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Hand Made Christmas Traditions

Updated on October 5, 2015
AnnaMKB profile image

Anna is a life long crafter and crochet instructor who enjoys trying new techniques, learning new skills and sharing them with others.

A Family Tradition of Hand Made Christmas Decorations

Every year, as Christmas draws near, beautifully decorated Christmas trees begin to pop up everywhere. In public spaces everywhere, trees are put up, decorated with thought and planning. In stores and catelogs, dozens of them are covered with themed decorations for sale. In our city, there is even an annual Christmas Tree Festival, where lavishly decorated trees are decorated to compete in various categories, with the ultimate goal of raising funds for local charities.

These beautiful trees often involve significant planning and organization, are decorated with a theme in mind, or at least have matching colours. I love to see them every year.

Then, there's our tree. It won't win any decorating awards, has no theme and no cohesion. Those fancy trees, as beautiful as they are, will never grace our own home. Our tree is the result of a tradition of hand made decorations that now spans almost 20 years, and it's one my children have grown to love and contribute to as they've gotten older.

Here, I would like to share with you just some of the hand made decorations that now grace our Christmas tree. I hope you enjoy them, and are inspired to make a few of your own.

All photos are my own, taken with a Nikon D80 and an 18-55mm lens.

Simple Crochet Spirals and Balls - The ones that started it all.

The Christmas of 1993 was fast approaching. Our first child was almost 9 months old and very close to walking. For her first Christmas, I did not want to be constantly keeping her out of the tree for fear she'd hurt herself or break something. I wanted to allow her to actually touch, even play with, our trees. With this in mind, I began a search for child safe Christmas decorations that I liked.

My search failed. What few child safe decorations I found were pretty darn ugly. What I did find, however, was really pretty Christmas yarn. Having recently - finally! - figured out how to crochet, I decided that I would use these lovely yarns to make our decorations. I settled on making simple spirals, plus balls stuffed with fibrefill in two sizes.

We still have them. Looking at them now, I'm almost embarressed by them. The spirals are fine, but the balls are rather lumpy and not particularly round. Then I remember that I had no idea how to make a ball shape in crochet, nor could I find a pattern (this was, after all, in the days before the internet became common!), so I'd simply made them up as I went along. Looking at it that way, I think I did all right after all!

Glittery Christmas Yarn

When making yarn-based decorations for your tree, it's nice to have something with a metallic component to catch and reflect the lights on the tree.

Felt Stockings - Marking the turn of a millenium

The crochet decorations served well for a few years, but I hadn't quite got into the yearly tradition of making new decorations on an annual basis. There were a few that I made, but not in any significant numbers.

The next larger batch of decorations we made were, once again, brought on by necessity. We now had two daughters, aged 3 and 6 years, and we had just moved to another province for what was originally a 6 month contract with my husband's new job. With that in mind, we brought very few items with us, and no furniture at all.

We ended up living there for almost 2 years!

We had moved out in November, and ended up buying a 4 ft artificial tree (we've always had artificial trees). Since the move was supposed to be short term, we weren't about to spend a lot of money on decorations. Most of the decorations that year were made up of sea shells quickly decorated with ribbons and bows.

Making these was very quick and simple. I made a cardboard template to cut out the stocking shapes, plus another for a basic rectangular stocking top; the shaped ones were cut on the fly. The other felt shapes were done freehand. Some embroidery thread, beads, glow in the dark paint and some ric rac for hangers was all I needed.

Thirteen Christmases later, the glow in the dark paint still glows as bright as when I first made them!

Felt Stocking details - Here's a closer look at the stockings.

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The snowman is surrounded by snowflakes made with French knots.  The glow in the dark paint I used came in a tube with a pointed tip, making it easy to write in the numbers.The Christmas tree is decorated with beads and French knots, and surrounded by glow in the dark "stars."The star shapes on the stocking in the background were stitched and decorated in place, then edged with glow in the dark paint.Some holly berries are detailed with a glow in the dark "reflection."Metallic thread was used to stitch the bell in place, as well as for the French knots around it.
The snowman is surrounded by snowflakes made with French knots.  The glow in the dark paint I used came in a tube with a pointed tip, making it easy to write in the numbers.
The snowman is surrounded by snowflakes made with French knots. The glow in the dark paint I used came in a tube with a pointed tip, making it easy to write in the numbers.
The Christmas tree is decorated with beads and French knots, and surrounded by glow in the dark "stars."The star shapes on the stocking in the background were stitched and decorated in place, then edged with glow in the dark paint.
The Christmas tree is decorated with beads and French knots, and surrounded by glow in the dark "stars." The star shapes on the stocking in the background were stitched and decorated in place, then edged with glow in the dark paint.
Some holly berries are detailed with a glow in the dark "reflection."
Some holly berries are detailed with a glow in the dark "reflection."
Metallic thread was used to stitch the bell in place, as well as for the French knots around it.
Metallic thread was used to stitch the bell in place, as well as for the French knots around it.

Simple Felt Bells - More easy and child safe decorations

Eventually, we moved again, and were back to living near family. By this time, making decorations had become an annual event, and when living near family, most of them were given out as gifts, sometimes added as decoration to a regular wrapped gift. Some years, depending on where we lived, materials could be hard to come by. These felt decorations were simple, used easy to find materials, and were inexpensive to make.

Once again, a carboard template was made. You might recognise the ric rac from the felt stockings! Yes, I still had some left over. A bit of stuffing and some buttonhole stitch in embroidery thread made for some quick and easy, child safe decorations.

