20 Easy Handmade Holiday Ornaments and Decorations
Photo By: Photography by Rett Peek
Photo By: DK - A Greener Christmas © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited
Natural Christmas Ornament
Look to your own backyard to add nature-inspired elements to your tree. Michelle Edwards of Sweet Something Designs harvested acorns during fall and used the caps to create acorn ball ornaments. "Paint a Styrofoam ball brown and push the caps in with a dab of hot glue," she says. Add some glue to the caps, embellish them with any color glitter to match your tree and top them off with ribbon and twine for hanging. Add glittered pinecones and greenery for a truly nature-inspired Christmas tree. Reuse the ornaments by placing them in a clear bowl for the perfect fall centerpiece.
Designer Tobi Fairley took a simple orange and embellished it to bring a fresh look to her tree. To get this look, apply upholstery tacks to an orange in an intricate pattern, and loop a leopard-print ribbon to bring an unexpected punch to the traditional tree. Tobi attached the ribbon by cutting notches across the orange's navel and looping through the ribbon.
Fancy Holiday Spirit
This medallion looks intricate but is simple to make. To create this look, Emily Jones of Jones Design Company cut three strips of book pages and folded them accordion-style. She then attached the three pieces together to create one long strip and glued the ends together to create a circle. After bunching the circle together and gluing it, she suggests adding a number to use the ornament as part of an advent calendar. Hang the ornament on the Christmas tree or anywhere in the house to spread the holiday spirit.
Festive Cookie Cutters
Give your surplus of cookie cutters a new purpose. Layla Palmer of The Lettered Cottage made these festive ornaments by hot-gluing metal cookie cutters to decorative scrapbook paper. Implement this same look throughout your home by making a wreath or garland for your mantel.
O Christmas Tree Topper
Marian Parsons of Mustard Seed Interiors gives new purpose to sheet music by transforming it into an unconventional tree topper. She simply twisted sheet music into cone shapes and hot-glued them to a cardboard circle backing. Glue the cone-shaped pieces to a doughnut-shaped cardboard backing for a matching wreath to welcome guests.
Whimsical Christmas Bunting
Bunting is a new trend that's quickly spreading — it's easy to create and makes a bold statement. Emily cut coordinating patterned scrapbook paper into triangles and punched two holes in the top corners. She threaded twine through the holes to finish the whimsical, cheerful bunting for the tree. Hang it on a mantel for an extra touch of whimsy.
Waterless Snow Globes
If you have extra glass jars lying around, incorporate them into your holiday decor. Michelle created waterless snow globes by hot-gluing small Christmas trees to the jars' lids, pouring fake snow in the jar and screwing on the lids for an instant Christmas scene snow globe.
Bold and Dramatic
Adorn your space with ornaments at your next holiday dinner party. Designer Rima Nasser filled empty wine bottles with water and dry branches."Decorate the branches with bold ornaments and place a small light or candle nearby to create beautiful shadows and reflections on the walls," she says. This look works for any type of holiday occasion, whether it's informal or formal.
A Spoonful of Creativity
Don't throw away unused household items. Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room repurposed old spoons into ornaments for her dining room Christmas tree. She hung the spoons with jute to create the ornaments, which make a great conversation piece at the dinner table.
For a one-of-a-kind ornament or gift topper, Emily glued two playing cards back to back and punched a hole through the top. Hang the cards with a small strip from a book page or ribbon. Add game pieces and colorful gift wrapping to complete the game theme of your tree.
A Rustic Christmas
Marian wrapped small, empty jewelry boxes with vintage holiday sheet music and thick ribbon for a rustic holiday look. Write names on the ribbon and place them on the dinner table as place cards or tuck the boxes into branches of a Christmas tree for an extraordinary twist. Carry through the rustic theme by filling the boxes with treats and placing them in stockings.
Pinecone Map Ornament
Barb Steadman of Turtles and Tails combined her two favorite things: vacations and ornaments. She made this ornament by cutting map pieces of Hawaii into leaf shapes and gluing them to a Styrofoam ball. You can add these to a bowl to create a centerpiece or glue a ribbon loop to the top of the ball for an easy ornament.
Get the kids involved with decorating the Christmas tree. Michelle created candy ornaments by spray-painting plain glass ball ornaments brown and creating drips to resemble melted chocolate. Add sugar-like glitter and "peppermint" chips for an extra-delicious touch. These ornaments make great gifts for ornament swaps or for teachers.
For a personalized touch to the dinner table, Rima attached and tied an ornament to every drinking glass with festive ribbon and a piece of paper with each guest's initials. "Personalizing the drinking glasses makes guests feel special and helps them to remember which drink is theirs." she says. Add matching dinnerware to the table for a complete festive look.
Vintage Holiday Cheer
Hang this vintage jingle bell decor anywhere in your home for a joyful look. Michelle decorated a leather belt with bells and winter floral from the craft store. She used a metal embroidered hoop to make it easy to hang just about anywhere. The vintage look goes well on chairs, mantels, doors and stair railings.
To warm up your tree, add ornaments that remind you of vacationing on the beach. Barb filled plain glass ornaments with sand and seashells from her Hawaii trip. To add sentimental value to them, print out labels with the location and date of your trip, and complete the beach look by tying a bow with twine.
At first glance, you would never know these glittery topiaries are made with pinecones. To make them, hot-glue glittery pinecone petals to cone-shaped Styrofoam. To add visual impact, place some of the cones on candleholders. Design by Michelle Edwards
Dimensional Ball Decor
To add texture to the tree, Emily cut and folded 12 circles in half from sheet music, and taped one side to another circle's side until a complete ball was formed. Add dimension to the rest of the home with this easy-to-make ornament by filling stockings and bowls and hanging it from the mantel and stair railing.
Book Page Serving Tray
Entertaining is a big part of the holidays, so give your everyday decor a festive look with book pages. Barb decoupaged old book pages to a plain serving tray and topped it with holly and candles for a one-of-a-kind holiday centerpiece. For an extra touch of holiday spirit, decoupage Christmas wrapping paper or scrapbook paper to the tray.
Red Felt Bird
This red felt bird looks very intricate, but it's simple to make if you have basic stitching skills. Create different embellishments to add variety to your tree.