Making things yourself is a wonderful activity full of creativity, new skill sets, and fun. Sometimes the end result looks amazing, and sometimes when you tell someone you made it, you can almost hear them thinking “Oh, believe me... I know.” Often people shy away from making their own Christmas tree ornaments because they don’t want to have guests at the holiday party thinking that it looks like the tree is covered in items that were recently picked up from the kindergarten crafts table, but there are many ideas out there for ornaments that you can make yourself and be proud to show off. Most of the ones outlined below also have elements that you can share with your kids (filling something with pearls, tying ribbons, picking out paint or paper colors, etc), so if you’re in search of some holiday projects the whole family can be proud of, read on:
These rolled paper flower ornaments from Positively Splendid look like something commissioned from an origami master, but they’re actually very simple to make (hint: a hot glue gun is involved).
This wooden star from By Stephanie Lynn looks like something from some kind of old-world store with lots of extra Es in the title (a la "Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe"), but is actually made from deconstructed clothespins.
These charming Kate Spade-inspired gold ornaments from Hi Sugarplum are simple to make and really bring that much-desired "wow" factor to your tree:
These ornaments from Mark Montano of Make Your Mark using scrapbooking paper or card stock as the base pretty much have endless options when it comes to color and pattern. See here for a how-to video.
If you’re looking for a craft you can share with your kids, check out these super easy (and cute!) tree ornaments made from scrap fabric and / or ribbon from Fireflies and Mud Pies. (The author also notes how making them was a great activity to teach her son basic knot-tying skills for his first pair of “big boy” shoes— a great bonus for a multi-tasking mommy!)
These hand-lettered globe ornaments filled with pearls and topped with a sheer ribbon add a touch of elegance to your tree's decor. See here for a how-to guide from Ting and Things (they even include a template to help you get the lettering on right).
Similar to the crayon drip pumpkins we featured at Halloween, these ornaments from One Cup at a Time use bits of crayon and a hairdryer to create a one-of-a-kind design your kids are sure to have fun making. (Note: the glass ornament gets hot, so it’s a good idea to handle that part yourself and to hang the ornament as it’s being heated and / or wear some knit gloves to protect your fingers).
These fun glitter twine ball ornaments from Thinking Closet use balloons, twine, and glitter Mod Podge (that’s right— the glitter is in the Mod Podge!! How awesome is that?)
If you’re as excited as we are about the concept of Mod Podge with glitter already in the mix, you can grab some on Amazon here (do be aware that it’s an add-on item, so plan your online shopping accordingly).
Would you ever guess that the designs below are made with temporary tattoos? These ornaments featured on The Crafted Life are a fabulous way to make unique ornaments that look like they’ve come straight from an artist’s workshop:
These personalized photo ornaments from Simple as That are a great item to add to your own tree or to gift to friends and family (don’t worry... they only take 10-15 minutes to make). See here for a step-by-step guide on how to do your own.
Yes, it does take extra time and effort to make your own ornament(s). Yes, it is easier to run to Target and buy a multi-pack of glittery balls, throw them up on the tree, and be done with it. However, putting a personal touch on your Christmas tree can be such an entertaining and rewarding experience (plus a chance to have some quality creative time with your family) that it definitely deserves a chance. Even if the attempt ends in a total "crafting fail", at least you'll have made some fun memories, and that's more than can be said for a trip to Target, right?