Ready, Set, Decorate
There can never be too many ornaments on the tree, right? Whether you already have boxes of baubles in the basement or you're starting fresh, give your hand a try at making these easy DIY Christmas ornaments to add your own personal touch to the tree. From simple to sparkling and everything in between, these ornaments will look great and be fun to make.
Cinnamon Stick Bundles
Using raffia or baker's twine, bind together a handful of cinnamon sticks. Accent with rustic beads, bells, or seeds, or add a dried orange wheel to enhance the scents.
Related: 10 Ways to Decorate Your Xmas Tree for Under $10
Cut two leaf shapes from cardstock or watercolor paper and glitter the outward-facing sides. String a ribbon loop through a bead and glue ends between the two leaves, then clamp together to dry.
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Turn clear glass ornaments into colorful decorations with acrylic paint. Start by placing a couple of drops of paint at the top inside of the neck; turn the ornament to create swirls of color. Continue adding more paint until you've created your very own, one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Visit Persia Lou for the full tutorial.
Write a name in cursive and cut a long piece of wire. Using pliers, bend the wire to match the curves of the written name, ending with a loop or heart. Finish by wrapping the wire with baker’s twine or yarn until each letter is covered. A few drops of glue will help keep the string in place.
We've seen the power of chalkboard paint on everything from furniture to coffee mugs, so why not DIY Christmas ornaments? A fresh coat on a plastic ornament lets you add a personalized touch to your tree. Simply wipe with a damp cloth to change the message.
Dried orange slices add color and a pleasant scent to your Christmas tree. To make your own, bake slices of citrus in the oven at 150 degrees for three to four hours, or let your sliced fruit air dry for 4 days. Oranges are the classic choice, but you can use the same technique with lemons, limes, and even grapefruit!
Related: 8 Things You Never Even Knew About Christmas Trees
Turn construction paper or an old book into an elegant star ornament. Cut thin strips of paper, then hot glue them into onion shape. String an embroidery thread tassel to the bottom and an embroidery thread loop to the top to hang.
Vintage-Inspired Bell Jars
The Smile Mercantile sells the supplies to fuel this holiday DIY project. To make these vintage-inspired DIY bell jar ornaments, enclose a timeless winter scene under the dome of a glass cloche, then sprinkle glitter inside. These step-by-step instructions will help you create your own little holiday diorama this season.
Sparkling Acorn Ornament
Paint a three-inch Styrofoam ball in a dark natural tone. Press or hot glue acorn caps into the foam, getting them as close together as possible. Fold a twine loop and use a straight pin to fix it to the ball. Brush Mod Podge along the edges of the acorn caps, and sprinkle glitter while the glue is wet. Finish with a ribbon bow once the ornament has dried.
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Roll red felt into a cone shape and hot glue in place. Then attach a pom-pom and a felt nose with hot glue. When the ornament is dry, thread a loop at the top of Santa's hat, and this simple project is ready to hang.
Screw a small eyelet into the back of a plastic figurine, and then cover the entire toy in a solid color of paint. Allow the toy to dry, then coat with glitter spray paint. Finish with a layer of sealer, and you can have a menagerie of playful ornaments.
Related: 10 Holiday Ornaments to DIY with Everyday Stuff
Salt Dough Stars
While not edible, these cookie ornaments are sure to add delight to your tree. Follow the salt dough recipe at One Little Project, then knead, roll flat, and start making cookie cutouts. To recreate the design shown here, gently press your dog's paw into the dough, then reward him with his own (dog-friendly) holiday treat. Bake the cookie ornaments at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for two to three hours. Let the dough dry out for a few days, then paint with acrylic paints and, if desired, use a pen to embellish with intricate designs.
Stuffed Felt Snowman
Build a plump snowman in the warmth of your own living room with just felt, embroidery floss, and cotton batting. Personalize your snowman with colorful buttons, eyes, and a carrot nose. Find the at Remodelando La Casa.
Related: 15 Insanely Easy Ways to Decorate for the Holidays
Shower Curtain Ring Wreaths
Wood rings from the craft store or even no-longer-used shower curtain rings can find new life—and just in time for the holidays. Transform them into mini wreaths by wrapping them in colorful yarn. Personalize yours with ribbons, bells, or artificial greenery, like the blogger at A Pretty Life in the Suburbs.
