Homemade Christmas Ornaments
To Hang & To Share

Homemade Christmas ornaments are simple to make and can be geared toward any age group so the entire family may take part in their creation. Try something different this year and decorate your holiday tree with ornaments you and your family create. It very well may become a new tradition.

Your created ornaments can be as elaborate as you want. The nice thing is how far various bags of bought adornments such as beads, gems and glitter go. You can make many ornaments with just a few materials. In fact, many materials you may already have in your own home so look around and get creative.

Wire and Gem Christmas Ornaments

Wire and Gem Tree Ornament

This homemade Christmas ornament is fairly simple
to make and allows for a lot of customization.

Note: Some projects are better suited for adults and this is one of them. You can keep the young ones busy with ornaments created from construction paper, non-toxic glue, yarn, safety scissors and glitter.

To Make These Homemade Christmas Ornaments, You Will Need:

  • Metal Wire (craft stores, hardware stores, automotive supplies)
  • Decorative Gems (craft stores, department stores, DollarTree®,)
  • A Glue Gun (craft stores, department stores)
  • Wire Cutters and Pliers
  • Various sized round handles, dowels, pipe or tubing to create spirals(optional)
  • A protected work surface
Wire and Gem Ornament Tools and Supplies
Supplies and Tools

Begin by cutting the spooled wire to workable lengths. The wire will hold its coiled shape so cut about 3 or 4 coils down from the end. Once you have this smaller coiled wire in your hand you can begin manipulating it. Tighten the curves to create small leaf shapes and use tools with round hands to assist with curved bending or to create spirals.

Use Round Handed Tools To Create Spirals For Your Ornaments
A round handle assists in creating tighter spirals.

Continue making designs and shapes. Use some variation in your designs to create more interest in your ornament collection. Don't forget to create hooks at the top for ease of hanging. You may want to turn your glue gun on as you finish up your last remaining wire shapes.

Various Shaped Wire Designs For Ornaments
Various random shapes created with bendable wire.

Once your glue gun has heated up, you can begin adding gems (or other adornments of your choice). Place a large dab of glue on the backside of your gem and place the wire into it, making sure the wire passes below the surface of the glue. If it does not, simply add a bit more glue over top of the wire. Allow it to set for a minute or so before adding additional gems.

Gems Added To Wire Designs
Ornaments set and dry as gems are added to wire shapes.

I chose clear glass gems to allow the tree lights to glimmer through them. The other neat thing is you can see the wire that passes behind the glass where it is attached. You can sandwich two gems together over the wire (which I did for a few) or make sure the glue dab faces inward when you hang the ornaments on the tree. I also experimented with adding a smaller- sized, pale-green gem over the dried glue dab so the ornament looks nice from all angles.

Wire and Gem Tree Ornaments
A large and small gem are set apart
on this particular ornament

Wire and Gem Tree Ornaments
You can see how these homemade Christmas ornaments
coordinate nicely with the others on the tree.

Wire and Gem Tree Ornaments Displayed On Tree
A unique and enchanting holiday tree. Learn how to make this grapevine tree.

Hand-Painted Christmas Ornaments

These homemade Christmas Ornaments are a super-easy project that the kids can partake in without much worry. Take some of those old, plain, ball ornaments (shatterproof preferable for kids) and customize them with craft paint. I have mass quantities of small, glass, silver ones from a color scheme used years ago. I decided to experiment and upcycle a few.

Hand-Painted Silver Glass Ball Ornaments

The silver "base color" ties-in with the chrome and stainless elements in this kitchen. Deep red and black accents were painted on the balls to perfectly coordinate with the room's wall and trim colors.

Display your homemade Christmas ornaments in bowls or clear, glass vases as an option to the tree.

Hand-Painted Ornaments To Coordinate With Room Colors

Depending on the ball's finish, the paint may have a tendency to streak as you paint. Since I was painting on glass and not using an appropriate paint, my designs were not as tidy as I would have liked but the paint dried nonetheless, producing a custom look. I believe shatterproof versions, especially those with a matte finish, are more accepting of paint. For the ornaments shown here, I actually used leftover wall paint.

A Glitter &: Glue Variation For some fun variation, have your kids use non-toxic, craft glue to create patterns on the ornament and then sprinkle glitter over the wet glue and allow to dry. Glue placed around the lower-half of the ball can be dipped into glitter (or sequins, "crushed" beads, etc.) for a two-tone finish.

