17 DIY Christmas Ornaments to Make With Kids
Painted Wooden Balls
Place 3/4- to 1 1/4-in. beads from a craft store onto thick pipe cleaners, folded in half so kids can easily hold while painting them. Remove pipe cleaners. Finish with 1/4-in. grosgrain ribbons knotted on one side of each bead.
Tiny Art Books
Create mini books to hang from the tree. Cut white paper to 5- x 3 in., stack, fold in half, and staple with your kid’s artwork as the cover. Punch a hole through the book and thread a string through to hang. Fill the pages with your holiday memories.
Yarn Pom-Poms and Tassle
To make the tassels, cut a 4- x 3-in. rectangle of cardboard. Wrap yarn around the long side of the cardboard until you reach the desired tassel thickness. Slip a 10-in. piece of yarn under the wound yarn and knot tightly at the top to cinch all the yarn together. Slide the yarn off the cardboard and cut the bottom. Use a large-eye embroidery needle and thread one end of a piece of the tassel’s yarn and pierce it through the center of a large pom-pom to connect pom-pom and tassel; knot and trim. Use the needle to thread an additional yarn loop through the pom-pom, knot off, and trim.
Cut triangle trees from cardboard and let the kids decorate them with paint. To create the dotted ornaments, use the eraser end of a new pencil as a stamp. Dip wooden skewers into white glue and stick into the base for trunks. Pierce a hole in the top for the string.
Paint cardboard tubes in bright colors. Cut an eraser into rectangles and squares and use it as a stamp for windows and doors. Craft roofs from cupcake liners by cutting along the radius with scissors. Wrap the cut edges over each other and secure with an adhesive dot. Double-knot a string loop and thread through top of roof (with the knot inside). Use tacky glue to attach roof to top of cardboard tube. Let dry.
To craft a couple gingerbread friends, trace cookie cutters onto felt, cut out two silhouettes, and help your child (age 4 and up) sew together with a whipstitch. Stuff with batting and decorate with buttons, yarn, and felt accessories.
Paint, felt, and pipe cleaners are all you need to transform wooden pegs into a whole cast of Arctic characters for your tree. From Rudolph, a Puffin, Molly the Ox and more, these will make for great gifts too! So gather your materials, and show the kids these guys to help them dream up their own oddball ornaments (our narwhal was inspired by the movie Elf).
Let your child practice his fine motor skills with this simple design. Cut circles from cardboard and punch a pattern with a thick nail; your kid can "sew" the design with a plastic embroidery needle and yarn.
Create seasonal sleds that your child can decorate with paint and glitter.
What You'll Need
Ice-pop sticks (9 for each sled), paint and paintbrush, hot-glue gun and glue sticks, metallic chenille stems
1. Lay out 5 ice-pop sticks side by side in the shape of a sled.
2. Hot-glue 2 more ice-pop sticks across the laid-out ice-pop sticks to create crossbar supports.
3. To create the sled runners, lay an ice-pop stick on its thin edge so it rests on the crossbar supports. Hot-glue into place. Repeat with final ice-pop stick.
4. Let your child paint the sled to decorate. (Sprinkle any parts you like with glitter while the paint is still wet.)
5. Twist 2 metallic chenille stems into a horseshoe shape and hot-glue to sled runners for hanging.
Tiny Toboggans How-To Video
Learn better by watching how a craft is done? Our video offers step-by-step directions for making the tiny toboggan ornaments.
Birds of a Feather
To make this traditional symbol of peace, download and print our template (link below). Your little one can cut out the birds (you cut wing holes and ribbon slit) and then form wings from 6-inch squares of paper folded accordion-style.
Fuzzy Polar Bear Friends
Styrofoam balls become a family of polar bears with the addition of yarn, pom-pom noses, and felt ears.
What You'll Need
Styrofoam balls, white yarn, white felt, off-white felt, pencil, scissors, glue, small black pom-poms, black beads, greening pins, ribbon to hang
1. Wrap a Styrofoam ball in white yarn, completely covering the ball. Tie a knot at the end to secure.
2. Trace an ear shape onto white felt twice and repeat with a slightly smaller ear shape on the off-white felt. Cut out.
3. Glue the off-white felt ear pieces to the center of white felt ear pieces. Then, glue the ears in place on the yarn-wrapped ball.
