Very few events throughout the year compare to the joy and excitement of the approaching Christmas season. And whether you fancy yourself a seasoned crafter or you’re more of an artistic novice who just wants to create some beautiful Christmas decor, there’s always a good reason to start a DIY Christmas ornament project.
50 Creative Homemade Decor Ideas for the Holidays
Do you need a list of crafts to entertain little ones during the holidays? Perhaps you are having some ladies over for a Christmas party and want to create unique ornaments together. Maybe you want to impress visiting guests in your home during the holidays with your very own handmade personal Christmas decor. Or you might just be on the lookout for a truly unique Christmas present to gift to those you cherish without breaking out that extra credit card. Your family, friends, and neighbors will be thrilled when you give a personal, homemade gift that can be enjoyed every year on the Christmas tree.
Wouldn’t it be great to skip the crowds and the ho-hum gifts from department stores this year? Try something different and consider crafting homemade Christmas ornaments, many of which can be made completely free with a few things around your house. Below are 50 DIY Christmas ornament ideas to really get you in the spirit of the holidays. A little bit of creativity, a few materials, and a sprinkle of love and holiday cheer are all you need to have fun trying your hand at homemade.
1. Button Baubles
With just a few Styrofoam balls, hot glue, and some buttons, this ornament is as versatile as it is simple. What’s also fun about this idea is that the style of the buttons — tasteful, funky, modern — will change the whole feel of the ornament. Consider using buttons around the house or head to your nearest craft or thrift store for a wider variety. Maybe you have some heirloom buttons that you would love to put on display but you don’t really know how. You can even paint the buttons based on the theme of your tree or someone’s favorite colors for a gift.
2. Felt and Button Ornament
Nothing is quite as festive as a chilly winter scene. Using just a few craft objects you probably already have around the house, e.g. buttons, felt, embroidery floss, and baker’s twine, and a super simple pattern, you can make these cute snowmen, reindeer, or both. If you’re concerned about breakables on the tree because of hyper dogs or active kids, these soft ornaments are the perfect item to add to your holiday tradition. Maybe think about making an entire snowman family representing each member of yours. This can be a great beginners’ sewing craft for older kids and teenagers.
3. Rustic Wood Rounds
Whether you live in a cabin or just love a forest-like, rustic feel, these wood ornaments are especially fun because they are simple, versatile, and are easily customized for anyone. You’re sure to find suitable wood pieces at the craft store, but think about doing a fun family project and collect wood from outdoors or on a hike. Not only can these beauties be used as ornaments, they also serve as pretty coasters. Make one for each family member at the Christmas table. You can also switch it up using colored markers, paint pens, or even some glitter.
4. Sequined Balls
Imagine the lights on your tree catching all the radiant sparkles on these beautiful balls of bling. Made from only three items — pins, foam balls, and sequins — these shiny ornaments may take a little longer than your average Christmas craft, but the results are simply beautiful. They can also be created in a variety of colors and sizes. Consider mixing up your colors and creating patterns or a multicolored ball. Plus, these elegant ornaments don’t have to be Christmas specific. Think about gifting a stunning blue ornament to those celebrating Chanukah this time of year.
5. Reindeer Ornaments
It’s throwback time! You surely remember making these in your childhood, and no tree is complete without classic reindeer ornaments. Made from just a few clothespins, wiggly eyes, and craft glue, these cuties embody fun Christmas decor. There are various stains and paints you can use to tailor the clothespin to the desired color and several accessories you might want to add, such as a mini scarf made from festive ribbon or a tiny bell. Start an annual tradition and craft a new one each year, adding the date on the back. Create a strand of reindeer garland to stream on the tree, but be sure you don’t forget Rudolph!
6. Ice Cream Cones
For a less traditional but incredibly creative ornament, get yourself some assorted colored pompoms, loads of glitter, and make mini ice cream cones for the sweets lovers in your life. These faux treats make adorable Christmas gift toppers — try using red and green puffs only — or they can be added to bows and used year-round when wrapping birthday gifts. This ornament will surely outshine others at an ornament gift exchange. If you’re feeling like throwing a unique Christmas fete, try a holiday ice cream social and slip these in with your invitations.
