Easy Homemade Christmas Ornaments | Midwest Living

Easy Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Add personality to your Christmas tree with homemade ornaments that take only minutes to make—or give a little extra pizzazz to ornaments you already own.
  • Vintage postcard ornament

    Vintage postcard ornament

    Cut circles from inexpensive vintage postcards for easy, stylish ornaments. Search by theme, such as winter sports or holiday cooking, on Etsy or Ebay. (If you have a vintage card you don't want to cut, scan a color copy and hang the copy instead.)

  • Easy-fill ornaments

    Nestle special “ingredients” inside ball ornaments for thoughtful, budget-friendly party favors or decorations. You can use wintry natural materials like we did, or let your imagination fly.

    What you’ll need

    Plastic ball ornaments

    Artificial snow


    Pine tree clippings




    Place items inside one ornament half. (Leave them loose, or secure with a dot of hot glue.) Top with the other half, string with ribbon, and presto, you’re done!


  • Painted-scene ornament

    Use white and red acrylic paints to create this snowy scene. Paint the bottom with two coats of white paint; let dry after each. Then add trees in different sizes. After they’ve dried, dab on red acrylic paint to look like cardinals.

  • Paper-strip ornament

    Stuff a clear ornament with strips of paper from old books or sheet music for holiday decor that also makes a great gift for book- or music-lovers.

  • Photo by Ginger Crichton

    Glittery music

    Attach a favorite Christmas carol to cardstock and cover the edges with glitter for an easy, meaningful ornament.

  • Add some bling

    Are you a scrapbooker or crafter? Go through your supplies for embellishments like this little snowflake. Hot-glue to glass ornaments.

  • Stamp it

    Holiday stamps—vintage or current—look pretty inside clear glass ornaments.

  • Embroidered style

    Embroider a snowflake onto bright color linen or cotton for a mini ornament (they make great gifts, too!). Trace a design on cloth and embroider, then place in a miniature embroidery hoop, using hot glue to seal the edges.

  • Rope accents

    Place slivers of decorative paper in a clear ornament, then glue on strands of jute or another string to the top half.

  • Scrapbook swirls

    Turn leftover scrapbooking paper (or even brown grocery bags) into rosette ornaments. Cut long paper rectangles (ours are 1-inch-wide by 6 inches long) and glue ends together. Punch two circles out of cardstock and hot-glue the cardstock ends to one circle; let dry and glue the second circle to the other side. Use adhesive letters to add a holiday message.

  • Jeweled touches

    Costume earrings with glittery stones make gorgeous accents for holiday ornaments. Use wire cutters to remove earring posts or clips, then hot-glue the earrings to ornaments.

  • Ribbon candy

    Make pretty candy-like ornaments from paper craps and beads. Thread a needle with embroidery floss and knot one end. Use clear acrylic beads and one-inch-wide paper strips to create the candy shape; place two beads between each bend of the paper strip. Secure the top bead by running the floss through it twice, and make a loop for hanging.

  • Tissue treasures

    Cover an ornament with tiny tissue paper shapes for a pretty geometric look. Cut solid or patterned tissue paper into small squares. Coat a white matte-finish ornament with decoupage glue, add tissue paper pieces, and coat with another layer of decoupage. Hang to dry.

  • Jingle bell ornament

    Here’s another idea for clear ornaments: Fill with small red bells, wrap ribbon around the top and glue the long tails of the ribbon in place.  We also glued a tiny felt tree to the front.

  • Song-inspired

    Printouts of the lyrics of Silent Night hang along with a garland of buttons, framed silhouettes and other homemade decorations.

  • Glitter balls

    Glitter adds a special touch to any plain ornament. Try mixing two colors, such as turquoise and green, matching one of the colors to the ornament. A bow in coordinating colors finishes the festive look.

  • Cookie ornaments

    Create a cookie-theme Christmas tree by making ornaments from cookie cutters, miniature rolling pins, bundles of cinnamon sticks and gingerbread men. Clear balls covered in twine and accented with bells add texture and shape to the tree. 

  • Photo by Ginger Crichton

    Reuse game pieces

    Do you have games at home that no one uses anymore? Use cards, tiles and other pieces to make garlands, spell holiday words or fill plastic ornaments. 

  • Photo by Ginger Crichton

    Crayon ornaments

    Crayons—glued, melted and shaped, and swirled—inspired these red ornaments. 

  • Holiday message

    Sparkly stick-on letters from a scrapbooking store spell out Christmas tidings.

  • Tower of gifts

    Make an ornament from tiny craft boxes covered in wrapping paper, tissue or decorative paper scraps. Use different papers to cover lids and bottoms, then stack and tie with a ribbon. 

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