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Making Homemade Christmas Ornaments: Cinnamon Ornaments, Candy Cane Reindeer, Beaded Ornaments, and More!
Directions and Ideas for Making Homemade Christmas Tree Ornaments!
Homemade Christmas tree ornaments have such a special charm and appeal to them. Whether they are ornaments you made yourself, or ones that were given to you by a friend or relative, homemade Christmas tree ornaments can personalize your Christmas tree in a way that store bought one's simply can't. Not that there's anything wrong with store bought ornaments, of course! We have many of those as well. But every year when we bring our box of Christmas decorations down from the attic, it's the homemade and personalized ornaments that bring an extra smile to our faces and a delightful warmth to our hearts.
Would you like to take a peak at the homemade Christmas ornaments we have in our Christmas decorations box? I poured through our box a few days ago and picked out some of my favorites to share with you! I hope you find one or more ornaments you'd like to make!
Candy Man Christmas Tree Ornament - The Candy Man Can
I was given this Candy Man Christmas tree ornament when I was in elementary school. Most of my friends ate the candy in theirs right away...but I decided I'd rather have it as an ornament forever than eat the candy and have it be gone in an hour or two. My candy man ornament has lasted all these years. I still put it on my Christmas tree every Christmas!
What you need to make your own Candy Man Christmas Ornament:
1.5 ft of flexible white netting fabric
2 pieces of wrapped stick candy
2 pieces of round peppermint candy (individually wrapped)
3 straight pins
red pipe cleaner - 6 inches long
small styrofoam ball - about three and a half to 4 cms (about 1.5 inches) in diameter
wide needle or awl (or other tool for poking hole through styrofoam ball)
DIrections: Cut a piece of the net fabric to 12 inches by 4.5 inches. Lay one wrapped candy stick about an inch up from one end. Lay the other candy stick about an inch up from the other end. Cut four pieces of yard 10.5 inches long. Tie one around the fabric just below each candy stick (at the bottom of each leg.)
Cut another piece of the net fabric 6 inches by 4.5 inches. Place a round, wrapped, peppermint candy about an inch before each end. Tie closed below each piece of candy with a piece of red yard.
Cut out a half circle (two inch radius) from the red felt. Also cut out a red felt parallelogram whose top and bottom sides are about 9 inches long.
Find the middle point of the long stick-candy net tube you created. Lay the middle of the round candy net tube right above the middle of the stick candy tube. Bunch up the middle of the parallelogram. Lay it on top of the round candy tube. Wrap one end of the pipe cleaner tightly around the felt collar, arms, and legs one time and twist it tight. Poke a hole straight through the styrofoam ball and thread the other end of the pipe cleaner through it. Push the head down tightly against the collar and arms. Wrap the half circle around the top of the styrofoam ball and form it into a cone shaped hat. The pipe cleaner will be peaking out the top of the hat. Glue the hat in place.
Next use straight pins to attach the sequins as his eyes and nose. Curve the pipe cleaner at the top to make a hanger. He's all done!
Candy Cane Reindeer Ornaments
Candy Cane Reindeer Ornaments are easy!
Directions: Attach two eyes with a glue gun to the "face" of the reindeer. Add a red pom pom nose, if you'd like it to be Rudolph. Take a long green pipe cleaner and wrap the center of it once around the head of the reindeer. Bend the ends of the pipe cleaner in whatever interesting shapes you'd like for the antlers. All done!
- No hanger is needed on these homemade Christmas ornaments! Just loop them over a tree branch!
Wiggly Eyes for your Reindeer Ornaments!
Have you made Christmas Tree Ornaments before?
Have you made Christmas Tree Ornaments before?
