How to Throw an Ornament-Crafting Party

Because your friends have been to enough gift swaps this month.

The holiday season is upon us, which means entertaining season is most definitely upon us. If a dinner party isn’t your thing, but you’d love to have a more casual shindig, consider hosting an ornament-crafting party. Keep things simple by mixing up a big bowl of punch and setting out a few appetizers. Select a DIY ornament all your friends will love, and buy enough supplies for each guest to make one. Spread out supplies on a large table, and make sure the appetizers are nearby. Turn on some holiday tunes in the background, and you’re all set.

I’ve rounded up a few of our cutest DIY ornaments and most delicious punch and appetizer recipes to make party planning a breeze. Scroll through, pick your favorites and send out some invites … or a group text.


Mini Pinecone Elf Ornament

Mini Pine Cone Elf Ornament

Mini Pine Cone Elf Ornament

Everyone loves an adorable ornament and this little elf will bring instant cheer to any style tree!

Photo by: Photographer: Christina Wedge

Photographer: Christina Wedge

This adorable elf requires six steps — perfect for crafty, hands-on friends. 

Paint-Dipped Wooden Ornaments

Painted Wooden Spheres

Painted Wooden Spheres

Step 4- Remove Tape While the paint is still damp, carefully remove the tape from the sphere. Prop it in a glass upside down and allow to dry (appx 10 minutes).

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Ultra-chic yet easy to make, these paint-dipped ornaments would be great for pals who lack the patience for detailed crafts.

Wooden Bead Star Ornament

Wooden Bead Window Stars

Wooden Bead Window Stars

Less is definitely more when it comes this ornament. Made from simple ribbon and wooden beads, this lovely star is beautiful hanging in a window, on a door or nestled in a tree.

Photo by: Photographer: Christina Wedge

Photographer: Christina Wedge

Made with wooden beads, this beautiful ornament boasts a cool, bohemian vibe, and the DIY is just a few, simple steps.

Embroidery Hoop Sweater Ornaments

Christmas Sweater Tree

Christmas Sweater Tree

This craft is super-easy, super-cute -- and it may even inspire you to clean out your closet.

Mini Ugly Sweater Ornament

Christmas Sweater Tree

Christmas Sweater Tree

Friends will go crazy over this ridiculously adorable idea. Because who doesn’t love an ugly Christmas sweater?

Painted Glass Ornaments

Painted Ornaments

Painted Ornaments

Add a touch of color to your tree with hand painted Christmas ornaments. I choose acrylic paints in contemporary Christmas colors. Experiment with simple patterns. Here I did organic polka dots and brush stroke stripes.

If you want to keep the crafting as easy as possible, simply set out glass balls and acrylic paint. Let your friends’ creativity shine.


Cranberry Brie Bites

Everything Cranberries

Everything Cranberries

Everyone’s crazy for cranberries during the holidays and why not? Their delicious sweetness complements just about everything from classic cocktails to crowd pleasing appetizers. You can’t go wrong with cranberries!

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

The perfect combination of sweet and savory, these cranberry brie bites only require four true ingredients.

Mini Quiche Florentine

Mini Quiche Florentine

Mini Quiche Florentine

These easy mini quiches are perfect for holiday entertaining. The classic combination of spinach and Swiss cheese paired with the robust flavors of fresh thyme and Parmesan make them an instant hit with even the pickiest of palettes.

Spinach and cheese will make these mini quiches a hit with even your pickiest friends.

Taleggio Crostini With Apple + Thyme Honey

Taleggio and Apple Crostini

Taleggio and Apple Crostini

A few high-quality ingredients really shine atop crisp crostini. Try creamy taleggio cheese paired with apples, thyme and honey — simple and delicious.

Photo by: Courtesy Andrea Albin ©2012

Courtesy Andrea Albin, 2012

Apples give these light bites a seasonal crunch.

Brie + Sun-Dried Tomato-Stuffed Mushrooms

Garnish your Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms

Garnish your Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms

Top with a slice of sun-dried tomato and a mini rosemary sprig. Then, watch as they all disappear from the plate!

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

You can’t go wrong with a stuffed mushroom — especially when it’s packed with gooey cheese.

Chocolate-Dipped Kettle Chips

Chocolate-Caramel Kettle Chips

Chocolate-Caramel Kettle Chips

Super-crunchy, salty, kettle-fried potato chips are the perfect canvas for the addition of sweetness and chocolate. A thin layer of caramel and chopped nuts makes this chip satisfy all your cravings at once. Get the recipe.

Guests will gush about this dynamite sweet-and-salty pairing.

Maple Chili Popcorn

Maple-Nut Popcorn

Maple-Nut Popcorn

The sweet-and-spicy snack mix is seriously addictive. Place bowls of this nutty mix around your holiday party and watch it disappear. Get the recipe.

Photo by: Courtesy Kelsey Nixon ©2012

Courtesy Kelsey Nixon, 2012

Make a couple of batches of this seasonal popcorn to display in an oversized bowl. Friends can munch while they craft.


Mulled Pear Punch

Brandy, prosecco, pears and blood oranges form a mulled winter punch that’s sure to impress.

Sparkling Grapefruit Punch

Sparkling Grapefruit Punch

Sparkling Grapefruit Punch

Fresh grapefruit juice and rosemary simple syrup make a cool way to toast the season.

Photo by: Image by Maggie Yelton

Image by Maggie Yelton

Grapefruit artfully pairs with rum and rosemary in this tasty holiday punch.

Apple Cider Punch

Apple Cider Punch 00:30

Whip up a big batch of this boozy punch for your next party.

Apple cider with a boozy kick? Yes, please.