7. DIY Ornament Packets
Kick off an awesome party for the youngsters by taking your DIY Christmas ornament skills to the next level. When you create these individual, labeled packets, little ones, and even grownups, can easily and quickly choose the craft they wish to create and get started on their DIY ornaments without rifling through boxes of supplies or fighting over materials. Be sure you make an example/model for each pack for guidance. If you know some kids out of town who would love a neat project, mail a few of these along with a Christmas card for added smiles.
8. Spool Ornaments
Where you would normally toss your old spools once the thread has been used, save them throughout the year so you can build these adorable mini Christmas lists. Whether they’ve been naughty or nice, you will love commemorating kids’ wish lists with these fun homemade Christmas ornaments. You can even ask your friends children what they want for Christmas and make them a customizes decoration for their tree. Tip: Be sure to ask your seamstress friends to give you their spools instead of throwing them away so once you’re ready to craft at Christmas, you will be all set with materials.
9. Birdseed Ornament
For a versatile indoor-outdoor ornament idea, head straight to the pet aisle of the grocery store, pick up a bag of birdseed, and create a fun ornament that is NOT for the birds! No doubt you have several holiday themed cookie cutters lying around, so put them to good use and shape these neat bird feeders which will be a winter delight to your hungry avian friends. Tip: Gelatin is crucial to keeping your ornament solid. Be sure you don’t skip this step, but don’t be surprised if it make take you a few tries to get it right.
10. Paw Prints
If you have a beloved furry family member, you absolutely have to try this DIY Christmas ornament made from their personalized paw prints using clay. If you feel so inclined, use some glitter paint to glitz these up for the tree or scratch your pet’s name and the year on the reverse side. If you want to switch things up, these can easily transition from hanging decorations to coasters. This project really is a piece of cake. The only hard part will be getting those adorable paws to sit still long enough to get the clay imprint!
11. Gilded Reindeer Head
For those of us who aren’t as into the cutesy ornaments, check out one of this season’s most seriously posh decor ideas. A classic little treasure, this reindeer head elevates any tree it adorns. While it only requires a few materials, this is a homemade Christmas ornament with a big “wow” factor. And don’t just limit yourself to gold. Consider trying out a silver glitter or some flashy Christmas greens and reds. If you love the idea of an ornament, maybe you can attempt a bigger sized reindeer head to hang on the wall during the holidays.
12. Scrabble Ornaments
Board games are a family staple around the holidays and what better way to honor one of the ultimate classics, Scrabble, than with a Christmas message, Dad’s name, an important date, or just festive greetings! You can typically purchase Scrabble tiles at your local craft store, but save your pennies and search out a retired Scrabble game in the back of your game closet or find a used one at a tag sale or thrift store. No doubt you have a wordsmith in your house who will absolutely love this ornament. Can you say triple word score?!
13. Burlap Ornaments
Sturdy and heavyweight, create a tree-worthy, provincial ornament that can be detailed with just about any kind of leftover paint, stickers, beads, yarn, or Ric Rac. Baker’s twine, ribbon, or any appropriate fabric will work to fashion the hangers. Pattern tracing can be done by young ones, but be sure to invest in a sharp, new pair of scissors for this project to make burlap cutting easier. Tip: Since you won’t need much burlap to create them, you might even be able to get some scrap pieces from a friend or the fabric store.
14. Twine Ball Ornaments
Simple and beautiful, these homespun ornaments add a subtle, natural touch to even the fanciest of trees. Experiment with sturdy yarn and adjust the glue/cornstarch mixture accordingly. Based on your desired outcome, weave in some colored thread or glue on beads. Even if you don’t want to hang these for display, spice up your usual home decor ideas and consider making several that you can then be placed in a decorative bowl to use as a centerpiece on your Christmas table. These would sit nicely on a bed of potpourri or stacked in a clear oversized vase.
