Deck the Halls with DIY Christmas Ornaments!
Four holiday crafts for kids
For many families, decorating the Christmas tree is one of the focal points of the holiday season. Unwrapping beloved ornaments each year brings back memories of “Baby’s First Christmas,” a parent’s childhood, and more.
Making homemade ornaments can add to this experience—and help your tree look ultra-festive while saving you money, which is always helpful around the holidays!
Here are four ideas for homemade ornaments that may not even require a trip to the craft store.
Bundle up and go on a pinecone hunt! Once you’ve collected your treasures, bring them inside and start decorating.
Thin Ribbon or twine, cut into 4” segments
Other decorative elements (silk leaves or fake berries, glitter, spray paint, bells, etc.)
- Use hot glue to create loops out of the ribbon, with the glue closing the two ends together. Then, glue onto the flat part of the pinecone.
- Decorate pinecone as desired. Depending on what you are doing, you may want to do this step first—for example, if you want to spray paint your pinecone gold or another color. But if you are just gluing decorative elements on the top, you should wait until the ribbon is set.
Salt Dough Ornaments
This one’s a classic! Just make sure that your kids (and pets!) know not to try to eat the dough. We don’t want any Christmastime tummy aches!
For Salt Dough:
4 c. flour
1 c. salt
1.5 c. warm water
Modge Podge or other sealant
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix flour and salt in a large bowl, then gradually stir in the water. When it gets too thick to stir with a spoon, start kneading with your hands. Knead until dough is smooth and easy to work.
- Roll dough out to about 1/8” thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and place on baking tray lined with parchment paper. Use a straw or other utensil to cut a whole near the top of the ornament for your ribbon/string.
- Bake for about 1 hour.
- When cookies are cool, it’s time to decorate! Use paint and glitter to make your ornaments pop! Once dry, seal your ornaments with a layer of Modge Podge or other sealant. When that is dry, thread ribbon through the hole at the top.
Popsicle Stick Frame Ornaments
Ah, popsicle sticks! A crafting staple! You can use popsicle sticks to create any number of frame shapes, from Christmas Trees (simply glue three green popsicle sticks in a triangle and add a brown cardstock base at the bottom) to Snowflakes to Snowmen and more. This tutorial is for a simple rectangular frame, but once you have the basics down, start thinking “outside the gift box”!
Popsicle Sticks (Try to find ones on the smaller side)
Markers or Paint
Beads, Bells, Etc. for Decorating
- If desired, color popsicle sticks using markers or paint.
- Glue popsicle sticks into a square or rectangle. If you have longer popsicle sticks, you may want to glue them so that the ends stick out beyond the basic square, rather than gluing the ends together.
- Once dry, use glue to decorate the frame with beads, etc. Once this glue has dried, turn the frame over and glue a loop of ribbon to the back.
- Cut desired photo so that it fits inside the frame. Glue to the backside of the frame so that when you flip it over, you can see your picture showing through your beautifully festive frame!
Fabric Ball Ornaments
My son and I made one of these at Chapman Green Arts’ 2019 holiday market. ahha Tulsa provided supplies and ideas for three different ornaments that kids could make, and of course Joss chose the most time-consuming one! But it was still easy and fun to do–as it involves poking a styrofoam ball repeatedly with a screwdriver.
Styrofoam Balls (I think the one we used was probably about 2-3″ in diameter)
Holiday fabric (Any lightweight sewing fabric will work; it doesn’t have to be specifically holiday-themed. You just want enough so that you can make about 80 1″ squares of it. Also, you can either use multiple fabrics or a single one.)
- Cut fabric into approximately 80 1″ squares.
- Cut a length of ribbon, about 6″. Use a small screwdriver to poke the looped ribbon into the styrofoam ball. Try to poke it in at an angle so it doesn’t come out too easily.
- Begin covering the styrofoam ball in fabric, using the screwdriver to poke the center of each fabric square into the ball. Repeat until the whole ball is covered, and you can’t see styrofoam showing through.