18 DIY Christmas Ornaments That Are Better Than Store Bought

By Andrea Cannon on 5 December 2016 0 comments

Food and gifts for the family can be really pricey, but your holiday decorations and ornaments don't have to be. Store-bought ornaments can look generic, and your friends might end up with the same ones. With DIY ornaments, your decorations will stand out from the crowd. The best DIY Christmas ornaments can also serve as a great keepsake and can honor cherished memories and moments of your life.

Whether it's your first Christmas and you don't have many ornaments to begin with, or you just don't want to break the budget this year, here are plenty of ways to decorate your tree on a budget.

1. Filled Glass Ornaments

Fill a glass or clear plastic ornament with artificial snow, glitter, snowflakes, small glittery pom poms, twigs, holly, bayberry, or evergreen for a festive feel. A pack of 10 glass ornaments is under $7 and you can fill them with items you have around the house for cheap, customized ornaments.

2. Snowman Ornaments

Fill a glass or clear plastic ornament with small marshmallows. Use puffy paint to draw a snowman face.

3. Glitter Ornaments

Swirl a layer of Beacon Glitter It Glue on the inside of a glass or clear plastic ornament. Add glitter of your choice and swirl around inside the ornament. Pour out the excess glitter and enjoy your sparkly new ornament. You can also use puffy paint to draw on a snowman's face to a white glitter ornament.

4. Painted Ornaments

The easiest DIY ornament involves the use of puffy paint or paint pens. Simply draw whatever you like on a plainly colored ornament. You can add polka dots with a small piece of sponge, add a monogram, or draw on Santa's belt. You can also use letter stickers to spell out words and holiday phrases, like "Ho Ho Ho." You can also print out your favorite logos, images, or superhero signs, which you can glue to your affordable ornament.

5. Pine Cone Ornaments

The hardest part about this DIY is finding a pine cone. Then, just hot glue each end of a piece of twine or jute onto the end of the pinecone so that you can hang it on your tree. Spray paint the pine cone or hot glue a piece of ribbon tied into a bow for an added touch.

6. Name Tag Ornaments

Create a personalized name tag for each of your guests. Use a stamp, stickers, or a paint pen to write the name of your guest on the name tag and hang from the tree using ribbon or twine. Decorate the name tags however you like.

7. CD Ornaments

Have leftover CDs lying around that you don't want anymore? Break them into small pieces and glue the broken pieces onto the outside of a ribbon filled glass or clear plastic ornament.

8. Orange Ornaments

Cut oranges crosswise into ¾" slices for a pinwheel effect. Bake in the oven at the lowest temperature for four hours. Every hour, turn the slices with a spatula to ensure they aren't too dried out and still have an orange color. Create a tiny hole in the top of each slice and string twine through. As an added bonus, cats don't like the smell of citrus, so these ornaments can deter your cats from fiddling with the tree.

9. Apple Ornaments

Insert a piece of floral wire into a small apple (like a mini sweet lady apple) with enough wire at the top to wrap around the tree branch. Aim for smaller, lighter apples so they don't weigh down your tree.

10. Key Ornaments

Simply attach standard or skeleton keys to your tree using ribbon. It looks festive and regal (and allows you to embrace your love of keys). You can also spray paint the keys different colors.

11. Washi Tape Ornaments

Use your favorite washi tape to make any designs you like on the outside of a glass ornament.

12. Gold Leaf Ornaments

Either choose plainly colored ornaments or paint a plain ornament with your favorite colored paint. Then, add gold leaf paper for an elegant touch. Gold leaf paper often comes with an adhesive. When you're painting the ornament, you can either paint the outside or add a bit of paint inside the ornament, then swirl it around and pour out the excess paint.

13. Ombre Ornaments

Simply pour some glass stain paint into a bowl. Dip the glass or clear plastic ornament into the bowl and let the remaining paint drip off to create an ombre effect. Either leave the ornament as-is or fill it with mementos.

14. Beach Ornaments

Fill a glass or clear plastic ornament with sand, small seashells, and glitter to create a beachy scene. You can also use puffy paint on the outside to draw on seagulls, fish, and anything else that reminds you of your favorite days at the beach.

15. Cinnamon Tree Ornaments

Use a piece of naturally coiled wrapped wire to form a loop. Push the ends into the hollow ends of a cinnamon stick. Hot glue small sprigs of fresh rosemary perpendicularly to create branches. Attach small buttons, beads, or rhinestones to the rosemary (to look like tiny ornaments). The ornament will smell great and look cute on your tree.

16. Candle Holders

Turn a wine glass upside down to use the base as a candle holder. You can put anything you like in the wine glass, such as ribbons, small poinsettias, mini pinecones, cranberries, or ornaments.

17. Cinnamon Men Ornaments

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cup ground cinnamon
  • 2 T craft glue

Method:

Mix the three ingredients together in a bowl and then form into a ball with your hands. Roll the dough out to about ¼" and use cookie cutters to create your favorite ornament shapes. Use a toothpick, bamboo skewer, or straw to poke holes at the top, which you can wrap a ribbon through to hang the scented ornaments from your tree. Allow them a few days to dry or place them in a 200ºF oven for 1-2 hours. Decorate the ornaments with glitter, puffy paint, rhinestones, beads, and candy.

18. Clay Ornaments

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 3/4 cup water

Method:

Mix the ingredients together in a pot aver medium heat until the dough thickens to the consistency of smooth mashed potatoes. Once it has slightly cooled, place the ball of dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth until it has fully cooled. Knead the dough and roll it out to about ¼" and use cookie cutters to create your favorite ornament shapes. Use a toothpick, bamboo skewer, or straw to poke holes at the top, which you can wrap a ribbon through to hang the scented ornaments from your tree. Place them in a 175ºF oven for one hour, turning them over halfway through cooking. Use paint or glitter to decorate. You can also use food coloring to the water before mixing up the batter for custom colored ornaments.

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