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15. Wrapped Candy Canes
While candy canes are known as a tasty Christmas treat, if you have a few extras, give this homemade Christmas decor a shot. This cute craft really is just as simple as wrapping a candy cane in twine or a festive fabric with a few glue dots here and there. These look awesome on gifts next to tags, bows, and ribbons and go great in stockings. Tie a few together with your favorite ribbon. And because they’re so easy, you can make a few dozen in no time to gift or decorate last minute.
16. Tealight Snowmen
By far one of the best DIY Christmas ornament ideas this season, these tealight snowmen are adorable and will surly get noticed on the tree, around the house, or just brightening up the room. All the needed materials can be bought for a rather low price at the dollar store and based on the materials you choose, you can make a variety of snowmen with hats, scarves, and earmuffs. Kids will love turning these little lights on every evening to get in the holiday spirit. Make a dozen and hang them on a mini tree in your son or daughter’s room.
17. Chalkboard Baubles
While they look fairly complex, these unique ornaments are simply done with chalkboard paint which is found at most hardware stores. It make take you a few coats, but if you pick a neutral-colored ball, you should be able to cover it completely. Because you are using chalk, you’re are free to erase the Christmas message year to year. Personalize a homemade one for every guest at your Christmas party or use them as holiday teacher gifts. Tip: Since you won’t need much chalkboard paint, consider buying a sample size of paint to save money. Often these will run you just a few dollars.
18. Wooden Snowflakes
Much like the uniqueness of each individual snowflake, no two of these homemade ornaments will be the same. What could be easier, not to mention more budget friendly, than strolling outside and collecting some sticks from your yard? From there, the sky is the limit. Look for a large variety of stick sizes and colors, carefully snap your twigs to the size you want, and start gluing. A collection of these make a handsome wall mount or wreath decoration, and they can be made large, medium, and small depending on your sticks. Use any leftover Christmas decor to spruce them up.
19. Hot Air Balloon
Who says homemade Christmas ornaments have to be Christmas specific? Using just about any traditional ball ornament, you can easily make this cute craft. If you want to make it more dynamic, put some special charms in the hot air balloon basket or write a special message for little ones to find. Even if it’s not Christmastime, feel free to make these to use as a room decoration or a mobile in a nursery. You area likely to save on materials right after the holidays when ornaments are on clearance. Perfect for kids and adventurers, grab your glitter glue to make these really sparkle.
20. Wooden Sled
Maybe you’re not dashing through the snow in your corner of the world, but, oh, what fun it is to build this charming little sleigh! Just a handful of popsicle sticks and a bit of careful measuring create this traditional tiny sled. For the younger crafters, you will want to glue the sleds together the night before and then let them decorate as they choose. Many assorted crafting favorites, glitter, stickers, ribbons may be glued on to personalize. If you have a Christmas house setup, distribute a few of these around the display.
21. Ribbon Bead Trees
You won’t have to travel far for the components to make these homemade Christmas ornaments. Odds are you have all the materials in the closet right next to your giftwrap. Regardless of the color of ribbon or the type fabric you use, these minimalist trees look great alone or in a group. Tip: If you shop out a cheap beaded necklace at a consignment store you could easily, and at a very low cost, have plenty of beads to complete this craft.
22. Melty Snowman Globe
A DIY Christmas ornament that is sure to get some chuckles, this deconstructed snowman will certainly be a favorite to make and hang. Much like a homemade snowglobe, the “snow” inside this ornament can be made from fake snow from the craft store or, if you are feeling thrifty, torn up white paper. Shredded cellophane is also an option. Pair this craft with a children’s holiday party. Start by reading Frosty the Snowman or watching the cartoon over some cocoa. Then let kids create their very own Frosty who had to “hurry on his way.”
23. Kate Spade Themed Ornaments
Attention fashionistas and all connoisseurs of the latest and greatest decor ideas. Glitter spray paint and tape is all that’s required for this next craft. While we all love a classic Christmas tree with an eclectic assortment of handed down ornaments, consider putting up a second tree this year and adorn it in solely white lights and just these simple Kate Spade inspired balls for an elevated classy look and feel. Get creative with the patterns by using various stickers and stencils. When you’re done, grab your Kate Spade glass filled with your favorite holiday cocktail to toast the finished product!