Christmas Dough Ornaments - A wonderful Christmas craft for kids or adults
How To Make The Dough Ornaments
My love of dough ornaments began about 25 years ago. I student taught in a kindergarten class that year, and when I left, I was given a box full of painted dough ornaments that the children had made me. It was such a sweet gift! After I was married, my husband and I enjoyed attending a Christmas crafts show every November. Several of the tables displayed adult made dough ornaments, and I found them to be soooo cute, so charming! Therefore, it became a habit of mine to have the children I was teaching each year make dough ornaments as one of our December art projects. Once I had children of my own, I introduced the craft to them as well! Above you can see some of the ornaments made by my children and myself.
Recipe for Dough Ornaments
1 cup salt
4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
Mix together the flour and salt. Gradually add the water, mixing as you go. Kneed the dough with your hands for about five minutes. You can either roll the dough out and use cookie cutters, or shape the dough with your hands. (See my tips below.)
Play dough, clay tools, toothpicks, garlic presses, and other items you can find around the house come in very handy for adding details to your designs. Even if you use cookie cutters to get the basic shape, don't be afraid of adding additional details!
Don't forget to remove a small circle of dough so you can hang your ornament. We use a straw for this purpose. Push the opening of the straw down onto the top of the ornament and then lift it up. If the straw doesn't lift the dough out, twist the straw around a few times, and try again. If it still doesn't come out, use a toothpick or other tool to remove the dough from the round area where the straw was.
Some years we've turned our ornaments over and scratched our initials and a date into the dough before we baked it. Other years, we've painted those details on to the back after they've baked. In any case, it's a good idea to add your initials and date so 25 years later you'll know which family member made it and when they made it!
We use acrylic paint (tempera paint in school, as that's what we have there) and a variety of brush sizes for decorating the ornaments after they've been baked. In many years, we've covered them with a clear varnish or gloss to help protect them and give them a bit of shine.
TIPS: 1. The hardest part of making dough ornaments is getting the ornament out of the cookie cutter! You can try gently flouring your cookie cutter, or spraying it very lightly with oil. You can use cookie cutters that are open at the top so you can press them out with your hands. You can mold your ornaments instead of using cookie cutters. Or you can try what often works for me: Shaking the cookie cutter in a sharp downward fashion, right over the pan. If one section starts to come out, gently ease the rest of it out with your hand while protecting the part that's already out. Don't let it get stretched out of shape!
2. If getting the ornament out of the cookie cutter isn't a problem, then sometimes another problem arises: getting the ornament off of the board and onto the pan without destroying it. When this happens, I began preparing the ornaments directly on the pan, simply removing all dough from around the outside of the cookie cutter before I lift it up off the ornament. I don't lift the ornament at all until it's finished baking.
Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments - Mmm...these smell so good!
As a graduate student, I tutored children in reading in the university reading lab. At the end of the year, one little girl gave me a cinnamon dough Christmas ornament. I couldn't believe how wonderful it smelled!
The candy cane above was made by my son in kindergarten. It smells delightfully of cinnamon too!
3 Different Recipes for Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments:
Hand Painted Christmas Balls
Although I have never hand painted any glass Christmas balls, my daughter has. She offers the following tips.
1. Use acrylic paints, and brushes of various sizes, and/or toothpicks for very tiny lines.
2. While you are working on the top of the ball, rest the ball on the top of a small paper cup to keep it still. (Cut the cup shorter if it wants to tip over.)
3. Hang a string from the chandelier and attach the other end to the loop on the top of the ornament to allow the bottom of the ornament to dry.
Although my daughter has given all the Christmas balls she decorated away, the hand painted ball with the snowman on it was a gift to my daughter from her friend. She said the friend used paint pens to decorate her ornaments. I would suspect that permanent markers, or anything else designed for us on glass surfaces, would also work well.
What do you do with the ornaments you make?
Tell us how you use homemade ornaments. You can explain further in the guestbook under this section, if you'd like! (No html, please.)
I made these simple ornaments while I was teaching in the public schools. Our resource room had a paper cutting machine with quite a number of different shapes. It was very easy to select a shape, put in the felt, and allow the machine to cut it for me!
If you don't have access to one of these special machines, trace around a cookie cutter and cut out the felt yourself.