Clothespins are a classic material for making your own DIY Christmas ornaments. Glue together a few wood clothespins (available at most craft stores), add a pair of googly eyes and a red pom pom for a nose, and you've got a new friend who bears a striking resemblance to Santa's favorite reindeer.
Simple yet sweet, a DIY Christmas tree topper can come together with sparkly pipe cleaners and an old wire hanger. Twist and turn an old hanger (or jewelry wire) into your preferred design, then wrap with glittery pipe cleaners. Ta-da! Your new tree topper is born.
Goody, goody gumdrops! What could be easier to pull off than this set of DIY Christmas ornaments resembling one of the season's favorite sweet treats? The blogger at The Sweetest Occasion made these artificial gumdrops by mixing plaster into brownie pop molds and painting them. Get the full tutorial here.
For Christmas with a Swedish-American twist, a dala horse ornament will do the trick. You can make your own from wood or cardboard, or put your embroidery skills to the test with this design from Little Dear Tracks.
flickr.com via merwing
Wire, adhesive, and a beautiful crystal are all the materials a DIYer needs to create this homemade Christmas ornament. Shine on!
Bring quirky color to one of nature's most beautiful gifts of the season. Pinecones adorned with miniature pom poms bring an unexpected jolt of color to a natural Christmas tree. One Little Project shows how easy it is to put these DIY ornaments together.
The Yule log isn't the only wood a-blazin' at this time of year. You can burn your own wood slice ornaments—carefully and artfully—with a wood burning tool available at most craft stores. Use it to write a holiday message, your family monogram, or a playful pattern.
It may look like Christmas magic has bound these hazelnuts together in the form of a wreath but the secret is hot glue and innovative use of a jam jar lid. Find the full details at the Northstory blog.
Candy Cane Jingle Bells
Two iconic symbols of the season—jingle bells and candy canes—come together in this DIY Christmas ornament. After threading bells onto a length of wire, the blogger at A Pretty Life in the Suburbs hung her candy cane from a peppermint striped ribbon for added effect.
Pinecones and Birch
Snip, snip, snip. Take a pair of scissors to a pinecone to slice little florets that can be mounted to a birch round. The blogger at An Extraordinary Day has the full details.
Who's this? Why, it's a trio of owls come to roost in your Christmas tree! Make your own brood, like Lia Griffith, with pinecones, felt, and pipe cleaners.
While you're at it turning pinecones and felt into DIY Christmas ornaments, try your hand at another woodland-inspired design from Lia Griffith. This momma and baby fox pair will make an adorable addition to your holiday decor.
If you love the shimmery look of glitter but don't trust yourself with a bottle of the stuff, buy a sheet of glitter paper, as did the blogger at Make Life Lovely, to make this next DIY Christmas ornament. To see how she measured and cut the pieces of paper to make the bow, click over to her tutorial.
Donuts are good at any time of year, but donut Christmas tree ornaments have a time and a season. And the time to make these little DIY accents is any time the creative bug bites you!
A cheerful, jingly ornament is easy to put together with nothing more than a pipe cleaner and several silver bells. Instead of a pipe cleaner, try red ribbon, jewelry wire, or even an up cycled hanger, twisted into a shape of your designing.
Related: 14 Vintage Christmas Ideas to Borrow from the Past
Someone over at It All Started with Paint has a good sense of humor! That's who thought up this clever DIY Christmas ornament that's made to look like Frosty melted while hanging out on your holiday tree.
These DIY feather ornaments can be created with air-dry clay. Here's a great tip: Drape your feathers over paintbrush handles to dry for a more 3-D appearance. You'll find more at The Country Chic Cottage.
Recycled T-Shirt Pom-Poms
Transform an old T-shirt into a pom-pom by cutting it into 1/2-inch strips. Wrap the strips around an index card, then bind them in the middle with thread. Cut each of the loops and trim your pom-pom down to size. You'll find a full tutorial, including tips for dyeing your creation, here.
Filled With Glitter
Remove the top from a clear glass ornament and squeeze a bit of floor wax inside. Turn the ball ornament to coat all sides with wax and pour the excess back into the bottle. Pour in glitter and rotate to cover the wax. Allow to dry and replace the top.