24. Felt Woodland Animals
These homemade Christmas ornaments may take a bit more time than your average craft, but your effort will be very much rewarded. With the provided patterns, you can make a festive deer, squirrel, bunny, or bear! These little critters hang well on your tree and also make fun toys for playtime if you want to create the whole gang. They could also be perfect as a “Baby’s First Christmas” present with the year stitched or drawn on the back.
Enjoy some delightful Christmas cupcakes without any of the calories! What’s nice about this craft is that these little treats don’t just fall under the category of Christmas decor ideas. Create a few for the tree and save them for a birthday party later in the year. Hang them over a door, display them on a cake platter, or gift some in a box for a fun, guilt-free present.
26. Thumbprint Reindeer
Creative and individual, kids will love to dive into their finger paints to stamp out these tiny reindeer faces with this quintessential homemade Christmas ornament. Matte ornaments work best with the paints, so avoid the glossy ones if possible. Additionally, make sure to buy shatterproof or plastic ornaments for small hands. If you want to start a new holiday tradition, each year when you are getting ready to trim the tree, have your kids add a new fingerprint to the decoration. This will get them in the spirit and give you an ornament to cherish forever.
27. 3-D Paper Ornament
If you like a versatile yet simple paper craft, you will absolutely love working on these homemade Christmas ornaments. Did we mention that they can be created completely FREE using paper you have around the house or old magazines? All you need are the downloadable templates and any sort of paper you think looks fun and festive. You can use the pages of an out-of-date book, a map, or even scraps of paper from another project. If you vary the colors of paper, the results will be even more stunning.
28. M&M’s Ornaments
Aren’t M&M’s Christmas candies one of the best parts of the holiday season? Pick some up, along with clear ornaments, add a little creative flair, and get to making these precious decorations. Since everyone loves something sweet, make these to give out as favors at your next holiday get-together or white elephant party to say “thank you for coming.” For helpers who want to get involved with DIY Christmas ornaments, have them assist you by separating the M&M’s by color.
29. Christmas Present
Is there a music lover in your family? This darling little “present” wrapped in sheet music is a must try homemade Christmas ornament. You may have to do some searching to find the right sized block for this craft, but don’t let that intimidate you. See what scraps of wood might be lying around at your neighborhood hardware store or try using some small children’s blocks or large dice. This also makes a stellar gift for your choir director or the music teacher at school! Tip: Be sure to paint the edges a dark color for that old-timey weathered look.
30. Felt Stocking
Even if you don’t have a fireplace, there’s no reason you can’t hang your stockings by the chimney with care! A small amount of stitching and some colorful felt create the perfect homemade craft that is shatterproof (safe hanging on the tree) and simple enough for even the most inexperienced crafters. Adorn your mini stocking with bells, felt cutouts, or even beads and/or personalize with markers. These also make neat gift tags or charming gift card holders. Additionally, you can make cute stockings for your pets or give one as a present to a pet lover.
31. Paper Accordion Ornaments
If you fancy yourself a good paper folder, think about creating these unique homemade origami-like ornaments. Not only do they look especially beautiful, you are free to customize them to your liking based on the theme of your tree, home, or to a special hobby or interest. For instance, if someone you love is an avid birdwatcher, print out some pictures of birds or find a used bird watching book at the local Good Will instead of festive paper. Depending on the stock of the paper, you might even consider repurposing old Christmas cards to make these.
32. Jingle Bells
Jingle all the way with a delightfully simple bell ornament. Kids will love playing with their jingle bells while they sing their favorite carols. They also make a fun doorknob accoutrement for the holidays. Silver bells are classic and beautiful, but do some research and see if you can find other colors for your bells. If you make them small enough, these could absolutely wrap around the base of a wine or punch glass at your holiday party. Make a few extra at Christmastime and save these for a gift topper on a wedding present later in the year!
34. Paper Snowflakes
This is not one of your average homemade scissor and paper snowflake decor ideas. Begin with a used book or any sort of paper you can line up and cut out your pieces to get started. Gluing these paper strips together in a fanlike shape and assembling them carefully, you will have yourself a really stunning snowflake. If you have some glitter paint you can embellish the edges to add some contrast. Even better, search out a book that has gold painted on the edges of the pages. For a completely different feel, spray paint them after assembling in a bold metallic.