It would be a few years before "child safe" was no longer a high priority!

Flexible Felt

Felt is a very versatile crafting material.

Crochet Garland - With a night time surprise

I made this garland as a way to use a new yarn I'd found. The pattern itself is very simple and easily adaptable. I madeanother version, edged in glittery eyelash yarn, which was used to decorate a staff Christmas tree and was later sold.

When the lights are out, the glow in the dark yarn is revealed.

When the lights are out, the glow in the dark yarn is revealed.
When the lights are out, the glow in the dark yarn is revealed.

Yarn with a Glow

Taking Christmas lights to a different level!

Shisha and mixed media decorations - Starting to go all out!

Several more years - and moves - later, and my tentative tradition had grown into something much more defined. I began to actively seek out new crafts to try, and to experiment with different materials. Perhaps the most elaborate of these annual decorations were these, with a shisha mirror focal point.

Shisha mirror embroidery is a beautiful Indian art that I was eager to try out. It is typically done with a very light glass mirror, but none was to be had, so I used regular round mirrors found in a craft store. They are much heavier then traditional shisha mirros, but they worked beautifully.

The fabric I used for these were left over from costumes I'd sewn for the girls, and I used a variety of embroidery threads, beads and semi-precious stones. At this point, giving these decorations as gifts had also become part of our tradition, and it was not unusual for us to have only about half of the total number of decorations made left for our own tree. If we lived near family, I would make one for each household. When we lived away from family, we would choose several to gift to new friends we'd made over the past year.

Our Shisha Mirror decorations

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All the shisha mirrors were stitched into place with rayon embroidery thread - a very slippery medium!This decoration also used metalling embroidery thread, metallic and "pearl" seed beads, and the fringes are made of bugles topped with metal beadsBugle and seed beads surround the mirrow in this decorations.  The round beads at the corners are black hematite.The stylized leaves surrounding the mirror in this decoration was done using rayon embroidery thread.  There's a seed bead edging, with metal beads and plastic leaf beads instead of a fringe.More metallic embroidery thread, plus turquoise round and chip beads.  Considering I found them at the dollar store, I'd guess that these beads are actually dyed howlite, a much cheaper immitation of turquoise.A closer view of the embroidery details.The top of the metallic thread fringe was topped with rows of beads which served to both decorate the fringe and ensure it couldn't fall apart.The hanging loops for all the decorations were made by twisting strands of thread to make a cord.
All the shisha mirrors were stitched into place with rayon embroidery thread - a very slippery medium!This decoration also used metalling embroidery thread, metallic and "pearl" seed beads, and the fringes are made of bugles topped with metal beads
All the shisha mirrors were stitched into place with rayon embroidery thread - a very slippery medium! This decoration also used metalling embroidery thread, metallic and "pearl" seed beads, and the fringes are made of bugles topped with metal beads
Bugle and seed beads surround the mirrow in this decorations.  The round beads at the corners are black hematite.
Bugle and seed beads surround the mirrow in this decorations. The round beads at the corners are black hematite.
The stylized leaves surrounding the mirror in this decoration was done using rayon embroidery thread.  There's a seed bead edging, with metal beads and plastic leaf beads instead of a fringe.
The stylized leaves surrounding the mirror in this decoration was done using rayon embroidery thread. There's a seed bead edging, with metal beads and plastic leaf beads instead of a fringe.
More metallic embroidery thread, plus turquoise round and chip beads.  Considering I found them at the dollar store, I'd guess that these beads are actually dyed howlite, a much cheaper immitation of turquoise.
More metallic embroidery thread, plus turquoise round and chip beads. Considering I found them at the dollar store, I'd guess that these beads are actually dyed howlite, a much cheaper immitation of turquoise.
A closer view of the embroidery details.
A closer view of the embroidery details.
The top of the metallic thread fringe was topped with rows of beads which served to both decorate the fringe and ensure it couldn't fall apart.
The top of the metallic thread fringe was topped with rows of beads which served to both decorate the fringe and ensure it couldn't fall apart.
The hanging loops for all the decorations were made by twisting strands of thread to make a cord.
The hanging loops for all the decorations were made by twisting strands of thread to make a cord.

More shisha decoration details

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Another mix of seed and bugle beads surrounding the shisha mirror.  Edged in seed beads, with metal, bugle and seed bead tassles.Decoration detail.This one uses one of my favourite stones - goldstone; a man-made stone that is also available in blue and green, though rarer.Detail of goldstone bead and fringe.This decorations used "red coral" beads.  Though labelled as "red coral," they would be fake versions, as real red coral is found in few places, and there are strict regulations as to how much can be taken, making the real thing rare and expensive.
Another mix of seed and bugle beads surrounding the shisha mirror.  Edged in seed beads, with metal, bugle and seed bead tassles.
Another mix of seed and bugle beads surrounding the shisha mirror. Edged in seed beads, with metal, bugle and seed bead tassles.
Decoration detail.
Decoration detail.
This one uses one of my favourite stones - goldstone; a man-made stone that is also available in blue and green, though rarer.
This one uses one of my favourite stones - goldstone; a man-made stone that is also available in blue and green, though rarer.
Detail of goldstone bead and fringe.
Detail of goldstone bead and fringe.
This decorations used "red coral" beads.  Though labelled as "red coral," they would be fake versions, as real red coral is found in few places, and there are strict regulations as to how much can be taken, making the real thing rare and expensive.
This decorations used "red coral" beads. Though labelled as "red coral," they would be fake versions, as real red coral is found in few places, and there are strict regulations as to how much can be taken, making the real thing rare and expensive.

