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Homemade Christmas Ornaments
by Chrysta Baker

Christmas OrnamentsBefore there were huge Christmas markets and online stores selling German ornaments of every size, shape, and color, most people made their own Christmas ornaments. While Germany is the home to the German ornament industry, its origins began with people making simple Christmas ornaments out of wood, paper, fruit, baked goods, and just about anything else they could get their hands on to turn them into beautiful Christmas ornaments to decorate their Christmas trees with. So, while there are literally thousands of beautiful German ornaments that you can buy to decorate your home with this Christmas season, why not couple them with some homemade Christmas ornaments that you and your family can make together. Making your own Christmas ornaments is a great way to remember the origins of Christmas and German ornament making while sharing the Christmas spirit with others.

Some of the easiest Christmas ornaments you can make are made from paper. Paper ornaments are a quick and simple way to add a little extra color to your holiday decorating and are easy enough for children of all ages to make. Today, there are so many beautiful Christmas papers that you can buy in your local crafts shop that your design styles are literally endless. Check out some of these great paper Christmas ornament ideas.

Get some Christmas themed paper, colored card stock, Christmas cookie cutters, Christmas stencils, glue, ribbon, and any other types of Christmas decorating accessories you might want to use, like glitter, beads, buttons, etc. Using the cookie cutters or stencils, trace out your Christmas ornament shapes onto the Christmas paper and cardstock. Glue the two pieces together, add whatever decorations you choose, punch a hole in the top corner with a hole punch, loop through some ribbon, and hang on the tree.

Gather together your old Christmas cards or buy some inexpensive boxed Christmas cards at a discount store and cut out the pictures in different holiday shapes or just around the edges with decorative crafting scissors. Punch holes all around the outer edge with a hole punch and then use a whip-stitch to weave in some pretty Christmas ribbon. Or you can crochet a border around the edge to add a decorative frame around the edge. These also make great Christmas gift tags!

Christmas OrnamentsWooden ornaments are also fun and easy to make for children and adults of all ages. As the Christmas season approaches, you can find small Christmas wooden ornament cutouts at any crafts store. These are usually sold in bulk with a large variety of Christmas shapes and sizes to choose from.

Gather together these wooden ornament pieces and paint them in a variety of Christmas colors using regular crafting paint. Decorate these wood pieces with colored markers, glitter pens, felt, beads, pom-poms, or anything else you can find. Drill a small hole at the top to hang from a piece of ribbon or loop a piece of ribbon into a petal shape and attach it to the back of your wooden ornament with a dot of glue. You can also buy a box of wooden popsicle sticks and glue your decorated wooden ornaments to the end of each of them. These can then be used as stands to be placed in poinsettias, food trays, wreaths, or attached to presents with ribbon.

Christmas OrnamentsOld glass ornaments can be given new life with a little paint, glitter, ribbon, and other decorating materials. You can also buy new inexpensive glass ornaments to create some very interesting and unique Christmas ornaments that no one will believe are homemade.

Gather together your old glass ornament balls and remove the metal hangers from the top. Get a piece of crafting foam and stick a pencil or wooden dowel into it and place the glass ornament on top of it by sticking the pencil or dowel into the hole of the Christmas ball. Spray paint the glass ornament any color you like and let dry. Do several thin coats rather than one heavy coat so there are no visible drip marks left on the glass ornament. Once dry, decorate the glass ornament with paint pens, beads, glitter, ribbon, or anything else you can come up with.

You can create a funky glass ornament out of clear glass ornament balls by placing a few drops of regular crafting paint inside and swirling it around to make different designs. Place one color inside, roll it around, let dry, then add another color, roll it around, let dry, and then keep repeating until you achieve the desired look. Or, place several colors inside together and swirl it around to create a funky tie-died looking Christmas ornament. Once the inside is painted, you can then decorate the outside with beads, glitter, or paint.

Christmas OrnamentsThe original German ornaments were usually made of fruits, candies, or baked goods and placed on the Christmas tree for decoration or given as gifts. You can still make these classic Christmas ornaments today using a variety of different edible goodies.

Using a typical sugar cookie cutter recipe, make the dough and cut out the Christmas shapes as usual with a variety of Christmas cookie cutter shapes. For extra color, add food coloring to the recipe before adding the dry ingredients. Decorate your Christmas cookie shapes with colored sprinkles or candy pieces, but before you put them in the oven poke a hole at the top of each cookie using a straw. Bake as instructed, let cool, string a piece of ribbon through the hole, and hang on the tree.

Using polymer clay to make Christmas ornaments is both fun and easy. Polymer clay can be found at any crafts store, but just make sure to follow the baking instructions on each package.

Making curly polymer ribbon Christmas ornaments is a great way to add some real pizzazz to your Christmas tree. If you have a pasta machine, roll out the polymer clay into long thin sheets or just roll out by hand with a plastic or wooden dowel. Using a ruler and razor, cut out long, thin strips of the polymer clay. Using a piece of stiff paper or a large index card, role the paper up into a cone and tape together. Wrap a piece of polymer clay around the paper to form a spiral cone shape. At the wider end, loop the end piece of the clay onto itself to create a hole for an ornament hook to attach or just poke a hole at the end. You can also use different sized wooden dowels for tighter coils. Dust with heat-tolerant glitter and bake in the oven as instructed. Twist the clay slightly to remove from the paper or dowel and hang on the tree.

There are so many Christmas ornaments that you can make at home that will add your own special creative touch to any Christmas tree. Look online or in magazines around Christmastime to get many more homemade Christmas ornament ideas like these.

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