There's something so special about DIY Christmas ornaments that make them the stars of the Christmas tree each year—especially when they're made by little hands. Fancy store-bought ornaments may be pretty, but they just can't hold a candle to salt dough handprint ornaments, popsicle-stick reindeer, seashell snowman, and other DIY ornaments kids can make themselves (or with a little help from a grown-up). Plus, DIY Christmas ornaments make great gifts for friends, family, and teachers.
Here are 25 DIY Christmas ornaments to make with kids of all ages, from toddlers and preschoolers to tweens and teens. For more crafty holiday fun, check out our list of 101 Christmas crafts, games, and activities for kids and our Christmas Activities and Holiday Fun Guide for Kids.
Flour, salt, and water are all you need to make these DIY ornaments that will be treasured forever. Press little hands or feet into the dough, cut a circle around them (don't forget to poke a small hole in the top for the ribbon), bake them, and have the kids decorate them with acrylic paint and/or glitter.
This is a sentimental Christmas ornament to create with a newborn or toddler. Dip tiny fingertips into colorful acrylic paint and press them around a ceramic ornament to make Christmas lights. Add caps and string to the lights with a Sharpie marker, and you've got a beautiful and special ornament for the holidays.
4. Birthday Invitation Ornament
DIY ornaments made out of wedding invitations have become a popular wedding gift. You can create an equally special ornament out of a children's birthday invitation. Just cut narrow strips of the invitation and place them inside a clear globe ornament. Be sure to cut around special wording like the location and date. Just looking at the ornament will bring back fun birthday memories for years to come.
An ornament featuring their child's adorable face is every mom’s favorite one to hang. Just print out a headshot and glue it onto a festive background made from cardboard or cardstock covered with holiday-themed wrapping paper. It's a simple-to-make ornament that will be treasured forever.
Have kids create a drawing on a Christmas ornament template. Then, cover it with a transparency sheet and color it with Sharpie markers. Cut it out and insert it into a glass globe ornament, fitting it snugly onto the sides. It's the perfect way to display kids' artwork at Christmastime!
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Cinnamon ornaments are not only pretty, they make the house smell great. Photo courtesy of McCormick's
DIY Christmas Ornaments for Kids of All Ages
Create dough out of cinnamon and applesauce. Have kids use cookie cutters to cut the dough into festive shapes, then make a small hole at the top of each one. Bake them in the oven, add a ribbon to each, and you'll have fun, festive Christmas ornaments that smell amazing.
Collect a few clam or scallop shells from the beach, paint them white, and glue them together to create an adorable snowman. Kids can use Sharpie markers and rhinestone stickers to make the face and buttons. These ornaments are perfect for a coastal Christmas.
Part craft and part science experiment, this project involves placing colorful pony beads inside cookie cutters and melting them in the oven until they form festive shapes. It's fun to turn on the oven light and watch the beads melt.
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Melt candy canes inside cookie cutters to make ornaments in Christmas shapes. Photo courtesy of Crafty Morning
For an even more Christmasy feel, try melting candy canes in the cookie cutters instead. It's the same process as making the melted bead ornaments, but it uses a holiday candy staple and it smells really good.
A fun way to use up all those leftover scraps of Christmas wrapping paper, origami squares, or colored construction paper is to make a whimsical DIY Christmas tree-shaped ornament.
Outdoor trees—and the birds that visit them—need some holiday love, too! Kids can create DIY Christmas ornaments out of birdseed, then have fun watching the birds enjoy their creations.
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Flip tiny terra cotta pots over and decorate them to look like gingerbread houses. Photo courtesy of Projects with Kids
When they're finished making their real gingerbread houses, crafty kids can create miniature ones for the Christmas tree out of tiny terra cotta pots, acrylic paint, and paint pens. Be sure to hang these pretty houses on only the strongest branches!
Your Christmas tree will be all aglow with these adorable snowman ornaments made out of flameless tea lights, with the faux flame serving as the snowman's nose. Plus, they're a ton of fun for kids to make.
Gather some clothespins, paint them green, and glue them into a tree shape. Have kids decorate them with pom-poms, glitter stars, pipe cleaners, or other materials to transform them into dazzling Christmas trees.
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Transform popsicle sticks into cute little reindeer. Photo courtesy of the Honey and Lime Company
Easy DIY Christmas Ornaments for Toddlers and Preschoolers
A reindeer is another fun and easy ornament for toddlers and preschoolers to create with popsicle sticks. They can use googly eyes, a pom-pom (be sure to get a red one if they want to make Rudolph), and pipe cleaners to add eyes, a nose, and antlers.
You can create so many things out of popsicle sticks, including this festive star ornament that is easy to make with a toddler. After your child is finished painting and decorating the star, be sure to add their name and the year to make it an adorable keepsake.
A great way to incorporate nature into your Christmas decor it to make this adorable reindeer made out of pinecones and twigs. Little ones will enjoy creating reindeer faces out of googly eyes, pom-poms, felt, and other materials.
This is another fun option for DIY Christmas ornaments using items from nature. Glue pieces of twigs into star, reindeer, or Christmas tree shapes, then have kids wrap colorful twine around them and decorate them with pom-poms, sequins, and other small items.
This simple DIY ornament is a ton of fun for little ones to make. They basically pour different paint colors into a glass ornament, turn it upside down, and watch what happens as the paint drips down the sides. The finished product is a beautiful and unique Christmas ornament.
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Create a shiny Christmas tree out of pipe cleaners, beads, and a popsicle stick. Photo courtesy of Red Ted Art
Little ones can use shiny green pipe cleaners, pony beads, and a popsicle stick to create a whimsical Christmas tree that will look great on your actual tree. With no paint required, it's a fun and mess-free project for toddlers and preschoolers.
Tiny egg-carton bells are DIY Christmas ornaments that will have your little one singing and shaking to Jingle Bells once they're complete. They are also lots of fun to make!
Stringing beads is a great way for toddlers and preschoolers to develop their fine motor skills, and it's an activity they can really get lost in. Why not have them string pony beads onto pipe cleaners to create these heart-shaped ornaments? Kids can also make stars, candy canes, and other holiday shapes.
Bust out all those fun paper straws left over from parties and use them to make a festive paper-straw wreath. If you don’t have decorative straws, just have kids color plain white ones as an extra activity. This DIY ornament is simple and mess-free.
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Mini marshmallows make the perfect backdrop for a snowman face! Photo courtesy of the Chirping Moms
This adorable snowman ornament is perfect to make during snack time. Just be sure the kids save some mini marshmallows to fill the clear globe ornament. They can then use markers or puffy paint to draw the snowman's face and create a Christmas ornament Frosty would be proud of.
Lead photo courtesy of Bigstock