Learn More About Shisha Embroidery

A gorgeous, traditional form of embroidery.

Blackwork - in colour! - Adapting traditional embroidery patterns

Another set of decorations mixing techniques and updating traditions. Blackwork embroidery is a type of embroidery using a variety of stitches, mostly back stitch, and done almost exclusively in black thread, though some versions are done in red. I adapted patterns for blackwork to fit onto small Aida cloth strips. Some of these were stuffed and sewn into little pillows, while others had cinnamon stitcks sewn in so that they were sticking partly out the top. All included scented oil in the stuffing, and where edged in crochet thread, some with beads.

Scented Sachets

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Green and gold beauty.Cinnamon and Vanilla scent this ruffled decoration.An adapted bookmark pattern.Softly ruffled in No. 20 Mercerized crochet cotton, worked up with a 1.5mm crochet hook.Seed bead crocheted edging.Finished with a scalloped edge.
Green and gold beauty.
Green and gold beauty.
Cinnamon and Vanilla scent this ruffled decoration.
Cinnamon and Vanilla scent this ruffled decoration.
An adapted bookmark pattern.
An adapted bookmark pattern.
Softly ruffled in No. 20 Mercerized crochet cotton, worked up with a 1.5mm crochet hook.
Softly ruffled in No. 20 Mercerized crochet cotton, worked up with a 1.5mm crochet hook.
Seed bead crocheted edging.
Seed bead crocheted edging.
Finished with a scalloped edge.
Finished with a scalloped edge.

Exploring Blackwork

Learn more about the rich history of blackwork embroidery and the many cultural patterns and designs.

Cinnamon Dough Decorations - Sparkling cookie shapes

Here's a plate of cookies you definitely wouldn't want to eat!

Many years ago, I had made a garland using a combination of purchased beads and beads I'd made using a cinnamon dough. The garland itself broke after a couple of years, but I hung on to the beads for quite a while before yet another move saw them passing out of our possession. The beads had kept their scent for many years.

I love a tree full of lights, so our decorations were usually planned to reflect light. These are no exception, while adding an extra dimension of scent. They were great fun to make and decorate!

A Gallery of Cinnamon Dough Decorations - Just a few of the entire set.

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The craft gems are self adhesive, but they could not stay on the textured decorations without a little help from some glitter glue.Tiny bows add a festive touch.Craft gems framed with glitter glue.Two sizes of similarly shaped cookie cutters were used to make an open wreath shape.Craft gems, sparkly pipe cleaner and a festive bow decorate this miniature wreath.The smallest of our shapes, perhaps an inch long, and just large enough for a single gem.  A cocktail toothpick was used to make the holes for hangers.More craft gems, found in the scrapbooking section of a local craft store, and a whole lot of glitter glue!
The craft gems are self adhesive, but they could not stay on the textured decorations without a little help from some glitter glue.
The craft gems are self adhesive, but they could not stay on the textured decorations without a little help from some glitter glue.
Tiny bows add a festive touch.
Tiny bows add a festive touch.
Craft gems framed with glitter glue.
Craft gems framed with glitter glue.
Two sizes of similarly shaped cookie cutters were used to make an open wreath shape.
Two sizes of similarly shaped cookie cutters were used to make an open wreath shape.
Craft gems, sparkly pipe cleaner and a festive bow decorate this miniature wreath.
Craft gems, sparkly pipe cleaner and a festive bow decorate this miniature wreath.
The smallest of our shapes, perhaps an inch long, and just large enough for a single gem.  A cocktail toothpick was used to make the holes for hangers.
The smallest of our shapes, perhaps an inch long, and just large enough for a single gem. A cocktail toothpick was used to make the holes for hangers.
More craft gems, found in the scrapbooking section of a local craft store, and a whole lot of glitter glue!
More craft gems, found in the scrapbooking section of a local craft store, and a whole lot of glitter glue!

Cinnamon

For a craft like this, save money and buy in bulk!

Temari ornaments - A different take on Japanese hand balls.

Perhaps the most elaborate Christmas decorations we've made were these temari. Temari literally means hand (Te) ball (Mari) and are a beautiful Japanese art. These were the first temari I ever made, using 2 and 2 1/2 inch foam cores. Since then, I've made others with and without hangers on 3 inch balls. I definitely recommend using the larger size to start with!


