35 DIY Christmas Ornaments + Tree-Trimming Ideas

Get crafty to give your Christmas tree a custom touch with our easy ideas for handmade ornaments, tree skirts, toppers and garlands.
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November 18, 2015

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Photography by Rett Peek

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Photo By: Sarah Busby © 2013, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Photographer: Christina Wedge

Yarn Pom-Pom Ornaments or Garland

Enlist a little help from the kiddos to create this cheery yarn pom-pom garland to add a vintage, handmade touch to your tree. Our step-by-step instructions will show you how to craft the individual pom-poms that you can use as Christmas tree ornaments or gift toppers or string several together as a colorful garland.

Get the How-To: Kids' Craft: Make a Pom-Pom Christmas Garland

Timeless Gingerbread Ornaments

Made from pre-cut wood shapes and paint, these gingerbread "cookies" look like the real thing but can be enjoyed for many Christmases to come.

Get the How-To: Easy-to-Craft Wooden Gingerbread Christmas Ornaments

3-D Card Stock Spinners

Add a trendy pop of color and pattern to your Christmas tree by whipping up these pretty paper ornaments using just card stock, beads and twine. Our instructions make it a snap to craft up a bunch of them while binge-watching your favorite show.

Get the How-To: Card Stock Christmas Ornaments

No-Sew Sunburst Tree Skirt

This candy cane-colored tree skirt looks involved but its easy construction with fray-proof felt and fabric glue ensures this is one holiday project that even novice crafters can tackle.

Get the How-To: No-Sew Sunburst Christmas Tree Skirt

Turn Clothespins Into Melt-Proof Snowflakes

In just a few steps, you can turn wooden clothespins into beautiful snowflake tree ornaments. This is a great project for older children to tackle on their own or for small kids with help from a crafty adult.

Get the How-To: Turn Clothespins Into Christmas Tree Ornaments

Paper Link Garland

Remember making these paper links to decorate the tree when you were a kid? Our project revives this timeless craft while adding just the right amount of modern sophistication and sparkle.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Glittered Chain-Link Holiday Garland

No-Sew Ruffled Tree Skirt

One of our most popular holiday projects, this tree skirt looks like a high-end catalog find but you can craft your own using just linen, canvas and hot glue. No-sew your way to a crafty new tree skirt.

Get the How-To: How to Make a No-Sew Ruffled Christmas Tree Skirt

Starburst Tree Topper

Top your Christmas tree in trendy, space-age style this holiday season with a starburst-inspired tree topper made from inexpensive craft supplies.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Starburst Christmas Tree Topper

Mix In Your Beach Souvenirs

Mix summer memories in with your holiday decorations by stringing sand dollars, starfish and shells onto narrow rope or twine. To attach the starfish, carefully drill a small hole near the end of one arm then slide the twine through. Just loop the twine through the hole on each sand dollar and attach shells either by tying them on or with a dollop of hot glue.  

Rustic Twig Stars

These woodsy stars add just the right amount of homespun charm to either an indoor or outdoor Christmas tree. Made from found twigs (free!), hot glue and paint, they're a fun craft project to make with the kids.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Front Porch Christmas Tree

Kids' Craft: Candy Cane Reindeer

Trimming the tree just got a whole lot sweeter. Kids will love creating these reindeer ornaments using mini candy canes, felt, googly eyes and pom-poms.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Candy Cane Reindeer Ornament

Scandinavian-Inspired Tree Skirt

This year, forgo the usual holiday colors and embrace kicky bright hues and swirling patterns inspired by traditional Scandinavian designs. Felt, yarn and fabric glue are all you need to make this colorful Christmas tree skirt.

Get the How-To: Scandinavian-Inspired No-Sew Felt Tree Skirt

Salt Dough Ornaments

Using ingredient you already have in your kitchen, you can whip up a whole batch of cookie-shaped ornaments. For the dough, you need: 4 cups of flour, 1-1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of salt. First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Combine ingredients, then knead the mixture into dough and roll out flat. Use cookie cutters to cut the dough into seasonal shapes and embellish however you'd like, then place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. While cookies are still soft, use a knife to poke a hole in each for hanging. Once they've cooled, spray them with a clear protective food coating, thread ribbon through the hole and hang on the Christmas tree.

Scrabble Letter Ornaments

Get the kiddos crafting to whip up these playful ornaments that are a snap to make using Scrabble letters glued onto a strip of colorful ribbon. Use the letters to spell out holiday sayings or family members' names. 

No-Sew Ombre Tree Skirt

Trade in your tired Christmas tree skirt for a trendy, ruffled version featuring graduated shades of your favorite color.

Get the How-To: Make a No-Sew Ombre Christmas Tree Skirt

Stacked Button Ornament

Raid your sewing stash for assorted sizes and colors of buttons to make this cute Christmas tree-shaped ornament. To create it, just thread a needle and knot the end. Slide small brown buttons onto the knotted thread to create the tree's base, then add green buttons in graduated sizes to form the tree's branches. Finish with a small star-shaped button at the top and add a ribbon loop for hanging.  

Ribbon Garland

Rather than sticking with tradition and horizontally wrapping your Christmas tree in strands of tinsel garland this year — shake things up and instead attach long sections of wired ribbon to the top of the tree, letting them drape the branches vertically. 

