Handmade Christmas ornaments are treasured memories and traditionally will become family heirlooms.
The telling of the making is as important as the ornament itself! As I pull each treasured handmade ornament from storage, I am sure to point out who made it, when they made it, and any funny or otherwise related story that might go with that particular Christmas ornament.
Amazingly, they never seem to tire of the telling. Maybe because of the excitement that comes with the Christmas season or maybe because the stories are so personal to them.
The children, of course, have added to the handmade Christmas ornament collection each year. My family and friends know how partial I am to them. Consequently, I have collected many of them as Christmas gifts.
Creating handmade Christmas ornaments provides hours of fun for children and adults. Plus, it's another way to encourage debt free living through creativity.
Dough Recipes for Making Handmade Christmas Ornaments
Dough ornaments are sooooooooo much fun! There are rarely two alike and are limited only to your imagination. These delightful handmade Christmas ornaments can be shaped, cut, carved, painted, dyed with food color, sculpted, decorated with glued on ribbons, beads, buttons, macaroni, tinsel, etc.
Whatever ingenious crafty idea you can come up with, can probably get started with one of these dough ornament recipes.
No Bake Cinnamon Dough Ornaments
1 & 1/2 cups ground cinnamon 1 cup applesauce 1/4 cup white school glue (like Elmer's) Bowl Plastic food wrap Rolling pin Wax paper Cookie cutters or a knife Ribbon or yarn for hanging Straw
Mix cinnamon, applesauce, and glue together in a bowl. The dough should be the consistency of cookie dough. Add small amounts of water if needed to get desired consistency.
Knead dough. Place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for at about a half hour.
Knead dough again until smooth. Roll dough between waxed paper until it's about 1/4" to 1/8" thick.
Cut desired shapes. Punch a hole for the ribbon (to hang the ornament) with the straw. Place shapes on clean wax paper. They will take 3-5 days to dry.
Turn ornaments over a couple of times a day to prevent edge curling and promote even drying. They will shrink as they dry.
When completey dry, paint if desired, and thread ribbon or yarn through the hole to hang.
Salt Dough Recipes
2 c. all-purpose flour 1/2 c. salt 3/4 c. water
Mix warm water and salt and let stand for a few minutes. Stir in flour to create a stiff dough. Mix well, working ingredients together with your hands. Add water if needed. Sprinkle in some more flour to prevent stickyness.
Knead a few minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Shape ornaments by hand or use cookie cutters. While dough is still soft, make a hole in the top with a drinking straw to string hanger or place hook in.
Keep the dough 1/2" or less in thickness to prevent cracking.
Bake at 300 for 2 hours. Check for hardness.
Paint with kids watercolors, acrylics, or markers. Glue on glitter, etc. Spray with an acrylic gloss clear finish for protective coating.
Find out more about salt dough crafts at these sites:
Create treasured photo ornaments using recycled cd's, wood, plastic, or even cardboard as a base. (Save those free trial internet offer CDs you get in the mail throughout the year to use in this handmade Christmas ornament project.) You can cut other materials to any size or shape you desire. Try a star, Christmas tree, triangle, or diamond shape.
On one side of your base: Use clear contact paper or glue photo to center. You can leave the cd as is because it's silver and shiny anyway or outline the photo with garland, beads, ribbon, glitter, etc. On the other side (which is usually printed) cut a xmas picture to fit from old christmas cards or other media and glue or use clear contact paper.
Try using two cds or other base with lace ribbon or doilly place in between them and glued together. This makes a nice frilly border around your handmande Christmas photo ornament. You can use your imagination to make all kinds of handmade Christmas ornaments with these.
Pine cones are a natural fit for handmade Christmas ornaments. They can be decorated to resemble miniature Christmas trees. Use large ones for table decoration or center pieces and small ones can be use to make ornaments. Use a variety of craft supplies; glitter, beads, buttons, ribbons, cotton (or poly fill) for snow. A quick decoration would be to simple spread glue all over pine cone(or use spray on adhesive), roll in color of choice glitter, add a variety of size and color beads to decorate. Make a little star to glue to top if desired.
Here's a super easy handmade Christmas ornament. Cut Christmas themed pictures from magazines or Christmas cards. Cut a sturdy backing like, card stock, plastic, etc. to fit and glue the picture on it. Cover with hodge podge, or clear drying glue or spray with an appropriate clear coating to preserve the picture. Make a hole in top for hanging.
Fabric Ornaments: Use some sort of pattern to cut themed shapes out of fabric. Hint: Cookie cutters make great patterns for this project.You can use tracing paper if you're a good artist or draw your own on cardboard or plastic and create a stencil.
Draw the shapes on desired fabric and cut out adding on about 1/4 to 1/2 inch seam allowance. Place right sides together and stitch around the outside by hand or using a sewing machine. Leave a small opening to allow for stuffing.
Turn right side out or leave as is for a more "homemade" look. Stuff with poly fill or recycle your old panty hose, socks, or scrap fabric. If you've been saving that dryer lint, it might just work for a good stuffing also! Tip: Use a pencil or similar object to poke stuffing into corners, etc. Sew opening closed. If you've opted to leave the seam outside, now is the time to trim it for a neater appearance.
Use fabric pens, paints, beads, or other crafty supplies to decorate your ornament or just leave as is.
Increase the size of your patterns to make Christmas throw pillows. Same process, just bigger!
Christmas Craft Projects
Kid's Handmade Christmas Ornaments Crafts
1. Paper Chains
2. Christmas Hand Wreath
You will need:
Green and/or Red construction paperpencilGlueChild safe scissorsCraft decorations (for example: garland, bows, glitter, sequins, ribbons, buttons, markers or paints, holiday pictures, any crafty items for decorating and personalizing the wreath)
Trace the child's open hand onto a piece of the construction paper. Cut out tracing. Have the child use this hand as a pattern and trace several more hands onto green, red, or combination of both color papers. (about 10 should be enough).
Then allow child to use child safe scissors (with supervision) to cut out the hands. You can do this for very young children.
Glue hands together at wrists with fingers pointed out. Let the child decorate as desired using a variety of craft decorations, markers, paints, etc.
Have them write their name and the date on the back of the wreath. You will want to store this as a keepsake. If you make this a tradition, the child will have a nice collection of handmade wreaths.
3. Place mats
5. Paper Maché A great way to keep the kids occupied for hours! They'll have great fun creating a variety of Christmas ornaments for the tree and for home decor. Here's a great Paper Maché Recipe to get you started.
Here are some ideas for Paper Maché crafts for Christmas time...