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DIY Christmas Ornament Ideas

Published October 28, 2010        by Rae Ann

Handmade Felt Ornaments

It’s very rewarding and fun to make your own Christmas ornaments. Whether you want to make them with your children or make them to give to special people in your life, you can craft a bunch of wonderful ornaments that make great Christmas gifts and will appear on the tree for years to come.


You can use digital photos of family and pets to make really cute ornaments. Experiment with online software such as Picassa, which is free, to retouch your photos. After you’ve got your photos just right, print them out. Or you can use traditional photos printed from film in the same way. For an easy craft that children can do, craft ornaments from felt shapes. Cut out trees, bells, birds, holly or any other Christmas shape from felt in colors like green, red and gold. Using regular school glue, glue a photo on each shape. Punch a hole through the top and string yarn through the hole. You can also laminate photos and hang them on string or add glitter to the edges of photos and glue them on dominoes and hang them from the tree. There is no end to the ways you can turn photos into lovely ornaments. Use your imagination and get started creating memories.

Clear Glass or Plastic Balls

Every craft store carries some form of glass or plastic clear ornaments. These are perfect for filling with special items. The hooks are included, so all you have to do is fill and hang. One idea is to fill with glitter, confetti in fun Christmas shapes, photos of the kids or pets, potpourri, or sequins. The fun of these ornaments is that you can fill them with just about anything. If you live on the coast and have family that lives in the Midwest, filling an ornament with sand and shells is a fun surprise. Have children draw or write on the outside with permanent marker and don’t forget to add the year.

Cookie Ornaments

You can bake sugar cookies like you normally would, decorate them with colorful icing and then hang them from the tree. Be sure to poke a hole in each cookie before it’s baked as you can’t add the hole later without the cookie crumbling. Another way to make ornaments that will last (unlike cookies which will last only the one season) is to make a home made play dough. The dough can be made easily using a few ingredients you probably already have in the pantry. You use the same method you would for cookies, only there is no baking. The dough will air dry. Use shellac from a craft store to protect the ornaments and make them shiny.

Homemade Dough for Ornaments


1 cup cold water

1 cup salt

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Tempera paint or food coloring

3 cups flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch


Mix all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Roll out and cut with cookie cutters. Poke a hole with a pencil through the top of the ornaments. Allow to dry and run a string through the hole and place on the tree.

The more food coloring or paint you add to the dough, the darker your colors will be. Section off small batches of dough before you add the color so you’ll have more than one color to work with.

Use embellishments such as glitter, sequins, yarn, and fabric to decorate your dough ornaments. Add google eyes. You can even paint on top of the dough and make them as bright as you like.