Temari gallery - A closer look at the different temari patterns

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A 2 1/2 inch core with 2 centres, the 8 pointed stars extend beyond the equator, and are worked to produce a woven effect.A 2 1/2 inch core with 2 centres, the points of these stars extend beyond the equator, with one side overlapping the other at the points.A 2 1/2 inch core with 10 centres, each with an 8 point star.This was one of the first temari I ever made, worked on a 2 inch core.  A pattern with two centres, one at each pole, each is made up of a pair of overlapping 4 point stars.Using a 2 1/2 inch core, this two centre mari has 12 pointed stars.Another 2 1/2 inch core with two centres, this time with a 16 point star at each pole.A 2 1/2 inch core with 10 centres, the use of colour turns an 8 point star into a 4 point flower with leaves.A 2 1/2 inc core with 2 centres, this mari was divided as for an 8 point star, then 4 pointed stars, with points extending almost to the opposite pole, were stitched alternately.  Instead of an obi, a contrasting colour was worked around the centre iMoving up to a 2 1/2 inch core with two centres, this one is a variation of the 8 point star with an extra wide obi.
A 2 1/2 inch core with 2 centres, the 8 pointed stars extend beyond the equator, and are worked to produce a woven effect.
A 2 1/2 inch core with 2 centres, the 8 pointed stars extend beyond the equator, and are worked to produce a woven effect.
A 2 1/2 inch core with 2 centres, the points of these stars extend beyond the equator, with one side overlapping the other at the points.
A 2 1/2 inch core with 2 centres, the points of these stars extend beyond the equator, with one side overlapping the other at the points.
A 2 1/2 inch core with 10 centres, each with an 8 point star.
A 2 1/2 inch core with 10 centres, each with an 8 point star.
This was one of the first temari I ever made, worked on a 2 inch core.  A pattern with two centres, one at each pole, each is made up of a pair of overlapping 4 point stars.
This was one of the first temari I ever made, worked on a 2 inch core. A pattern with two centres, one at each pole, each is made up of a pair of overlapping 4 point stars.
Using a 2 1/2 inch core, this two centre mari has 12 pointed stars.
Using a 2 1/2 inch core, this two centre mari has 12 pointed stars.
Another 2 1/2 inch core with two centres, this time with a 16 point star at each pole.
Another 2 1/2 inch core with two centres, this time with a 16 point star at each pole.
A 2 1/2 inch core with 10 centres, the use of colour turns an 8 point star into a 4 point flower with leaves.
A 2 1/2 inch core with 10 centres, the use of colour turns an 8 point star into a 4 point flower with leaves.
A 2 1/2 inc core with 2 centres, this mari was divided as for an 8 point star, then 4 pointed stars, with points extending almost to the opposite pole, were stitched alternately.  Instead of an obi, a contrasting colour was worked around the centre i
A 2 1/2 inc core with 2 centres, this mari was divided as for an 8 point star, then 4 pointed stars, with points extending almost to the opposite pole, were stitched alternately. Instead of an obi, a contrasting colour was worked around the centre i
Moving up to a 2 1/2 inch core with two centres, this one is a variation of the 8 point star with an extra wide obi.
Moving up to a 2 1/2 inch core with two centres, this one is a variation of the 8 point star with an extra wide obi.

More Temari

So many beautiful patterns! From the simple to the elaborate, these are sure to inspire.

A variety over the years - A few extra ornaments, some of which were experiments, others are the only ones left from certain years.

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I found a pattern online somewhere that I wanted to try out, and this is the result.  I only ever made one of these.Trying a free pattern I found from the Bernat website.There was just one year when glow in the dark yarn was easily available.  If I'd known they wouldn't be back, I would have stocked up on more!Cross stitch is not something I do very often, but it does make for some nice, quick decorations.I'd made a pair of lace framed cross stitch ornaments, but this is the only one left.A closer look at the design.
I found a pattern online somewhere that I wanted to try out, and this is the result.  I only ever made one of these.
I found a pattern online somewhere that I wanted to try out, and this is the result. I only ever made one of these.
Trying a free pattern I found from the Bernat website.
Trying a free pattern I found from the Bernat website.
There was just one year when glow in the dark yarn was easily available.  If I'd known they wouldn't be back, I would have stocked up on more!
There was just one year when glow in the dark yarn was easily available. If I'd known they wouldn't be back, I would have stocked up on more!
Cross stitch is not something I do very often, but it does make for some nice, quick decorations.
Cross stitch is not something I do very often, but it does make for some nice, quick decorations.
I'd made a pair of lace framed cross stitch ornaments, but this is the only one left.
I'd made a pair of lace framed cross stitch ornaments, but this is the only one left.
A closer look at the design.
A closer look at the design.

Wrapped Stars - Fast, easy and flexible

For our 2010 ornaments, the girls and I worked up some wrapped 8 pointed stars. They turned out to be really fun to make, and there were so many ways to make each one unique! It's a great way to use up small amounts of yarn, as well as crochet thread and ribbon yarn, in all sorts of combinations. We even reversed the wrapping sequence in a few of them, which I found I actually liked better. The open centres can be decorated in all sorts of ways, or be used for a photo.

A gallery of a few of our wrapped stars

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A combination of yarn and metallic crochet thread frame a centre decorated with some scrapbook paper and self adhesive reflective stars.Ribbon yarn made for a lovely effect.  The centre is metallic cardstock paper and self adhesive craft gems.White yarn and silver metallic crochet thread frame a flower cut from scrapbook paper and accented with silver glitter glue.When the lights are out, the white yarn reveals is glow in the dark surprise.Christmas themed yarn with a twist of metallic fibre frames a foil backed centre decorated with self adhesive gems and a bit of glitter glue.Metallic crochet thread wrapped in reverse order results in a very different appearance that I really enjoy.  The centre is metallic card stock and self adhesive reflective stars.
A combination of yarn and metallic crochet thread frame a centre decorated with some scrapbook paper and self adhesive reflective stars.
A combination of yarn and metallic crochet thread frame a centre decorated with some scrapbook paper and self adhesive reflective stars.
Ribbon yarn made for a lovely effect.  The centre is metallic cardstock paper and self adhesive craft gems.
Ribbon yarn made for a lovely effect. The centre is metallic cardstock paper and self adhesive craft gems.
White yarn and silver metallic crochet thread frame a flower cut from scrapbook paper and accented with silver glitter glue.
White yarn and silver metallic crochet thread frame a flower cut from scrapbook paper and accented with silver glitter glue.
When the lights are out, the white yarn reveals is glow in the dark surprise.
When the lights are out, the white yarn reveals is glow in the dark surprise.
Christmas themed yarn with a twist of metallic fibre frames a foil backed centre decorated with self adhesive gems and a bit of glitter glue.
Christmas themed yarn with a twist of metallic fibre frames a foil backed centre decorated with self adhesive gems and a bit of glitter glue.
Metallic crochet thread wrapped in reverse order results in a very different appearance that I really enjoy.  The centre is metallic card stock and self adhesive reflective stars.
Metallic crochet thread wrapped in reverse order results in a very different appearance that I really enjoy. The centre is metallic card stock and self adhesive reflective stars.