Pitchfork Punch

Pitchfork Punch

Pitchfork Punch

Named for the blackberry brambles that poke and stick, Pitchfork Punch is full of bourbon, blackberries and tea scented with a fresh mint syrup.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Pig and the Pearl

Image courtesy of Pig and the Pearl

Blackberries, bourbon, black tea and mint create this deep, fruity punch that pairs well with appetizers.

Rose Lemon Champagne Punch

Rose Lemon Champagne Punch Wedding Cocktail

Rose Lemon Champagne Punch Wedding Cocktail

Toast to a wedding with a flute of rose lemon champagne punch! This sparkling cocktail is crisp, refreshing and pretty to boot.

Add some bubbly to your night with this refreshing champagne punch.

White Christmas Sangria

White Christmas Sangria 01:00

Apples, cranberries and wine are the base of this delicious wintry sangria.

Opt for a seasonal spin on sangria with this white Christmas drink.

13 Low-Key Christmas Party Ideas That Spread Major Holiday Cheer

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Check out these other low-key Christmas party themes for more inspiration.

B.Y.O.B(ow) Wrapping Party

Make the traditionally tedious holiday chore into a chore no more by throwing a Bring-Your-Own-Bow wrapping party. Promise pals a booze-stocked bar cart, curated charcuterie boards and festive wrapping paper aplenty. All they’ll need? Ribbons, bows and a bundle of holiday gifts ready for wrapping.

Photo By: Flynnside Out

Gingerbread House Curb Appeal Competition

Compete with friends to find out who has the design chops necessary to give plain-Jane gingerbread house kits the sweetest curb appeal. This trio of sugary-sweet homes created by Sprinkle Bakes blogger Heather Baird can serve as the ultimate icing design inspiration. Buttercream frosting, glittery gum-drops and hot-cinnamon candy are essential, while multiple bottles of pinot, cabernet and Chianti are strongly encouraged.

Classic Holiday Movies Marathon

Cozy up couch-side with a festive and fizzy cranberry cocktail, candied popcorn and your closest friends to view all of the classic holiday movies. Sure-fire crowd-pleasers include: It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and, of course, the beloved Elf. Have yourself a very merry, little movie marathon and take one sip of booze each time Santa makes an appearance on screen.

Ice, Ice, Cookies

Turn up the volume and up the ante this year with a laid-back, '90s inspired holiday cookie party. Have friends break out their shiniest velour tracksuits and come prepared to trick-out and ice-up some gooey vanilla sugar cookies. The soundtrack? Look no further than to our very own '90s breakout star and rap sensation turned real estate expert and entrepreneur—Vanilla Ice (ice), baby.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Boozy Holiday Brunch

Host a boozed-up holiday brunch and gift your guests with a heavy helping of holiday cheer, first thing in the morning. Bust out those neglected holiday plates and deck the dining table with holly, mistletoe and glitzy garland. Classic brunch staples, like chicken and waffles, breakfast burritos and homemade cinnamon buns, will be a source of celebration. But the true stars of the show include big-batch mimosas, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar and the seasonal favorite, spiked hot cocoa.

DIY Ornament Party

Bust out the red and green glitter and host friends for an afternoon of finger-food and DIY Christmas tree ornaments! Christmas music blasting in the background is a must, and the crafting table should serve as a judgement-free zone.

The Tackier, The Better

Tacky Christmas sweaters are wardrobe staples during the holiday season. Throw a DIY tacky sweater pre-party with your pals and prepare for the festivities that await. Thrift store sweaters, glue guns, glittery puff-paint and an active imagination are all the makings necessary for some good, clean (albeit, tacky) holiday fun.

Pancakes + PJs Sleepover

Encourage friends to wear the most outrageous Christmas onesie they can find and join you for a Pancakes + PJs sleepover party. Lure them from their sleep with the earthy coffee aroma and the hissing and popping of bacon on the stove. Pile their plates high with sugary, syrup-drenched stacks of fluffy pancakes and gather around the kitchen table for an especially holly-jolly breakfast.

Photo By: iStock/sergeyshibut

Spiked + Sprinkled Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate—bettered with booze. Invite your closest comrades over this holiday season and gift them with a tasting in what can only be described as “liquefied Christmas joy”. Some of our favorite alcoholic additions to the classic hot chocolate include (though are not limited to): whipped cream vodka, peppermint schnapps and a nice, spicy bourbon.

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Pinot, Pallet + Paint Party

Let the inner artist shine through with your crew and host a Christmas-themed pallet paint party! Wooden pallets are easy on the wallet and make darling holiday decorations that look right at home on the front porch, foyer and even hanging on the wall. Supply pals with pallets, paintbrushes and a constant flow of pinot for a creative and crafty afternoon.

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn, FlynnsideOut

Santa's Wreath Workshop

You’re decking the halls, you might as well deck the front door while you’re at it! Ask friends over to join in on an afternoon of cocktails and catch-ups, while crafting one-of-a-kind Christmas wreaths to hang on their front doors this year.

Photo By: Benjamin Lowy/Getty Images; 2013, HGTV/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Mistletoe + Margaritas Fiesta

Roasted turkey and whipped potatoes are great and all, but sometimes tacos and tequila are just the ticket to spice up the holiday season. Invite friends over for a holiday fiesta! Dangle mistletoe over doorways, prepare some chunky guacamole, and stock up on plenty of salt and lime. All are sure to grant your guests an extra festive time.

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Stocking Soiree

Follow along with friends to make some festive and easy Christmas stockings, because no holiday mantel is complete without them! Be sure to send friends on their way with stockings filled with small, thoughtful goodies. You can't go wrong with classic gingerbread cookies or a Mason jar of homemade hot cocoa mix.

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