting or ribbon for hanging the ornament before the glue dries.

More Ideas for Clear Ornaments

When clear glass balls first showed up in the store my first reaction was, "Why would anyone want this?" But there are so many ways you can personalize and use these balls. Here are only a few.

A Bit O' Lace

Clear Ornament

Only three colors of Sculpey clay were needed for these ornaments: red, white, and a little green.

Roll the red and white into ropes; it will bring back memories of playing with PlayDough as a toddler. Braid the ropes together.

Add the holly leaves and berries. Use a needle to carve the veins into the holly leaves. Put a hook in the center, bake, and hang.


Frosty Snowman Ornament

My son made these in Cubscouts. The transparent ball is plastic but looks similar to the glass balls. It is stuffed with white Christmas tinsel. The face was painted with orange and black acrylic paint. A pipe cleaner and pom pom make his ear muffs.

Personalized Ornaments

Frosty Snowman Ornament

Our friend Linda had a personalized ornament for each of her guests. She filled them with dandelion puffs and outside added miniatures to reflect the personality of the person she made it for. A very thoughtful gift as well as a lasting ornament.

Favorite Ornaments

Made from Styrofoam

styrofoam base ornaments

Originally made from a kit, this idea is easy to copy. The bon bons are a small styrofoam ball with gold sequins pinned into them. The ball was pressed against a table to flatten and glued into a small baking cup. Holly is glued to the top.

The kiss was also made with a styrofoam ball. It was flattened on the bottom by pressing into the table. The top was pinched to form the triangle. It was covered in silver foil with a little holly glued on top.


embroidery ornament

Those who like to embroider can use their skill to create heirloom ornaments. Options include kits, patterns, and Do It Yourself creations.

Last year I had an old embroidered ornament that had yellowed and deteriorated with age. I soaked it in oxyclean for several hours and was happy with the result.

embroidery ornament

Cardinals are a favorite Christmas ornament with their beautiful, bright red color. The date of this homemade Christmas ornament is clearly showing.

Painted Ceramics

painted cherub

This delicate cherub was from a kit. Nope, didn't let the kiddos help me with these fine featured ceramics. This was is particularly dear to my heart because it looked just like my own newborn that we welcomed that year.

Felt Ornaments

felt ornament

This particulary fellow also came from a kit. Penguins, however, are relatively easy to make without a kit, with their black base and white heart shaped face.

Basically, any simple Christmas shape can be cut out of two pieces of felt and stuffed for your tree.


candy kiss bird

A friend gave us several of these years ago, and they remain a favorite tree ornament at our house. When you squeeze the bird's cheeks together his mouth opens and a candy kiss can be found hiding inside. If you replace the candy, that is. One of these days I am going to have to re-create the template and make some more. I definitely would not make them green because they blend into the tree so much. But maybe they are supposed to. Otherwise they'll eat all the candies sooner.

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