4. Glue on a black pom-pom for a nose.
5. Glue on black beads for eyes.
6. Push a greening pin into the top of the polar bear's head to hold the ribbon used for hanging.
Polar Bear Ornaments How-To Video
See how to put together the polar bear ornaments with styrofoam balls, yarn, and pom poms.
A stiff felt base and a plastic cup form a snow-globe ornament that your kids can fill with a seasonal display.
What You'll Need
White stiff felt, pencil, round object, scissors, wooden bead, paint and paintbrush, miniature trees and animals, tacky glue ($2; joann.com), polyester quilt batting, plastic cup, sequin trim, hot-glue gun and glue sticks, thin cord
1. Trace a round object slightly larger than the opening of your plastic cup onto white stiff felt; cut out.
2. Paint wooden bead; let dry.
3. Glue miniature trees and animal figures onto stiff felt; let dry.
4. Glue small pieces of batting around the miniatures to create snow.
5. Apply a thin line of glue around the cup's top rim and glue to the felt circle, covering the snowy scene; let dry.
6. Cut sequin trim to fit around the cup where it meets the felt; glue into place.
7. Hot-glue bead to top of cup so that the bead's two openings are parallel to the top of the cup.
8. Cut cord to desired length and thread through bead.
Winter Wonderland How-To Video
Watch our video to learn how to make a different snowy scene with colorful birds, branches, and cotton ball "snow."
Cut cups from an egg carton, paint them, and sprinkle on glitter to create mini versions of Santa's sleigh. Chenille stems cut in half form the runners.
Wooden clothespins and ice-pop sticks are the foundation for these fashionable ski bunnies.
What You'll Need
Wooden clothespins, ice-pop sticks, bow-tie-shaped sticks, paint and paintbrush, glue, markers (Optional supplies for accessories: patterned and colored washi tape, eye hooks, yarn, pom-poms, wire and cutter, hot-glue gun and glue sticks, buttons, needle and thread, scissors)
1. Paint the clothespins and ice-pop sticks; let dry.
2. Glue ice-pop sticks to clothespin's open side for skis; bow-tie-shaped sticks make snowboards.
3. Draw a face on the skier.
4. Decorate skier and skis with washi tape, if desired.
5. For the knit hat, hand-screw an eye hook into skier's head. Wrap base of eye hook with yarn and glue end to secure. Glue pom-pom on top.
6. For earmuffs, cut a short length of wire and bend it around the head. Sandwich wire between side of clothespin head and a small button on each side. Hot-glue into place.
7. For the pom-pom hat, pull a thread through eye of needle and double it up. Push needle through center of pom-pom, but don't pull thread all the way through. Leave the two open ends on one side and tie a knot on the other; double knot and snip off needle. Hot-glue pom-pom to skier's head. Use this thread to hang ornament, or tie a decorative string to threads to hang.
Clothespin Skier Ornaments How-To Video
Not sure how to put together the clothespins and ice-pop sticks? Our video has the detailed steps to help you make the skiier ornaments like a pro.
Have your child cover the surface of a clear shatterproof ornament with one color of washi tape. Then wrap a few stripes of contrasting colors on top; the slightly see-through tape creates a cool effect when layered. Smooth the tape down, but don’t get too crazy trying to get it to lie perfectly flat (the rounded surface makes it impossible).
Sticker Polka Dots
Colorful dot stickers are a simple way to customize a plain sphere. Even a preschooler can do this well! Pick a color theme (warm hues, red and green, shades of blue), and let your child play with the size and placement of the dots. Or for a more elegant look, use only gold glitter circles on a metallic ball.
Big kids can draw sweet or silly faces on clear ornaments with oil-based paint pens. To prevent smudging, try to work in sections, moving from left to right. Simple shapes like circles and squiggles are easiest for younger kids to draw themselves.