Spice is Nice! - Organic textures, natural spice scents, and a hint of metallic shine

When I was a child, my mother showed us how to use blown egg shells as a base to glue on various seeds, pulses and spices to make decorations. My childish attempts were rather disastrous, but the memory of how fun they were to make stuck with me. In 2011, we decied to continue the scented route, but wanted to go for a more organic look and feel, and these were inspired by my childhood memories.

We raided the spice cupboard, used purchased shapes and added a touch of shine by using metallic paints to make some rather unique decorations.

Shine and Spice

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My daughters and I made several decorations each.My daughters and I made several decorations each.My daughters and I made several decorations each.My daughters and I made several decorations each.My daughters and I made several decorations each.My daughters and I made several decorations each.My daughters and I made several decorations each.My daughters and I made several decorations each.My daughters and I made several decorations each.My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.
My daughters and I made several decorations each.

Unfinished Ornaments

Blank ornaments are available in many inspiring shapes and sizes.

Listed, but not photographed

Over the years, there were a lot of other ornaments made that either didn't survive all our moves, or were all given away, but are still great crafts to try. Here are a few of them:

Mexican God's Eye: A quick and easy craft that can also be a yarn stashbuster.

Cross stitched "pillows": Tiny squares of aida cloth were stitched and sewn together with stuffing and a hanger to make little pillows.

Beaded medalions: A single large bead was framed with rings of smaller beads to make a medallion. These were great to add to the ribbons and bows of gifts.

Bead weaving: Small seed bead designs where needle woven in peyote or brick stitch.

Precious gifts! - Friends and family have added to our collection with other hand crafted decorations!

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A gift from a friend who lives near Chicago.Sadly, the hanger of this decoration broke off when we tried to hang it on the tree after this photo.One of three stained glass ornaments made by a co-worker of my husband's as a goodbye gift when we moved.  We always make sure to them them with lights behind them.One of three stained glass ornaments made by a co-worker of my husband's as a goodbye gift when we moved.  We always make sure to them them with lights behind them.One of three stained glass ornaments made by a co-worker of my husband's as a goodbye gift when we moved.  We always make sure to them them with lights behind them.Yes, these are hand made, though using a laser cutter!Yes, these are hand made, though using a laser cutter!Yes, these are hand made, though using a laser cutter!
A gift from a friend who lives near Chicago.
A gift from a friend who lives near Chicago.
Sadly, the hanger of this decoration broke off when we tried to hang it on the tree after this photo.
Sadly, the hanger of this decoration broke off when we tried to hang it on the tree after this photo.
One of three stained glass ornaments made by a co-worker of my husband's as a goodbye gift when we moved.  We always make sure to them them with lights behind them.
One of three stained glass ornaments made by a co-worker of my husband's as a goodbye gift when we moved. We always make sure to them them with lights behind them.
One of three stained glass ornaments made by a co-worker of my husband's as a goodbye gift when we moved.  We always make sure to them them with lights behind them.
One of three stained glass ornaments made by a co-worker of my husband's as a goodbye gift when we moved. We always make sure to them them with lights behind them.
One of three stained glass ornaments made by a co-worker of my husband's as a goodbye gift when we moved.  We always make sure to them them with lights behind them.
One of three stained glass ornaments made by a co-worker of my husband's as a goodbye gift when we moved. We always make sure to them them with lights behind them.
Yes, these are hand made, though using a laser cutter!
Yes, these are hand made, though using a laser cutter!
Yes, these are hand made, though using a laser cutter!
Yes, these are hand made, though using a laser cutter!
Yes, these are hand made, though using a laser cutter!
Yes, these are hand made, though using a laser cutter!

Our 2012 Christmas Tree - Plus some overflow decorations

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My daughters decorated our tree for 2012, stuffing on as many decorations as they could.  We've long since run out of room to hang all of them on the tree!  Near the top of the tree are some small stamped medallions with wolf and eagle motifs, made aA closer view of some of the decrations.  Near the top left is one of our remaining bead medallion decorations.Another view, including another of our bead medallion decorations.This year, we've added a new pine garland we acquired, which now has all our temari ornaments on it.  Other decorations have been added to some tinsel garlands we've put up, and any place else we can come up with!
My daughters decorated our tree for 2012, stuffing on as many decorations as they could.  We've long since run out of room to hang all of them on the tree!  Near the top of the tree are some small stamped medallions with wolf and eagle motifs, made a
My daughters decorated our tree for 2012, stuffing on as many decorations as they could. We've long since run out of room to hang all of them on the tree! Near the top of the tree are some small stamped medallions with wolf and eagle motifs, made a
A closer view of some of the decrations.  Near the top left is one of our remaining bead medallion decorations.
A closer view of some of the decrations. Near the top left is one of our remaining bead medallion decorations.
Another view, including another of our bead medallion decorations.
Another view, including another of our bead medallion decorations.
This year, we've added a new pine garland we acquired, which now has all our temari ornaments on it.  Other decorations have been added to some tinsel garlands we've put up, and any place else we can come up with!
This year, we've added a new pine garland we acquired, which now has all our temari ornaments on it. Other decorations have been added to some tinsel garlands we've put up, and any place else we can come up with!

