Handmade ornaments make thoughtful gifts for friends and loved ones. Make extra to keep for your own tree of course. Collect them through the years and you will a good start to pass along when your children are grown up and have their own tree to decorate.
You can walk into any store these days and find some ready-to-paint ornaments. We love those; they are super easy and involve little to no prep. If you want a more homemade feel, check out these easy-peasy DIY ornaments that your kids will love making. Some of these will require an adults help but the majority of the steps can be completed by the little ones.
Pick up a bag of colorful beads at the local dollar store or gather some odds and ends from the junk drawer. Lace them together on a thread, pipe cleaner, or string and tie into a circle. Finish off your wreath with a pretty bow. No need for an ornament hanger, just slip it on a branch and you’re good to go.
Grab an ornament and some white paint. Paint the length of your kiddo’s finger and have them gently press onto the ornament. After the white paint is dry, they can add buttons, accessories, or more colors with sharpies or paint. Don’t worry about smudges–it just looks like snow! If you don’t have an ornament handy; use cardstock or cardboard. They can paint a whole little winter wonderland for the snowmen to enjoy.
Paint Inside a Christmas Ball
This is probably the easiest DIY kid ornament and it takes about 60 seconds! Choose a couple colors of paint, squirt a bit into a clear ornament, and cap it. Shake it until the paint mixes and completely covers the inside. You end up with a beautiful swirl of colors! Tie a ribbon on the cap to hang on your tree.
Fill an Ornament with Fun
These make great gifts and can be tailored to the recipients tastes. Have the kids measure and pour ingredients through a funnel into a clear ornament. Try a spice mix for dip, mulling spices, taco seasonings, or a dry rub for meats. You could also create a DIY hot cocoa ornament with cocoa mix, mini marshmallows, and peppermint pieces.
Gather pinecones from outside and let them dry. Dip a pinecone in white paint, or use a brush to make it look like it’s covered in snow. Dip it in glue and then sprinkle it with glitter for a sparkly adornment. Or paint the pinecone green and add colorful pompom balls. Viola! A pinecone Christmas tree.
Festive Christmas Ball
Stuff an empty clear Christmas ball with shredded tissue paper, ribbon, glitter or yarn. This is so simple that even the littlest of hands can help. Who doesn’t love ripping paper??
A Special Memento
Something had to have a happened over the past 12 months that you would like to commemorate. New baby? First day of school? Graduation? Grab a clear ornament with 2 halves and add small toy from whatever character they were obsessed with, a sentimental note or letter, a newborn’s hospital bracelet with hat, a tassel from graduation or a first day of school photo. Stuff the ball or glue down the toy/figurine. Add some fake snow and seal it up. We suggest gluing the two halves together.
Salt Dough Ornaments
These ornaments have a been around for so many years there is a good chance that you made as a kid and it is still hanging on the tree. The recipe is super easy! Mix 4 cups all purpose flour,
1 cup salt, and 1.5 cups warm water until the dough forms. Knead it for 10 minutes then roll out to to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into shapes. Bake at 300°F until hard, usually about an hour. Let cool and then paint and decorate.
Use a cheese grater or break up a few very small pieces of crayon in whatever color you’d like. Place them in an empty clear ornament and melt them with a hair dryer on hot. Constantly rotate the ornament so the waxy crayons cover the inside. The ornament may get hot; use a glove to prevent burning your hand. We used a plastic ornament without an issue but glass would be great too.
Chalk It Up
Do you have old ornaments that don’t match your taste or décor anymore? Paint them with black chalk paint and write a name, the year, or a sentiment on them. Are your kids just learning how to write their name? Preserve that skill on an ornament! Tie with a pretty bow.
Trace your little ones handprints on white paper and attach them to a body they cut from colorful paper. Decorate the wings and the halo. Make an angel every year and compare handprint sizes.
Glue Popsicle sticks together in a variety of shapes (triangle for a tree, square for a gift box), paint, and decorate. Once the frame is dry, attach a photo like your Santa picture, Christmas card, or an original piece of artwork. A great gift for the grandparents!
Clothes Pin Crafts
A single clothes pin painted white can be transformed into a cute little snowman. Glue clothes pins together to make a star, a snowflake or Christmas tree shape. Paint and decorate with sequins, beads, or glitter. Use different sized pins for many creative combinations!