35. Family Photo Ornament
There is no better way to memorialize your family over the passing years than with these darling homemade Christmas ornaments displaying family photos. While it may look like a challenge, with a few simple materials you’ll have a treasured gift for years to come. You can also write a festive message on the back of the photo or the date. Perhaps your little ones would like to draw their own pictures or sign their names. Consider mailing these out instead of traditional Christmas card to your extra special loved ones. And don’t limit yourself to just pictures of people. Print out a stock photo of a pretty Bavarian winter landscape or your favorite place to travel.
36. Pinecone Ornaments
Bring that frosty winter feel inside with this homemade pinecone ornament. If you can’t find mini pinecones in your yard or out in the woods, pick up a few bags at the craft store to complete this project. Consider decorating your entire tree in a woodland theme and pair these DIY ornaments with Rustic Wood Rounds (# 3) or Wooden Snowflakes (#18). Take them one step further and affix several to a beautiful wreath. As with all pinecone projects, if you gather them from outside, be sure to let them sit on some newspaper in the garage for a day or two to clear them of any residual dirt or bugs.
37. Clay Ornaments
Cookie cutters, a rolling pin, and some basic clay are all you need to create these simple pendants. After rolling out clay, use various objects — sticks, leaves, or branches — and make an impression pattern as you choose. Once the object has been imprinted in the clay, cut out your desired shapes and bake. These DIY Christmas ornaments look awesome in plain white, but feel free to reach for some paints or glazes to switch it up. If you want a simple quick gift idea, make these into cute necklaces.
38. Tiny Birds’ Nest
A true standout favorite among homemade Christmas decor ideas, these mini birds’ nests make a beautiful addition to any tree. The little bit of extra time and effort it takes to create these cuties is well spent when you see the finished result. (And what a unique way to use a napkin holder!) This is not the most durable craft, so be sure to used plenty of glue so your ornaments stays together. Tip: If you’re giving this as a gift, find out that person’s favorite bird or color and incorporate that in your craft.
39. Sparkle Hearts
What would homemade Christmas ornaments be without a little Mod Podge? Show your love and affection this holiday season with these glittery hearts! MDF makes a large assortment of wooden shapes for crafting, so if you love this heart, take a look at some of their other shapes. Get creative and start searching out bold, sturdy stock paper to glue on your shapes and leave room on the back for a personal message or quote. If you craft 25 of these and affix hooks on a basic wall calendar, these could be easily incorporated into an advent calendar where you hang a heart every day in December until the 25th.
40. Mini Chalkboard Signs
You don’t have to look hard to find someone who will love these little chalkboard signs. The best part? There are a large amount of printable templates available so you really only have to pick the background and start gluing. Consider giving these as a teacher gift or to your neighbors while wishing them a Happy Holidays. These could also be used as printable menus for a holiday dinner, invitations to a party, or as nametags or place cards. Another good place to put recycled Christmas cards to work, try using them for the patterned frame around your mini chalkboard.
41. Burlap Baubles
If you’ve already made the Burlap Ornaments (see #13) you can get these completed in no time at all with extra scrap material. Using a little bit of glue and some specially cut burlap pieces, you will be able to get the seams lined up just right to completely cover these quaint little baubles. Hang on to a few extra Jingle Bells (see #32) to adorn the tops and stencil a pattern, pen a message, or snag a rubber stamp and ink pad to add some depth to the burlap.
Not just for cookies anymore, create a confetti-themed ball using some leftover nonpareils you are likely to already have in the cupboard. A small amount of varnish on a simple glass ball is all you’ll need. Multicolor sprinkles look great, but try some red and green Christmas colors to be more Christmas specific. Pair these with your Ice Cream Cones (see #6) or Cupcakes (see #25) crafts to make a colorful candy-themed tree or create a fun, creative “birthday tree” at the next birthday party you host. Guests can leave their presents, you guessed it, under the birthday tree!
