Every year my daughter decorates our Christmas tree with our homemade ornaments (and some store bought decorations). I enjoy soaking up all the wonderful, sentimental Christmas tree ornaments that fill the branches. Many of these ornaments are easy to make and are a great holiday activity for children.
Here are 10 easy Christmas tree ornaments you can make:
- Wedding invitation ornament – Did you get married this year? Slice your wedding invitation into strips. Gently curl around a pencil. Place inside the ornament. See link for more details. Add a ribbon to the top. You get extra memory points if the ribbon came from a special wedding present package.
- Christmas time capsule – use a small container (like a pill bottle or film cartridge). Decorate the outside with the child’s name. Screw an eye hook onto the lid. Inside put a scroll. The top line says: “My Christmas Wish.” On the next line, put the current year. Each year add to the list. Make sure the paper is long enough to handle many years of wishing.
- Acrylic paint inside clear ball – This is an easy craft for young kids although it does need an adult helping hand. Get clear glass ornaments and carefully take off the top. Lay the top aside. Have the child pick out two or three colors of acrylic paint. Help them to pour in a small amount of each color into the ornament. Now gently turn the ornament and watch the colors spread and make nice patterns. When the child is done, leave the ornament to dry open-end down in an egg carton with a bit of tissue paper at the bottom. This tissue will hold the paint that drips out. It will take at least a day for this to dry. Once dry, put the top back on the ornament and seal with a bit of glue or clear nail polish.
- Hang tag with picture and date – This hang tag can be used on any ornament. It can be as plain or fancy as you want. Get a piece of paper no larger than a business card. Punch a hole on one end. Put a picture of the ornament maker and the year on the card. Tie onto the ornament with ribbon.
- Small baby book with picture and vitals – Make a miniture baby book scrapbook to use as an ornament.
- Polymer clay or cold porcelain clay ornament – Have your kids make (just about any shaped) ornament. Poke a hole through the ornament before baking or drying. Remember that clay will shrink, so make the hole about twice as big as you want it to be when done. You can also just put a paper clip half way into the top of the ornament. When done, put an ornament hook or ribbon through the hole or paperclip. Mark the ornament with the child’s name and year.
- Medal or award – If your child has gotten a special award or pin this past year, turn it into an ornament. It will have special meaning in the years to come.
- Copy of wedding vows rolled up inside a mini-tube – Decorate a cigar tube with mementos of your wedding – like a bit of ribbon from your flowers, confetti, your wedding colors, etc. Type up a copy of your wedding vows. Roll up the vows and put into the container. Tie/glue a ribbon onto both ends of the tube. Each year as you decorate the tree, reread your vows and renew your commitment to each other. Note: see if your local cigar shop can give you one of these for free.
- Baby hand print – the younger, the better for this ornament. Dip baby’s hand in non-toxic paint and then press onto an ornament. Write baby’s name and the current date on the ornament with permanent marker. Once the paint has dried, spray on a sealant. This is a really fun ornament as the year’s go by because “baby’s” hand will get WAY bigger and its fun to compare sizes each year.
- Vacation memories – when you go on vacation pick up “tiny” mementos such as a pebble, a bit of confetti, a ticket stub, small sea shells, a dried flower, etc. Also bring home some sand, gravel, dirt. Make a clear ornament vacation memory ornament. Make sure you put the place and the date of the vacation in or on the ornament. You can also make a hang tag with that information and a picture of you on the vacation. This could also make a great gift for traveling companions.
Also check out our earlier post on five easy handmade ornaments. All of these ornaments also make great gifts. Remember to date each item. Handmade memories = priceless.