Making your own holiday ornaments is more fun than buying store-bought decorations! Here are a few tips for beautiful, heirloom-quality handmade ornaments.
With the holiday’s right around the corner, it is time to start thinking about decorating, if you haven’t already. Most people unearth boxes of ornaments that have been used for years, if not generations. As you unpack the ornaments so lovingly packed away the year before, you may therefore hear the occasional comment, such as, ‘Oh, here is this ornament!’ and ‘Remember the time when…’
These well-used ornaments are usually much beloved, because of all the good memories they carry with them. Therefore it seems like a sacrilege, somehow, to go out and buy holiday ornaments that don’t mean anything and look just like something that someone else has. Using items in your own home and repurposing them can give your tree that extra special touch this holiday season.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to be creative in order to make holiday ornaments. Making ornaments is actually pretty easy, and doesn’t require any real artistic skill. If you aren’t sure what to make, get a few kits or a craft book to help you decide. Here are a few tips to help you out, as well.
- Think in 3-D. Don’t make the mistake of thinking only in terms of two-dimensional ornaments, such as decorated paper cutouts. While those are fun, they get boring after a while and don’t stand the test of time as well. Make paper chains, pour plaster of Paris into molds, or make and paint papier-mâché ornaments.
- Use a variety of materials. A nice variety of materials is necessary to properly deck out your tree — you don’t want all of your ornaments to look the same. Paper, wood, plaster of Paris, and papier-mâché offer variety and generate interest. When the time comes to add some color to your ornaments, consider not just the usual suspects such as markers, crayons, and paint, but also things like gemstone beads, yarn, and glitter.
- Make use of color and light. The key to beautiful Christmas decorations is lots of colors. Using brightly colored paints is a must. In addition, using materials that will catch the light will add life to your tree. For instance, glitter will make your ornaments sparkle, while stained glass ornaments (usually painted glass or plastic) and beaded ornaments made of gemstone beads will add lots of shine.
- Holiday ornaments don’t have to cost a lot to make. Some of the most lasting and endearing homemade holiday ornaments are the simple, inexpensive projects. For instance, a popular one in preschools and kindergartens is to roll a pinecone in glue, and then sprinkle glitter over it. Paper plates can be used to make angels (cut so that the wings are the ruffled edges of the plate) and wreathes (with the middle cut out and scraps of green construction paper or fabric glued on). Popcorn is cheap and can easily be strung together to make decorations for the tree. Papier-mâché is really just strips of newspaper dipped in a goopy glue made of flour and water, all inexpensive materials found around the house.
Making holiday ornaments does more than just help to decorate your tree. In addition, it gives you something to do with your family as you get ready for the holidays, and makes decorating the house even more fun. Plus, you can make ornaments together that will be keepsakes for your family for years to come, because the memories of making them will be so pleasant.
Hopefully this list will get you started with a few ideas for how to make ornaments. If you are still struggling, browse online or check some craft books for ideas on what to make. Craft stores usually have kits that you can buy as well. When you make your own holiday ornaments, there is no end to what you can make!
About the Author
Shelly Towns is a writer on a variety of topics including crafts and creativity. You’ll often find her writing about adding glitz and glamour to your next crafty idea such as gemstone beads, yarn and glitter.