43. Dried Oranges
If you’re a purist and don’t like to fiddle with paints and glues, these dried orange ornaments are a must try. Cheap, simple, and extremely creative, you will love the holiday smells that a citrus fruit ornament will bring to your home. Using a variety of fruits, many of which you may already have on hand, you merely score the orange, bake it, and hang it. Assort them in a bowl for display for a holiday potpourri. Tip: Be sure to hang these high if you have animals or young kids in the home. You don’t want to tempt them!
44. Wooden Slates
While you may be the kind of DIYer that wants to go out and find their own branch, cut it in slices with a miter saw, and drill the holes for these wooden chalkboards (good for you, that’s awesome!) they should not be hard to find at the store. One you’ve got those secured, all you need is some leftover chalkboard paint from your Chalkboard Baubles (see #17) and a little chalk and you are good to go. Make a few dozen and create a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” garland above your door or fireplace. A strong, hot-glued magnet on the back makes a great decoration on the fridge.
45. Winter Terrarium
Using some found objects from the yard and a pack of versatile clear ornaments, you will be able to create a tiny winter wonderland to be enjoyed indoors. Customize your terrarium with whatever is found locally in your area, but remember, it has to be able to fit through the mouth of the ornament, so think small! Tweezers will be your best friend here. See what fun mini items are at the craft score or at an antique store that might look festive.
46. Lace Ornament
Attention all fabric lovers, this one is for you! This is a terrific gift idea if you have, say, inherited a special piece of clothing, a hankie, or a doily that has seen better days but you still want to keep it for the memories. Perhaps your wedding dress wasn’t properly preserved and is beyond salvaging and you want to repurpose the fabric. Break out your scissors and your Mod Podge and start creating ornaments. Regardless of what color lights you put on your tree, you will love the way it shines through these sophisticated little ornaments.
47. Tiny Hands in Salt Dough
If you are searching for an awesome grandparent gift this holiday season, this one is sure to bring some smiles. Even better, the dough is made easily, and very cheap, with just flour, salt, and warm water. Older kids can help knead the dough and shape the circles. If you want a more polished look, feel free to paint the ornaments yourself or use some stenciled patterns. Otherwise, let your homemade pride really shine through and allow your kids to paint their own. If you happen to make them too heavy for the tree, they are also cute as wall hangings and paperweights.
48. Cork Reindeer
There’s a wine snob in every family or group of friends, so this year delight them with these reindeer ornaments. If you know their favorite wine, snag a few corks to customize the decor. Using your hot glue gun and some patience, you will love the finished product of this adorable little Rudolph. Plus, think about all the fun you’ll have collecting the corks you’ll need to create it! (Who doesn’t want to take down a few glasses during the holidays?) Make several at once to throw in with a bigger gift or decorate your table.
49. Copper Twine Ornament
With a single material, wire, and a basic template of wood and nails, you will be able to pump out a large amount of these Cooper Twine Ornaments while watching your favorite holiday movie. What’s nice about these homemade Christmas ornaments is that they are lightweight so they won’t bend gentle branches when hung on the tree. These can also create pretty nice window hangers or a festive mobile. And because they are so lightweight, you can easily slip some in with your Christmas cards to give something extra special to your loved ones this holiday season.
50. Christmas Sweater Cloth Ornaments
You may not want to actually wear that tacky Christmas sweater from your Great Aunt Beverly, but use the theme and your drawing skills to make some unique home decor with these cloth ornaments. The white marker pops nicely on the dark fabric and this is also the perfect ornament to make with leftover or extra cloth napkins in your buffet or using some solid fabric. Don’t be afraid to freehand these and implore your most artistic side. If you do them big enough, maybe you could even create holiday placemats.
50 Amazing DIY Holiday Ornaments
Hopefully, you’ve been inspired and are ready to get started on your very own DIY Christmas ornaments. Remember, great Christmas decor doesn’t have to clean out your wallet. Save some bucks this holiday season and put yourself to work on some unbelievable homemade Christmas ornaments that will be cherished for years to come. Your friends, family, and coworkers will be thrilled that you thought of them with the personal touch of a special homemade Christmas ornament. Have fun!