Turn a foam ball into a vanilla cupcake by rolling it in a "frosting" of artificial snowflakes. Glue the base into a few cupcake liners that have been glued together for stiffness. Top it off with a glittery cherry-like accent, lace with baker's twine or ribbon, and this sweet DIY ornament is ready to hang.
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Grab some Scrabble tiles and spell out holiday-themed words of your choosing. Cut the Scrabble trays to fit. Then sand them smooth and hot glue the letters in place. Attach some twine or ribbon to complete this playful decoration.
Ombre Glass Ornaments
Tie one end of 12-inch string to the top of a clear glass ornament and knot a loop on the other end for hanging. Then dip the ornament in a bowl filled with colorful glass paint and hang to drip dry. Once dry, dip again to create a layered, ombre look. Add a special message to the globe or hang it on the tree as-is.
instructables.com via Fairgoods
Light Bulb Snowman
Save those burnt-out light bulbs and turn them into snowmen for the holidays. Begin by painting the bulb with white acrylic paint, then letting it dry before topping it with an old child's sock (for the fuzzy hat). You'll find a full tutorial at Crafts by Amanda.
Ordinary glass ornaments can be turned into clever Rudolph designs by hot gluing felt antlers and bright red pom poms. Get the full tutorial from Studio DIY.
Twig Christmas Trees
A handsaw, a drill with a small bit, and sandpaper will help you craft this twig ornament. Cut twigs to size and drill holes in the center of each piece before sanding the ends with fine-grain sandpaper. Thread ribbon through the holes; make a loop at the top to hang and tie off the ribbon at the bottom. Keep it plain and rustic or use acrylic paint to decorate.
Related: 12 Simple Woodworking Projects for Christmas
Upcycled Lip Balm
Leave it to the writers at A Beautiful Mess to turn anything—even a container of lip balm—into a DIY Christmas ornament. This tutorial shows how eos lip balm, metal studs, and gold tassels come together in this simple but high-impact project.
Between baking holiday cookies, hanging the lights, decking the halls, and preparing to feed the masses who come in and out of your home at the time of year, you might not give much attention to what your feathered neighbors are eating. But you can supply them with a festive treat that doubles as a DIY Christmas ornament for an outdoor evergreen. Get the tutorial at While Wearing Heels.
Lots of Llamas
A pair of llamas sporting the brightest of embroidery threads are sure to add flair to your Christmas tree. Cut card stock, cardboard or the material of your choice in the shape of a llama, then embellish it with gel pens and thread, as Natasha at The Artisan Life did.
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Immortalize the annual ritual of picking out the Christmas tree by recreating the scene in miniature—and hanging it on your Christmas tree. Choose vintage matchbox cars or dollar store hot rod racers, then tie mini evergreens (available at craft stores) to the roof of each car with baker's twine. If you want to share the fun, make extras using toy cars that resemble those of your family, neighbors, or friends, and give the handmade ornaments as gifts.
Hang some of your favorite memories from the last year or previous Christmases right on the tree. Homey Oh My shares her tutorial for these charming picture frame ornaments. All you need to do is print out your pictures and then stick them to pre-cut wood pieces using decorative washi tape.
The Craft Patch shares two simple ways to make charming custom ornaments using stamps. For a rustic look, pick your preferred stamp design and ink color and then press it straight onto a wood slice. Another option is stamping a design into clay and baking it. Both are super easy to do with impressive results!
Succulents might not be your first thought when it comes to the holidays, until you see these pretty ornaments by Within the Grove. Resembling a mini terrarium, the faux succulents offer a calming, natural alternative to some of the loud, glitzy decor in stores.
Upcycled Necklace Ornaments
Costume jewelry—vintage or otherwise—is a great material for making ornaments, just look at PMQ for Two's upcycled Christmas ornaments. She repurposed a broken necklace into multiple small, sparkling decorations for the tree. Don't worry if you don't have any broken jewelry lying around at home, stop into your local thrift store for pretty finds.
Your tree doesn't need to be naked even if you are a minimalist. These simple wooden baubles by The Merry Thought make great accents that go with your simple style. Of course, if you want a little sparkle you can always add glitter.
Crafting Christmas Memories
Making homemade ornaments for the tree is more than just a DIY project, you're creating holiday memories that you'll think of every year when decorating the Christmas tree.
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