Kids' Craft: Bird Seed Ornaments

For the holidays, don't just decorate the Christmas tree inside your house. Make these birdseed ornaments to add color to bare winter trees and treat hungry feathered friends to a snack. This is a great project for kids and to give as gifts to your favorite nature lovers.

Get the How-To: Kids' Craft: Bird Seed Christmas Ornaments

New Use for Old Cookie Cutters

Looking for an easy way to trim the tree? Learn how to create beautiful handmade Christmas ornaments using just metal cookie cutters and pretty paper.

Get the How-To: How to Make Cookie-Cutter Christmas Ornaments

Upcycle a Treasured Hand-Me-Down

A hand-me-down quilt may be too fragile or tattered to use as bedding but holds too many sentimental memories to simply throw away. Repurpose it into a charming, cottage-style Christmas tree skirt. Our step-by-step instructions make this repurposing project a snap — even for beginning sewers.

Get the How-To: Turn an Old Quilt Into a Christmas Tree Skirt

Felt Kissing Balls

Craft a large vesion of these colorful spheres to hang in a doorway as a kissing ball or make several smaller versions as cheery ornaments.

Get the How-To: How to Make Felt Pinecone Kissing Balls

Rustic Twig Garland

Give your Christmas tree or mantel a rustic, woodsy touch with a DIY twig garland. Making one is easy, just gather small branches from your yard, use clippers to cut them into sections that are approximately the same length, then knot the twigs together with jute twine or yarn.

Freshen Up Your Tree

Fresh fruit has long been used to decorate Christmas trees; the bright pop of color and fresh scent is hard to beat. This year, instead of studding the orange with cloves, opt for a more fashion-forward approach and use tacks as designer Tobi Fairley has here. To attach the ribbon for hanging, Tobi cut 2 shallow slits around the orange's navel then slid through a loop of leopard-print ribbon.

New Life for Old Bulbs

Don't toss old light bulbs — instead, give them new life as glittering tree ornaments. A few coats of metallic spray paint and a ribbon for hanging are all you need. Smaller light bulbs work best grouped together in odd numbers, while larger lightbulbs are best as single ornaments.

Kids' Craft: Candy Cane Mouse

Handmade sleeves or holders for candy canes have been around for generations. This sweet throwback holiday craft is quick, easy and fun for kids of all ages to make using just felt and glue.

Get the How-To: Kids' Craft: Make a Candy Cane Mouse

All Buttoned Up

Raid your button stash to find examples in various shapes, sizes and colors. Then, simply attach the buttons to a 3" foam sphere with tailor's pins. Working one row at a time, cover the entire ball, then fill in any gaps with smaller buttons. Pin on a ribbon loop for hanging and proudly display your completed ornament on the tree.  

Upcycle Small Bits of Trendy Fabric

Turn leftover fabric into fashion-forward ornaments or gift toppers in just a few easy steps — no sewing skills required. Our free printable templates and step-by-step instructions will help you give your tree a trendy update in no time.

Get the How-To: No-Sew Fabric Christmas Ornaments

Embellished Wood Slices

Birch log slices have been popping up everywhere as a woodsy way to add a rustic touch to just about any space in your home. They even make great Christmas tree ornaments. Just pick up pre-cut wood slices, available at most craft stores, or cut your own logs into 1/4-inch-thick discs then stencil on a wintry design with colorful craft paint or top with a scrapbook sticker. Drill a hole and slide through grosgrain or velvet ribbon for hanging.

Vintage-Inspired Advent Calendar

Kids will love this craft project that puts presents on the tree, not just under it, and helps them count down the days to Christmas. Learn how to stitch up one your own using vintage clip-art-style graphics, linen and freezer paper.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Vintage Garland Advent Calendar

Candy-Coated Ornament

An easy project for kids, these sweet ornaments are a great way to use up sprinkles left over from holiday baking. To create them, just brush a layer of tacky glue onto the areas you want to cover then roll in sprinkles. Set aside to allow the glue to fully cure, then add a ribbon for hanging.

Mini Pine Cone Elf Ornament

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

Get the How-To: How to Make Mini Pinecone Elf Ornaments

Pretty Paper Bunting

Instead of a traditional glittery garland, give your Christmas tree a trendy update with DIY bunting. To create it, just cut coordinated scrapbook paper into triangles. Use a hole punch to add holes to the top corners then thread twine through the holes and drape the bunting on the tree's branches. Image courtesy of Emily of Jones Design Company.

Fabric-Wrapped Ornaments

Upcycle plaid or flannel shirts the kids or Dad have outgrown into menswear-inspired ornaments to add a rustic, outdoorsy touch to your tree.

Get the How-To: Make Christmas Ornaments From Old Shirts

Kids' Craft: Walnut Santa

This throw-back craft is just as much fun for kids today as it was when you were just a wee crafter. Perfect for even small kids, this easy project uses materials you probably already have on hand. You and the kiddos can turn a bag of walnuts into a whole tree-full of everyone's favorite elf in no time flat.

Get the How-To: Christmas Kids' Craft: Walnut Santa Ornament

Upcycle Old Christmas Cards

Breathe new life into last year's cards by repurposing them as this season's Christmas tree garland. Just cut scalloped-edge circles out of the cards and attach to ribbon or twine.

Get the How-To: Repurpose Holiday Cards Into a Colorful Garland

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