Do you have hand made decorations on your Christmas tree?

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Cast your vote for Hand Made Christmas Traditions

Feel free to share some of your family's favourite traditions.

Christmas traditions!

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    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Very pretty designs! Such labor of love. Merry Christmas! - Ms. Charito from the Philippines

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      vagcommander 4 years ago

      great lens, nice hand made items

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 4 years ago

      Your hand-made Christmas decorations are so pretty. Loved your page and congrats for your well deserved LOTD :)

    • profile image

      Deadpool 4 years ago

      Great Lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I think anything made with felt is classic!

    • profile image

      ghostJago 4 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks for sharing :)

    • SunshineLife LM profile image

      SunshineLife LM 4 years ago

      What a great lens. I'm going to make a wrapped star today!

    • hypnch profile image

      hypnch 4 years ago

      Large amount of work put in to all these decorations, some great ideas and excellent images.

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      cheftimestwo 4 years ago

      I love the idea of using spices! Great lens, thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      You sent me to school today...I had never heard of Shisha. Thanks for the education . You photos are gorgeous. This is a beautiful lens. Merry Christmas!

    • planetocean79 profile image

      planetocean79 4 years ago

      Handmade Christmas decorations are usually the best one's for the holiday.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      I love the Shisha and the Temari. And the spice ornaments are beautiful and must add a lovely scent to your tree. d

    • mytone profile image

      mytone 4 years ago

      I am absolutely blessed to see your great and astonishing lens...congrats for selecting lens of the day...

    • profile image

      adminghb 4 years ago

      Amazing decorations! Marry Christmas and congratulations on LotD!

    • Wahmwriter profile image

      Wahmwriter 4 years ago

      Wow! What an absoloutely beautiful lense. I need to re-teach my self to crochet.Your Christmas Tree makes mine look very "anemic". Fab photos. This must keep you very busy

    • profile image

      HouseBuyersOfAmerica 4 years ago

      I just loved your lens. Thanks for sharing all these beautiful ideas.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Excellent lens you have there. Thumbs up! :) & congratz on your LOTD.

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Washington State

      Such beautiful decorations! I love how the trees look decorated with all these homemade marvels. Congratulations on LOTD and a purple star, that is awesome. So is this lens.

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image

      Glenda Motsavage 4 years ago from The Sunshine State

      Wow...so impressive to watch the evolution of your creativity from Spirals & Balls to Shisha, Temari and beyond! I'm wondering what you've not yet discovered??? So worthy of the Purple Star and LotD - Congratulations!

    • joancol lm profile image

      joancol lm 4 years ago

      Nice collection for the Christmas tradition. Congrats on LOTD.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 4 years ago from London UK

      I love that tree with all the handmade ornaments. I think I'll encourage my family to join me and make some once the school term ends. We already have some but we haven't made any in a long time. thanks for this inspirational lens. Merry Christmas.

    • Starzz30 profile image

      Starzz30 4 years ago

      I love your Christmas tree décor you are very talented with making hand made Christmas decorations. Congrats form this lens being LOTD!

    • missmary1960 profile image

      missmary1960 4 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD. Nice stuff here

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Love your hand made ornaments, very impressive!

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 4 years ago from California

      Very pretty. I have made a number of felt decorations for our tree, but it was not because of our child, it was so the cats could have fun. They loved to un-decorate the tree and play with the decorations.

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow, you've created so many gorgeous ornaments. I'm completely impressed by the quality of your handiwork.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very nice stuff. Congratulations on getting LotD!

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! Lovely handmade Christmas ornaments and great lens! I love getting handmade items:

      ~d-artist Squid Angel Blessing~

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Lovely tree ornaments! Congratulations on a well deserved LotD! :>)

    • profile image

      TOP5PRODUCTS 4 years ago

      Love the shisha mirror decorations. Awesome lens.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 4 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      beautiful lens! congrats!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      Congratulations on LotD. Good projects to do with the family for gifts.

    • profile image

      Nikki58 4 years ago

      Some great decorations..love the tree. Thanks for sharing. Oh and congrats on LOTD!

    • BlueDahlia33 profile image

      Emily 4 years ago

      Congrats on getting LOTD. These ornaments are amazing, and make a beautiful Christmas tree!

    • profile image

      webmavern 4 years ago

      What great ideas for homemade decorations to cherish for years to come. Congratulations on LOTD!

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 4 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      Congrats on LOTD. I love these decorations as they are bound to last longer than the cheap plastic ones, yet they still look great and are more environmentally friendly. Our tree has lots of home made decorations too, mostly ones that the kids made at school.

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      nifwlseirff 4 years ago

      Congrats on winning the LotD - beautiful! I particularly love the temari balls, and plan to make some in future.

    • profile image

      greenpharmacist 4 years ago

      Creative and awesome handmade craft for Christmas!

    • profile image

      laurenrich 4 years ago

      This is an awesome lens. It is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

    • safereview profile image

      Bob 4 years ago from Kansas City

      Awesome lens... very interesting and deserving of LOTD.

