15 Awesome DIY Christmas Tree Ornament Ideas

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15 Awesome DIY Christmas Tree Ornament Ideas

Ideally, every Christmas tree should reflect your personal taste and creativity. That's sometimes difficult, because stores all sell more or less the same selection of ornaments and decorative pieces. One way to cut through the clutter of the "same old, same old" and have unique pieces to make the tree definitively your own, is to turn out some DIY tree ornaments. There are options out there for every skill level, so don't fret if you're craft-challenged. One of these carefully curated ornament ideas is sure to be just what you need.

Ideally, every Christmas tree should reflect your personal taste and creativity. That's sometimes difficult, because stores all sell more or less the same selection of ornaments and decorative pieces. One way to cut through the clutter of the "same old, same old" and have unique pieces to make the tree definitively your own, is to turn out some DIY tree ornaments. There are options out there for every skill level, so don't fret if you're craft-challenged. One of these carefully curated ornament ideas is sure to be just what you need.

DIY Wood Transfer Christmas Ornaments

handmade wood transfer ornament with image of reindeer in b&w

You don't need any drawing or painting skill to turn plain wood ornaments, or even craft-store wood slices, into personalized picture ornaments. Instead of free-handing your design, print it out on your printer and use this image transfer technique to apply it to the wood. You can use any printable image, from royalty-free clip art to your own family photos.

You don't need any drawing or painting skill to turn plain wood ornaments, or even craft-store wood slices, into personalized picture ornaments. Instead of free-handing your design, print it out on your printer and use this image transfer technique to apply it to the wood. You can use any printable image, from royalty-free clip art to your own family photos.

Handmade Glitter Ornaments

A cluster of four handmade glitter ornaments on a blue tablecloth, with a hand performing final assembly on the foremost ornament

Glitter ornaments are appropriate on almost any tree, and they're surprisingly easy to make at home. You'll need to visit a craft store for a supply of clear tree decorations in plastic or glass, several colors of glitter and specialized adhesive to make the glitter stick to the ball's interior. This easy DIY gives you the option of building a completely customized color scheme for your tree, if you really want to push your decor to the limit.

Glitter ornaments are appropriate on almost any tree, and they're surprisingly easy to make at home. You'll need to visit a craft store for a supply of clear tree decorations in plastic or glass, several colors of glitter and specialized adhesive to make the glitter stick to the ball's interior. This easy DIY gives you the option of building a completely customized color scheme for your tree, if you really want to push your decor to the limit.

DIY Cinnamon Scented Fabric Tree Ornaments

Handmade ornaments of red and white striped fabric and a cinnamon stick, hanging on a Christmas tree

Tree ornaments in general are skewed heavily to hard and shiny surfaces, from traditional glass balls to plastic figurines to bells and angels in real or faux metals. Adding different textures to the mix is a quick way to make your tree stand out. One simple option, for those with even modest sewing skills, is to turn out a batch of these cinnamon-scented fabric tree ornaments. The textures and colors of your chosen fabric, and the organic look — and signature scent — of the cinnamon stick will all bring a pleasing contrast to your tree.

Tree ornaments in general are skewed heavily to hard and shiny surfaces, from traditional glass balls to plastic figurines to bells and angels in real or faux metals. Adding different textures to the mix is a quick way to make your tree stand out. One simple option, for those with even modest sewing skills, is to turn out a batch of these cinnamon-scented fabric tree ornaments. The textures and colors of your chosen fabric, and the organic look — and signature scent — of the cinnamon stick will all bring a pleasing contrast to your tree.

Miniature Sunburst Mirror Ornaments

DIY ornament consisting of a small circular mirror surrounded in a sunburst pattern by gold-painted toothpicks, hanging from a white Christmas tree

A rustic, handmade appearance is often the whole idea of DIY ornaments, especially when you make them with the kids, but there's also room for handmade ornaments with a more polished appearance. That's what you get with these surprisingly elegant, sophisticated-looking mirrored sunburst ornaments. They're a scaled-down version of the striking sunburst mirrors you'll often see as a design element on a wall, and they're easier to make than you'd think. As long as you have a glue gun and a bit of patience, you're good to go.

A rustic, handmade appearance is often the whole idea of DIY ornaments, especially when you make them with the kids, but there's also room for handmade ornaments with a more polished appearance. That's what you get with these surprisingly elegant, sophisticated-looking mirrored sunburst ornaments. They're a scaled-down version of the striking sunburst mirrors you'll often see as a design element on a wall, and they're easier to make than you'd think. As long as you have a glue gun and a bit of patience, you're good to go.

DIY Gingerbread Christmas Ornaments

Gingerbread-man cookie ornaments hanging from an evergreen wreath

Gingerbread cookies are a much-loved part of the holidays for a lot of families, with spices and molasses giving them a seasonally-appropriate fragrance and flavor. You may never have realized it, but you can use those cookies to make gingerbread Christmas tree ornaments as well. Just make a hole near the top of the cookie before it's baked, for the string or ribbon to go through. Most standard recipes will work fine for a cookie that will hang on the tree for a while before it's eaten. If you want heirloom decorations that will last for years, look up a recipe for "structural" gingerbread that's not intended to be eaten.

