There’s nothing more exciting than pulling out your Christmas tree from a year of storage and gathering all your Christmas tree ornaments with anticipation. A family tradition of mine is to pair Christmas tree decorating with hot chocolate and brownies. Yum! Whatever your Christmas traditions may be, I think we can all agree that your ornaments are the life and personality of your tree.
Creating your own ornaments is a great way to bring the family together for a “family craft day” event. The kids will love “helping out” as well. Even if you’re new to DIY projects, building an ornament for your tree can be a really simple project. I’ve gathered a few designs that are not only breathtaking, but also capture the essence of the season. To make it even easier, I’ve sectioned the crafts by difficulty level, so try them out at your own risk.
Candy Cane Ornament
What You’ll Need: Candy cane, hammer and transparent ball ornament.
Choose between the mini candy canes or the regular size candy, place about 6-8 pieces in a small Ziploc bag and lightly hammer the treats. Lightly tap the candy with the hammer rather than completely crushing them to tiny bits and pieces. The bigger pieces of crushed candy looks better in the ornament due to the mix of colors. Not to mention, it becomes a bit more messy and sticky when working with the “dust” of the candy cane.
Next, you’ll remove the ornament’s top and set it aside. Peel open your Ziploc, fold a piece of paper in half and fold the bottom end. Pour the crushed candy cane into the make shift paper bag and use that to guide the candy into the ornament.
NOTE: If you have a funnel handy, feel free to use it for this step.
Pop the ornament’s top back on. Here is where you can customize the look of the ornament to suit your style. Grab a small piece of ribbon (preferably red or green) and glue it around the ornament’s lid/top. Then tie a jute twine into a pretty little bow. And that’s it, super easy, right?
Felt Christmas Tree Ornament
What You’ll Need: A strip of felt (colors are up to you), a brown strip of felt for the bottom of the tree that measures 1/2 inch wide by 2 1/2 inches long, printable size guide, embroidery thread (or regular thread), needle, glue gun and gold paint (to paint tree top ‘star’).
First, follow the measurements on the printable guide and cut the amount and sizes of felt accordingly.
Stack the pieces together. Remember to start with the largest piece and work your way to the teeny tiny one. Depending on the colors you choose, you can either mix and match or place the same colors together. You decide. But play with the colors a bit. While you stack, stick a needle through the center of each of the pieces until all are strung.
Add a dot of glue to the brown piece of felt (the base of the tree) and wrap it around the thread. Don’t forget to use a bit more glue, after you wrap the felt, to secure it in place.
At the top of the tree, squeeze a bit of glue to one of the first two star squares and sandwich together with the second square. This creates the “star” on the tree. Make sure you secure the end of the thread in between the two pieces. This step secures the stack in place and also creates the hanging loop. Arrange the felt by offsetting the pieces from each other. Then, hang your masterpiece on your Christmas tree and admire their charm!
When completed, the Christmas tree ornament should stand 4.5 inches tall and about 2.5 inches wide. The final product is soft and cozy and perfect for any holiday décor.
Sheet Music Star
What You’ll Need: Sheet music or book paper, shipping tag, jingle bells, craft glue, glitter, tinsel garland and various paint brushes.
If you have a star ornament that you don’t use anymore, feel free to use it for this design. Begin by tearing vintage sheet music or book paper into squares that are about 2-3 inches. The amount of paper that you need will depend on the size of your star, so judge accordingly.
Next we’ll decoupage, which is the process of cutting out paper, gluing them onto an object and then covering that object and paper with a few coats of glue to protect them. For this design, it’s best to work on one point of the star at a time.
First, brush on a layer of craft glue onto the point of the star. Then layer it with a paper square. Don’t forget to brush another layer of glue on top; this smoothens the paper in place.
Quick Tip: Don't be afraid to use your fingers to get the paper really smooth.
When the entire star is covered, let it dry completely. Because the next step is glittering, it is extremely important that your object completely dries so you have total control of where your glitter sticks.
Glitter the edges of the star first, then the 'veins.' With a small paintbrush, add a thin line of craft glue, one outer edge at a time. Sprinkle some glitter on top, then knock off the excess. Move around the whole star; gluing and glittering as you go. Let it dry completely. Repeat these steps to glitter the veins of the star. It’s your choice whether you want to glitter both sides or not.
When that step is complete, you can move on to personalizing the ornament. Be as creative as you’d like.
The crafter of this star chose to tie tinsel garland around the star’s tip, then used a string of jute to add jingle bells to the top. A tiny shipping tag, stamped with 'Merry and Bright' (the edges of the tag are also glittered) is added to the top as well. This becomes your focal point and will draw the most attention.
Hang the ornament to your Christmas tree or in the center of a Christmas wreath.
Whether you’re new to DIY projects, there are many designs ranging in difficulty levels that you can try out. The most important part is getting the family together and creating an ornament that everyone will love.
What are some DIY Christmas ornaments you’ve designed? Let us know in the comments below.