    • montanatravel52 profile image

      montanatravel52 4 years ago

      Absolutely love your display of "hand made" decorations for Christmas throughout the years, even if they don't all "mesh" into some "fashionable display"! Congrats on LOTD, well-deserved, and beautiful ideas keeping with the whole spirit of Christmas!!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      Very beautiful. Congrats on LOTD.

    • profile image

      Benjamynn 4 years ago

      These look absolutely beautiful, by the way congratulations on lens of the day. Happy holidays! :)

    • profile image

      faye durham 4 years ago

      Congrats on lens of the day. All your handmade ornaments are lovely!

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 4 years ago from US

      Congrats on lotd--really pretty hand made item. Blessed!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 4 years ago

      What an incredible beautiful lens gracing the home page in the LOTD spotlight. I really enjoyed your pictures and write up about home made traditional Christmas decorations. What a gorgeous tree!

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      PinoyBroker 4 years ago

      I will always pass on the tradition of Christmas stockings! Merry Christmas to you!

    • profile image

      poutine 4 years ago

      I like the small stockings with the year on.

    • MariannesWhims profile image

      Marianne Gardner 4 years ago from Pacific NW, USA

      Congratulations of LOTD. Such a colorful and cheerful lens. You and your daughters are making beautiful memories.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

      I love the idea of your children helping you make the ornaments. Now that is a real family Christmas. The ornaments are beautiful.

    • AshleysCorner profile image

      AshleysCorner 4 years ago

      Beautiful designs!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Fantastic! I LOVE all the different ideas here. No wonder you received LOTD. Thank you so much for putting all that effort into this page. I have bookmarked it! Sprinkling squidangel dust down on you!

    • bofirebear profile image

      bofirebear 4 years ago

      Lens Of The Day is appropriate for this wonderful collection of decorations. I to am in favor of handmade decorations and spending time together to make them.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      Congrats on LotD! I am 100% for a handmade Christmas. The designer trees just don't capture the true spirit of the holidays like something decorated from the heart. Wishing you a beautiful holiday season.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very nice and beautiful gifts.

    • dawnsnewbeginning profile image

      dawnsnewbeginning 4 years ago

      These are the kinds of decorated Christmas trees I love! Nice lens!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 4 years ago from GRENADA

      Congratulations on winning the Lens of The Day (LOTD)!!! Exquisite handmade decorations!

    • lbrummer profile image

      Loraine Brummer 4 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      Congratulations on LOTD. Blessed!!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Your handmade crafty Christmas Tree ornaments are terrific. Very clever. I did a few of these in the early 'no money' years of marriage and parenthood. :) Happy Holidays!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      The crochet staff is incredible versatile, unique, and so great looking. This lens remind me about my Grandma who was a maestro on crochet. I was born after the second war in Europe, so when I was a little girl, parents couldn't buy toys and even clothes. Grandma found a Mama's doll, which show her age, so she re-paint the face of the doll and crochet and entire wardrobe for the doll... I had the most elegant and unique doll in town. Nevertheless to say how many shirts, jackets and so on... she crocheted for me.

      So I am the one who really appreciated and love great crochet. Congrats and Blessings!

    • profile image

      olmpal 4 years ago

      Congrats on your LOTD! So many hand made Christmas decorations! Those awesome Temari ornaments are my favorites!!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Beautiful ornaments and an amazingly gorgeous tree! Congratulations on your very festive Lens of the Day!

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 4 years ago

      congrats on your LOTD...I just love your lens...well done...So many good ideas...

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 4 years ago

      woo hoo! What a hoot to see it made lens of the day today - CONGRATULATIONS!

    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 4 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      Beautiful lens! I've always enjoyed handmade decorations!

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 4 years ago

      One of the best lenses I've seen in ages... a well-deserved LOTD. I found a pattern for mittens very similar to your felt stockings and still display them a dozen years later.

    • profile image

      myspace9 4 years ago

      Congrats on lens of the day and you have a wonderful lens. Have a nice dayl

    • profile image

      seosmm 4 years ago

      Great ideas and very nice lens!

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      Gorgeous decorations here! Handmade items are always a joy :)

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 4 years ago from Washington KS

      What gorgeous handmade decorations!! Your tree is beautiful.

    • MsBomBalm profile image

      MsBomBalm 4 years ago

      Congratulations on Lens of the Day! I am always in awe of reading and seeing what other ppl are capable of...these are all beautiful. Holiday hugs and kisses to you and those you love!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 4 years ago

      Beautiful crafts! I've made a temari ball before and they are soo time consuming! I just wish I had more time for crafts!!!! I would do them all the time! Blessed!

    • profile image

      glowchick 4 years ago

      When i was a kid we would make some of our decorations,especially popcorn garland. Thanks for sharing all the wonderful ideas :)

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      Love your collection of handmade Christmas ornaments, Blessed by Squid Angel flinnie.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 4 years ago from USA

      Congratulations, this lens is today's Lens of the Day! You can read all about it here: http://hq.squidoo.com/lotd/lens-of-the-day-hand-ma...

    • bikerministry profile image

      bikerministry 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD. Beautiful traditions here. Blessings.

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 4 years ago

      Quite a unique and lovely collection if ornaments! I

    • Mamabyrd profile image

      Mamabyrd 4 years ago

      Popping in to visit your wonderful Christmas lens! I can't wait to make some of these beautiful handmade ornaments with my children. Congrats on LOTD Anna!

    • eilval profile image

      Eileen 4 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      Simply wonderful and so much detail . Love this !