Gingerbread cookies are a much-loved part of the holidays for a lot of families, with spices and molasses giving them a seasonally-appropriate fragrance and flavor. You may never have realized it, but you can use those cookies to make gingerbread Christmas tree ornaments as well. Just make a hole near the top of the cookie before it's baked, for the string or ribbon to go through. Most standard recipes will work fine for a cookie that will hang on the tree for a while before it's eaten. If you want heirloom decorations that will last for years, look up a recipe for "structural" gingerbread that's not intended to be eaten.

Make a Snowman Ornament Out of Glue

DIY decoration of a snowman with top hat and red scarf, hanging from a Christmas tree and illuminated from behind by one of its lights

Glue is an essential component in many DIY crafts, but did you know it can be used as a crafting material in its own right? Ordinary white craft glue dries to a hard, translucent plastic-like substance, so you can use it as a sort of low-tech version of 3D printing for decorations like this kid-friendly glue snowman ornament. Just draw out your shape on wax paper, then fill it in with the liquid glue. Apply any necessary details or decorative elements while the glue is still wet, then just wait a day or two until it's fully set and dry.

Glue is an essential component in many DIY crafts, but did you know it can be used as a crafting material in its own right? Ordinary white craft glue dries to a hard, translucent plastic-like substance, so you can use it as a sort of low-tech version of 3D printing for decorations like this kid-friendly glue snowman ornament. Just draw out your shape on wax paper, then fill it in with the liquid glue. Apply any necessary details or decorative elements while the glue is still wet, then just wait a day or two until it's fully set and dry.

Wooden Bead Christmas Wreath

Rings of pale wooden beads, suspended by gold-colored cord from a white Christmas tree, on a white background

Most Christmas trees are all about over-the-top excess, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. When it comes to decorations and ornaments, more is usually better. That's not necessarily the case, though, if your personal style and the style of your home lean more to Scandinavian minimalism. If that's the case, try these miniature wreath ornaments made with simple wooden beads. The natural wood tone brings a simple, effective element to a fresh tree, but it's especially effective when paired with a white artificial tree.

Most Christmas trees are all about over-the-top excess, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. When it comes to decorations and ornaments, more is usually better. That's not necessarily the case, though, if your personal style and the style of your home lean more to Scandinavian minimalism. If that's the case, try these miniature wreath ornaments made with simple wooden beads. The natural wood tone brings a simple, effective element to a fresh tree, but it's especially effective when paired with a white artificial tree.

DIY Chinoiserie Ornaments

White ball-style tree decorations hand-painted with blue decorative patterns in the style of Chinese porcelain

Some words act as a sort of code for "expensive" and one of those is chinoiserie. Its literal meaning translates more or less as, "in the Chinese style," and for centuries it was reserved for the kind of upscale pieces that wealthy and aristocratic collectors would accumulate. When you're talking about Christmas tree ornaments, it means balls painted in the white-on-blue style of classic Chinese porcelain. Those are often costly to buy, but they're a surprisingly simple DIY project. At least some modest drawing skill is helpful, but mostly all you need is a steady hand.

Some words act as a sort of code for "expensive" and one of those is chinoiserie. Its literal meaning translates more or less as, "in the Chinese style," and for centuries it was reserved for the kind of upscale pieces that wealthy and aristocratic collectors would accumulate. When you're talking about Christmas tree ornaments, it means balls painted in the white-on-blue style of classic Chinese porcelain. Those are often costly to buy, but they're a surprisingly simple DIY project. At least some modest drawing skill is helpful, but mostly all you need is a steady hand.

Sand Dollars Make Beautiful, Natural Decorations

Sand dollar hung with a pink ribbon from a Christmas tree

Some DIY ornaments don't require a whole lot of actual "doing." The simplest ones of all come down to finding something that's already decorative, and hanging it on your tree. If you live near the coast, sand dollars are exactly that kind of completely natural ornament. The disc-shaped sea creatures are simple to collect and easy to hang, since they come complete with a suitable hole for your ribbon or twine to pass through. Their distinctive pattern even has a rich history of religious symbolism, making them doubly appropriate.

Some DIY ornaments don't require a whole lot of actual "doing." The simplest ones of all come down to finding something that's already decorative, and hanging it on your tree. If you live near the coast, sand dollars are exactly that kind of completely natural ornament. The disc-shaped sea creatures are simple to collect and easy to hang, since they come complete with a suitable hole for your ribbon or twine to pass through. Their distinctive pattern even has a rich history of religious symbolism, making them doubly appropriate.

DIY Photo Ornaments

Handmade decorations consisting of a store-bought glass ball with a personalized photo inside

There are lots of ways to personalize your tree ornaments, but few are as intensely personal as family photos. Whether they're intended for gifting or for your own tree, photographic ornaments make a one-of-a-kind, custom element. They're surprisingly simple to make, too. All you need is clear glass or plastic decorations from the craft store, a pair of scissors, and some suitable photos. Cut your printed photo to fit the ornament, then roll it up and slide it into the globe-shaped ornament through the hole in its top.

There are lots of ways to personalize your tree ornaments, but few are as intensely personal as family photos. Whether they're intended for gifting or for your own tree, photographic ornaments make a one-of-a-kind, custom element. They're surprisingly simple to make, too. All you need is clear glass or plastic decorations from the craft store, a pair of scissors, and some suitable photos. Cut your printed photo to fit the ornament, then roll it up and slide it into the globe-shaped ornament through the hole in its top.

DIY Holiday Ornaments From Dough

Closeup of rolled-out dough, centered on a star shape made with a cookie cutter