Purchase various types of adornments at the craft store and "have at it". You can really create some beautiful, homemade Christmas ornaments in this manner that rival those individual, pricey ones you see in shops this time of year.

Tip Hang freshly painted or glue & glittered balls across an old coat hanger to dry. Place masking tape or similar around the hanger bar to provide some grip and inhibit the ornaments from sliding into each other while wet.

Organic & Natural Ornaments

Nothing says "Home For The Holidays" like the personal touch of organic, homemade Christmas ornaments.

Dried Citrus Slice Ornament

Citrus Slice Ornaments
Dried citrus slices are cheap, easy and classic. Cut oranges, limes and lemons into thin slices. Place them flat on a cookie sheet and bake at your lowest oven setting for an hour, flipping them over halfway. They will begin to dry out and harden a bit but remove them before they brown too much.

While warm, you can sprinkle a light coating of diamond dust (ultra-fine glitter) onto the slices which should naturally adhere due the slight stickiness of the slice as it dries.

Once cool, create a small hole and feed some ribbon, twine or wire through to hang your slices. You can also simply use an ornament hook.

The one shown above is a few years old. You can see how they will naturally darken as they age. For best results, store them in something breathable such as a small cardboard box.

Cinnamon Stick Bundles
Enjoy the warm, spicy scent of cinnamon in your home by creating these easy ornaments.

Cinnamon Stick Bundle Ornaments & Accents

Cinnamon Stick Bundles Placed As An Accent

Depending on the cinnamon stick size you have purchased (I found these at DollarTree®), cut them down to about 3-4" lengths. It's easy to simply break them in half also. Tie three together in the center with some jute twine or ribbon for a simple look. Glue dried berries, mini Pine cones or other adornments near the center of the bundle if you like. Old potpourri provides lots of neat little accessories you can glue onto your bundles to give them interest.

Cinnamon Stick Bundle Hung As An Ornament/Accent In A Holiday Swag
Three sticks at full length tied at
one end and hung as an accent.

Nut Ball Ornaments
Purchase a bag of unshelled nuts and simply glue them together into 2-3" diameter sized ball ornaments. A walnut is often a good center to adhere the others to. A loop of jute twine with a knotted end can be hot-glued to the top for hanging.

Pine Cone Ornaments
Unaltered Pine cones can be hung on the tree with wire or tied on with a loop of twine. You may also elect to lightly paint random scales of the cone with shimmer or glitter paint or a light misting of metallic spray paint. Spray adhesive may also be used with glitter or mica flakes sprinkled over top.

Applesauce Ornaments
Create cut-out ornaments from equal parts of applesauce to ground cinnamon. Consider making small batches at a time to work with. I mixed up one cup of applesauce with one cup of cinnamon and it yielded about 35 ornaments using very small cookie-cutters. These are great to tie onto gifts also.

Applesauce Ornament Reference Images

1. Mix equal parts with a spoon until contents are damp and uniform in color.
2. Place workable amount on wax paper.
3. Flatten with a roller. I used a glass to inhibit sticking.
4. Use cookie-cutter shapes to create ornaments.
5. Carefully remove and place on cookie sheets lined with wax paper.
6. Use a toothpick to create holes for attaching string or hooks. (Push through to the wider part of the toothpick. I carefully raised the wax paper beneath each ornament and pushed the toothpick through the wax paper to make sure the holes were consistent.)

Allow these fragrant homemade Christmas ornaments to dry for approximately three days depending on thickness and size. I rolled the "dough" to about 1/4" and mine were almost dry in two days. Use strong thread to hang the ornaments. Leave them plain or adorn with glitter or other items to "jazz them up". I carefully wrote names in a few of my gingerbread man cut-outs to personalize them. Use them in place of gift tags.

Threading The Dry Ornaments
Red and green thread were combined and threaded into a needle. Use the needle to easily thread the ornaments. You can thread many back to back and then cut the thread to length and tie for individual hangers. This may also give you ideas for creating a garland.

Hung On An Ornament Tree Hung On An Ornament Tree
Completed ornaments threaded and hung on an ornament tree. This little tree smells so nice!

All of the above organic ornaments would look nice on one tree.

These simple homemade Christmas ornaments will surely provide you and your family some creative, quality time together during the holiday season. If you need some direction with your tree, visit the Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas page.

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