Make Family Holiday Memories With These Ornament Crafts And Ideas

Lillian SteinBy Lillian SteinNov 6, 20170

It’s beginning to look a lot like… another busy holiday season filled with more things to do than time to do them. Often the most important thing we plan, like spending time with our children making memorable moments, slips through our fingers like grains of sand.

So, this year take the time with these simple ornament ideas to make some very special memories for your children. The 2 crafts listed below are very easy and can be structured to involve a small amount of time or more depending on how involved you want to get. But more than anything, they provide a life time of remembrances. However before you begin, prepare your frame of mind.

Prepare your mindset by taking a few moments to allow it to expand to allow for creative expression that may be totally different from what you expect a holiday craft should look like. Set aside these or other similar phrases, “It should look like; that’s not a Christmas color; what’s that supposed to be?”   If need be, repeat this mantra to yourself, “It’s okay to color outside the lines”.


Children’s creative visions are a lot different from the grown-ups. It is not very much fun for the kiddies when mommy or daddy use a lot of “should and shouldn’t” in their vocabulary during creative moments. Holiday crafts are not about doing it right; it is about building memories.

Years from now when you take out the homemade ornaments, the one with the most hold on your heart will be the one that does not look like it has much to do with the holiday. Now that you are in an “everything’s cool” frame of mind, you can move onto the easy part, preparing the work area.

You want to make sure to protect the work area from mishaps, especially if you are using the dining room table. The easiest thing to do is place a plastic sheet on the surface. A vinyl tablecloth works great for this because they are thick and have fuzzy backs that will keep it from sliding around. You can also reuse them. Vinyl tablecloths can be purchased at any discount store for a minimal amount.

You will also want the area cleared so that the only thing on the table is your craft supplies. Put the craft materials in the middle of the table where everyone can reach them. Have paper towels or damp rags on hand to wipe up accidents.

Foods make everything more fun and jolly, so have a couple of snacks to munch on and some drinks. Keep it simple. Popcorn or pretzels are healthy and less messy; apple cider chilled or warmed with a cinnamon stick for decoration is very festive.

Here is one more suggestion before you begin. Try not to do too much at once; work only on one kind of craft at a time, and buy the supplies for just one craft. This way you will avoid the pressure of having one more thing to do and the guilt of spending money on supplies you did not use. If you have the time and inclination, then do another one. Remember: Have fun!

Painted And Decorated Glass Ornaments

Painted And Decorated Glass Ornaments

The basic idea is a very easy and quick, but you can elaborate on it by using the optional supplies. Because glass ornaments are used, this craft is not recommended for very young children.


Clear Glass Ball Ornaments – Found in any craft store – They usually come in a box of 12 – Figure on each person painting 2-3 ornaments – Keep the box.

Paint Pens – Buy a set (less expensive) – They are like markers, but with paint inside them – For this craft, they are less messy than paint and brushes, and they dry faster  – Sold at craft and artist’s supply stores – One set is plenty – Remember to put the lids back on them, or they will dry out.

Hooks, yarn or thin ribbon for hanging the ornaments.

Optional Supplies

Glitter, shallow container to catch the glitter, white or clear hobby glue, small art paint brush, cotton balls, holiday or colorful stickers, paste on jewels, ribbon, feathers, fine pointed Sharpies, a skewer or stick thin and long enough to go inside the glass ball.



Each person decorates a ball using the paint pens with whatever their imagination comes up with. You do not need to press hard for the pens to work. Remember the balls are glass, be gentle. Follow the directions on the pens to get them started.

Be sure the paint is dried on one side before doing another side. The paint dries quickly. After the paint has dried, place a hook or tie a ribbon on the top to hang. Place your decorated ball back into the box until you are ready to hang them.

Other Ideas

Add glitter to the wet paint, or paint on a thin layer of glue using the paint brush and then sprinkle on the glitter. If you use the brush to add glue to the ball, make sure the paint is dry. Keep your area neat by sprinkling the glitter over a catch pan or plate.

Stretch out some cotton balls a bit; using the skewer or thin stick, stuff them inside the glass ball to make “snow”. Be careful when working near the edges of the glass ball opening, the edge is rough.

Paste colorful stickers or the paste on jewels on the glass ornaments.

Glue pieces of ribbon and feathers on the balls.

Suggestions For Painting The Glass Ornament Balls

There are the usual Christmas themes, Christmas trees, stars, wreaths, snowman, stockings, etc. to paint. Use a fine pointed Sharpie to write in the round a poem or lyrics to a Christmas song (Create a family Christmas poem or song).

Write down the names of everyone in the family and their birthdays. Write each person’s name and what you like about them. Write in different colors. Make an ornament for your pets. Write a “Dear Santa” letter on the ball. Paint an abstract ball.

Mother Nature’s Ornaments

Mother Nature's Ornaments

This idea combines spending time outdoors with your children and making ornaments. It is based on an early time in history before decorations were manufactured. People made decorations from what they could find; this included bringing the outdoors indoor, like the Christmas tree.

This is a craft that children of all ages can participate in. The very youngest may need help putting their ornaments together.


  • Grosgrain ribbon or other cloth ribbon of 1-2″ width that does not tear easily – Look for spools in the clearance bins

  • Craft glue or rubber cement

  • Set of watercolor paints and brushes – Get an inexpensive set used for crafts

  • Glitter

  • Green and red construction paper

  • Hole puncher

  • Hooks, yarn or thin ribbon to hang ornaments


If you get everyone up and going in the morning, you can finish this project all in one day. However, it may be easier on the nerves if you break it up in two days, one for the walk and one for assembling the ornaments.

Take a walk with your children in a park or wooded area and gather items for ornaments. Place the things you find in a small box such as a shoe box. Allow your children’s and your imagination to open up to all possibilities.

However, you will not want to collect heavy objects; they would not adhere to the ribbon or paper. Tiny twigs, very small evergreen branches, pine needles, holly leaves, pine cones, pebbles, dried flowers, and seed pods are a few suggestions.

Prepare your work area as explained above. There are many possibilities for making ornaments out of your gathered collection.

Cut the ribbon in 6-8″ strips and glue your finds onto to it. You may need to use rubber cement for things like the small pebbles. Leave about a ½” from the top of the ribbon free from embellishment. This is where you will punch a hole (not close to the edge) into the ribbon for the hook or a thin piece of ribbon to hang the ornament.

Before gluing the bits and pieces onto the ribbon, you can decorate them with paint or glitter.

Take a piece of ribbon; decorate it leaving a small space at each end free of decoration. Glue one end onto the other end to make a circular ornament. Punch 2 holes close together in the top and string thin ribbon through them for hanging.

Cut out Christmas tree shapes or wreaths from the construction paper and decorate them with the outside finds. Allow room at the top for the hook, ribbon or yarn to hang the ornament.

Paint and decorate the pine cones. Use them as ornaments, tying a ribbon or yarn around the bottom to hang them.

If you brought back a very large branch, you can decorate it with your embellished ornaments for another Christmas tree. Place it in a planter and add lights.

A smaller adorned tree branch would make a beautiful table center piece. Place it in a pot or vase; stuff foiled or other gift wrap paper in and around it to keep it in place. Make sure the decorative side of the paper is the part seen.


While the geese are getting fat and before mommy kisses Santa Claus, deck your halls with boughs of imagination and be sure to be of good cheer. Happy Holidays!

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