    • gemjane profile image

      gemjane 4 years ago

      I LOVED your lens--I think it's the best one I've ever read on Squidoo! The items are simple enough for many to make, they're creative, you have great pictures and great text. A great variety, so colorful, most use materials that are not too expensive and perhaps are even found around the house, can include the whole family. Just a wonderful lens! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this lens.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      What wonderful ideas - thanks so much for sharing! Blessed by a SquidAngel, and congrats on LotD! :)

    • tfsherman lm profile image

      tfsherman lm 4 years ago

      What an impressive level of skill you bring to your Christmas crafts. Temari balls! You really pull out all the stops, don't you!

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 4 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      The ornaments are very pretty and well made and this lens is really attractive. However rotating the photographs automatically is not a good idea unless all of your photographs are exactly the same size. I had great difficulty reading your lens and if I were not a Squid would have clicked away as it is virtually impossible to read and I have had to scroll back to this comment at least a dozen times. Since the average visitor has to be captivated in just 15 seconds this constant jumping around should be avoided. You will lose a lot of traffic due to this and also sales on monetised lenses.

    • profile image

      Short_n_Sweet 4 years ago

      Beautiful crafts...I wish I had such talent

    • Silwen LM profile image

      Silwen LM 4 years ago

      Wonderful. I especially liked felted items and wrapped star. I will definitely try these ideas and start my own tradition.

    • profile image

      petermahfouz 4 years ago

      nice lens, merry xmas from now :)

    • profile image

      candy47 4 years ago

      I love the Temari ornaments and the garland. Wonderful Lens of the Day. Congratulations!

    • mrsclaus411 profile image

      mrsclaus411 4 years ago

      These are lovely.

    • profile image

      JeffSawyer 4 years ago

      Awesome Lens.Congrats on being LOTD.

    • ae dc profile image

      ae dc 4 years ago

      all so very beautiful! i'm suggesting the crochet garland to my mom, thanks! *Blessed*

    • andreycosmin profile image

      andreycosmin 4 years ago

      Nice lens

    • AnnaMKB profile image
      Author

      AnnaMKB 4 years ago

      @yayas: Many thanks! :-)

    • AnnaMKB profile image
      Author

      AnnaMKB 4 years ago

      @ismeedee: Thanks!

    • yayas profile image

      yayas 4 years ago

      What a delightful collection on handmade Christmas decorations. So happy to have found your page. Congratulations on Lens of the Day!

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 4 years ago

      Beautiful decs and such wonderful handiwork!

    • BackyardChickenK profile image

      BackyardChickenK 4 years ago

      Congrats on LOTD! It's a beautiful lens :)

    • AnnaMKB profile image
      Author

      AnnaMKB 4 years ago

      @BarbaraSellers: Thanks!

      Do you have anything particular in mind when you go ornament hunting?

    • profile image

      BarbaraSellers 4 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! Nice work! I started a family tradition where we each buy one new tree ornament each year, so we go ornament shopping.

    • AnnaMKB profile image
      Author

      AnnaMKB 4 years ago

      @cleanyoucar: Thanks!

    • AnnaMKB profile image
      Author

      AnnaMKB 4 years ago

      @maryseena: Thanks! I've been off the computer all days, so I just found out about it at the end of the day. *L*

    • AnnaMKB profile image
      Author

      AnnaMKB 4 years ago

      @bender2003: Thanks. :-)

    • AnnaMKB profile image
      Author

      AnnaMKB 4 years ago

      @Helene-Malmsio: Thanks! It'd be great to see your photos. :-D

    • AnnaMKB profile image
      Author

      AnnaMKB 4 years ago

      @darkflowers: Thanks!

    • profile image

      cleanyoucar 4 years ago

      Congratulations on the LOTD award. Well deserved!

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 4 years ago

      Your tree with all those ornaments full of memories is the best tree out there, much better than anything store bought can ever achieve!

      Great lens! Congratulations on being the lens of the day! It really deserves it!

    • profile image

      bender2003 4 years ago

      Many hand crafted original design ornaments I love all but spicy ones especially very inspiring.

      Hope to see your original work again.

      regards

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 4 years ago

      This lens is so inspiring with all these ideas! I used to handmake my Christmas decorations every year, and since I still have most of them I really must get some photos online. Next year will be a craft yer again I hope, so this page will be visited many times for ideas by me!

    • AnnaMKB profile image
      Author

      AnnaMKB 4 years ago

      @darkflowers: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. :-)

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 4 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      You are so creative, I love that! Making things yourself is so rewarding and gives you good creative vibes. Your pictures look awesome! Way to go! I especially love the Scented Sachets, great idea!

    • AnnaMKB profile image
      Author

      AnnaMKB 4 years ago

      @CoolFool83: Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. :-)

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 4 years ago

      Some really wonderful, and thoughtful ideas. Great lense.

    • AnnaMKB profile image
      Author

      AnnaMKB 4 years ago

      @Mamabyrd: I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you! :-)

    • Mamabyrd profile image

      Mamabyrd 4 years ago

      I love homemade Christmas decorations! especially now that my girls are getting a little older. Thank you for all of the wonderful ideas!

    • AnnaMKB profile image
      Author

      AnnaMKB 4 years ago

      @KathyMcGraw2: Many thanks! :-)

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 4 years ago from California

      I almost didn't finish reading this as I wanted to run down to the craft store so I could make my own Christmas Decorations. I love the shisha and temari ones. What wonderful traditions you have with your kids. *Angel Blessed."

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