Once you've got your felt ornament cut out, decorate it however you'd like. Add bows, poka dots, eyes of a different color of felt, ribbons, etc. You can also add details with markers or paint!
Star or Candy Cane Fabric Christmas Ornament
This star was given to me by a dear friend.
To make one, first decide on a simple shape, such as a star or candy cane. Cut it out of paper, and then use that as your pattern. You'll need to cut two identical pieces in order to make one ornament. Remember as you are creating your pattern that some of the fabric will be used by the seam.
You now have a few choices. You can hand sew the two pieces together, leaving a hole big enough to get the stuffing in. Or you can machine stitch the ornament. If you machine stitch it, you can either zig zag stitch around the outside, or do a straight stitch and then turn it inside out so that the stitches are in the inside. However you sew it, leave a small opening so you can add the stuffing. Push the stuffing into all areas of the ornament using your hands or a tool such as an unsharpened pencil (use the erase side). Then sew the small opening closed.
Sew a ribbon onto the top to hang your ornament by!
Star or Snowflake Ornaments - I think these beaded ornaments are beautiful!
Look for kits for making these star or snowflake ornaments. There are several kits out there that come with everything you need. They are very simple to make, as you simply thread beads onto the 6 pointed frame, then add endcaps to each point. Add a loop for hanging, and it's ready!
These are a favorite of mine. I've made quite a few and given them away as gifts. Others I've saved for our own tree. I like the white and blue stars, but you can make them any colors you like. My kids have made some that were red and green.
Bird and Bird Feeder Ornament - Having a bird's nest in your tree is supposed to bring you good luck for the coming year!
I made this bird and bird feeder Christmas tree ornament when I was in Brownie Girl Scouts. It's been a treasured ornament on our tree ever since!
Here's what you need to make one:
Gold ribbon or yarn for hanger
a clear cap off of some hair product, cooking spray, or other item (as an alternate, you could use an empty sewing spool)
Glue gun and glue sticks
Rubber cement or white glue
Small craft bird, about 6 cms long
Can for tracing around (the diameter of the can should be 8 inches)
Ball point pen
Using a pen, trace around the can onto the felt. Repeat to make a total of four circles. Cut the circles out. Cut out two circles out of cardboard. They should be slightly smaller than the felt circles. (Try using a slightly smaller sized can to trace around.). Glue (using a thin layer of rubber cement or white glue) a piece of cardboard between two of the felt circles. Repeat with the other piece of cardboard and felt circles. Glue the closed end of the clear tube or cap onto the middle of a felt circle. Fill the clear tube with bird seed. Put some hot glue on the top of the clear tube and place the second red felt circle on top of it, sandwiching the tube filled with birdseed in between two red felt and cardboard circles. Glue the small bird on the top of the bottom felt circle, near the tube of birdseed. Using the glue gun, attach a loop of ribbon to the top to hang the feeder by.
Bead Candy Cane Ornament - You can make other shapes too!
These candy cane ornaments are very easy to make. They would be great for scout troops, Sunday School classes, and many other groups to make as gifts. I usually make them in red and white. I believe that the one shown here was made by my sister-in-law. She enjoys making them too!
The beads are those 3 sided beads called tri- beads. You can buy a variety of colors at craft shops or on ebay. Pipe cleaners work well for the wire inside the ornament. Thread the beads, alternating between two colors, onto the straight pipe cleaner. Allow extra pipe cleaner on each end, both for twisting the end closed, as well as to allow extra space for the curve in the candy cane. Finally, shape the pipe cleaner into a candy cane shape!
Decorated Christmas Balls - with beads, ribbons, lace, sequins
I made both of the above Christmas balls (and others not pictured here) from kits when I was about 11 years old. I started with either a styrofoam ball or a satin covered ball, and added lace, ribbons, sequins, and beads attached with straight pins.
Webpage created on 3/2/11.
Page last updated 1/15/14.