One of our favorite parts of decorating the house for Christmas is taking out the box of passed-down ornaments, a meaningful collection that grows each year. From gorgeous globes your in-laws gifted you and your partner for your first Christmas together to crafty felt creations the kids made in kindergarten class, ornaments are perhaps the most meaningful Christmas decoration. And if you are looking for homemade craft ideas this holiday season, DIY Christmas ornaments are a great idea for the whole family to try.
While ornaments are most often hung from the branches of your real or artificial Christmas tree, there's no stopping you from spreading the Christmas cheer by incorporating these adorable hanging shapes on your mantel or a seasonal wreath to add extra charm to your festive door display. As long as there is a means of hanging the ornament, these DIY pieces can embellish your wintery window scene or be the final touch on your Christmas dinner table. Regardless of where you choose to hang up your DIY Christmas ornaments, these charming homemade decorations will soon become what you look forward to most to put on the tree (before the shining star).
Marbled Nail Polish Tree Ornaments
Easily turn ordinary wooden trees into festive pieces by dipping them in a cup filled with water and two different shades of green nail polish. Keep your figure upside down as you place it into the bowl until it stops dripping. Once it's done, you can place it upright to dry.
Faint Paint Tree Ornaments
You can go for a more rustic look with your wooden trees by simply watering down acrylic paint before you happy it to the trees. Once it's dry, use a mini eye screw in hook and ribbon to create a topper.
Paper Candle Ornaments
Real candles will be a big no-no, but these adorable paper candles will add the elegance you're looking for.
Get the Paper Candle Ornaments tutorial at The House That Lars Built.
Painted Copper Foil Ornaments
With a little copper, foil, and paper mache, you can make your tree all glitz and glam.
Get the Painted Copper Foil Ornaments tutorial at Design Improvised.
Pink is actually a perfect hue for Christmas. Here, you'll skip the solid color and opt for a gradient style.
Get the Gradient Ornaments tutorial at A Kailo Chic Life.
Cookie Cutter Ornaments
Gather up some Christmas-themed cookie cutters to make a few DIY'd ornaments. Trace the cookie cutters onto patterned paper and cut them out. Place a small line of glue around the edge of the cookie cutter and place cut paper on top, lining up all the edges and let it dry. Attach a small loop of cord to the back of the ornament, let dry, and hang.
Honeycomb Paper Ornaments
Draw half a bell or oval onto folded paper balls (we used ones 8” in diameter) in mixed colors and carefully cut out the shape. Then unfold the paper ball and use double stick tape to attach both ends.
On a gold ornament, paint two circles of white where they overlap for an area for the eyes and let dry. Paint two black dots for eyes in the center of the two white circles and let dry. Paint a black (or red for Rudolph) nose in the center where the two white circles meet and add a little mouth shape underneath the nose and let dry. Attach the twig antlers to the top of the ornament with hot glue. Cut out a triangle ear shape from brown construction paper and bend inwards slightly and put a thin line of hot glue right in front of the twig antler and glue down.
On a red ornament, paint a thick line of black paint around the middle of the ornament and let dry. Cut out a small rectangle of the gold glitter paper and cut a smaller rectangle in the middle to make it look like a belt buckle. Then hot glue the buckle to the center of the black line to look like a Santa belt.
Dangling Star Ornaments
Baking up a simple salt dough is a kid-friendly activity.
- Mix 1 cup of salt, 2 cups of flour, and 3/4 cups of water (and optional food coloring). Knead until mixed.
- Roll out dough and cut with star-shaped cookie cutters.
- Use a skewer to poke a hole in the top.
- Bake at 350º for 10 minutes. Hot glue decorative sequins.
Fluffy Santa Ornament
A giant pom pom makes for one soft and cuddly Santa.
- Cut a 3" x 3" square of red felt into 2 triangles, then use hot glue to attach on 2 sides.
- Hot-glue faux-fur trim around the bottom and a small white pom-pom.
- Twist silver craft wire into 2 loops and trim edges to create Santa's glasses.
- Hot-glue the glasses and a small pink pom-pom nose to make his face.
Use a Cricut cutting machine to create these intricate snowflake ornaments, or if you're particularly skilled with a pair of scissors cut them out by hand. And if you mess up, no worries because no two snowflakes are the same.
Whoever said "Don't play with matches" didn't know how much fun it would be to make Christmas ornaments out of them. All you need are matches, glue, and your imagination to make some fun geometric Christmas designs this year.
Cinnamon sticks aren't just for mulled wine and Christmas desserts. They're also useful for these DIY ornaments that look like adorable Christmas trees and smell like all your best holiday memories.
Salt Dough Ornaments
Mix together salt, flour, and water to make these salt dough creations. Roll them out and use Christmas-themed cookie cutters to make all your favorite shapes.
Larry Stansbury is a writer whose work has appeared in POPSUGAR, Sports Illustrated, Her Campus, Distractify and more. He covers a wide range of topics, including entertainment, lifestyle and sports. Larry graduated with a B.A. in writing and rhetoric from Syracuse University in 2018. When he’s not writing, he is either working out, eating carbs or dancing to the next Little Mix song.
Elizabeth Berry (she/her) is the Updates Editor at the Good Housekeeping Institute where she optimizes lifestyle content across verticals. Prior to this role, she was an Editorial Assistant for Woman’s Day where she covered everything from gift guides to recipes. She also has experience fact checking commerce articles and holds a B.A. in English and Italian Studies from Connecticut College.
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