5 Simple Ornaments to Make With Your Kids This Holiday Season

5 Simple Ornaments to Make With Your Kids This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here again and with it comes the opportunity to make great holiday memories as a family. Making homemade ornaments is a great way to kick things off because it gets your kids involved with the festivities in a way they can be proud of all season long. Here are some of our favorite homemade ornament projects to get you started: 

Dried Citrus Slices

For a cost effective, natural, fragrant craft, try drying orange and lemon slices in the oven. Slice your citrus in to quarter to half inch slices, lay them in a single layer on cookie sheets, then dry them for several hours in a 200 degree oven. Once they’re dry and cooled, using a needle and some twine, carefully string them individually to make ornaments, or string them together to make a garland. This is a great, low risk way to introduce kids to needles, as they don’t have to be very sharp, and you don’t have to be particularly precise. Dried citrus can bring a festive touch and a wonderful smell in to your home this season. 

Filled Glass Ball Ornaments

This time of year, most craft stores sell empty, plain glass ball ornaments. Using a small funnel, fill them with just about anything. Small pom poms, colored sand, glitter, beads, pebbles, and small sea shells are great options. Combine a few materials to create contrasting textures. Get creative! If it fits in the ornament’s opening, it’ll work! This is a chance for you and your little ones to show off your creativity even if you have very little ability. Most ball ornaments are shatterproof, so while caution is a must, this is a safer craft than you might think.  

Construction Paper Ornaments

Cookie cutters can make fantastic stencils. Using piece of construction paper and a pencil, have your little one trace a tree or star. Then have them decorate it with makers, glitter, crayons, etc. Have them cut it out (If they decorate their tracings before they cut them out, the paper will catch more of the mess) and using a holepunch, punch a hole near the top of their design. String a ribbon through and you’ve got an easy, low cost craft with minimal cleanup. Looking for something a little heartier? Try our next suggestion. 

Salt Dough Ornaments

Make a salt dough, then use cookie cutters to cut shapes as you would with regular cookie dough. Use a straw to cut a hole near the top. That is how you’ll hang your finished product. Bake at 300 degrees for about an hour, or until the ornaments are very hard. Let them cool completely, then use puffy paint to decorate them. Ideally, they’ll look like classic Christmas cookies. This is a messier, more laborious craft, but if kept away from light and moisture in the off season, salt dough ornaments last for many years. 

Popsicle Christmas Tree Ornament

Using scissors (or even better, pruning shears) cut popsicle sticks in to descending lengths (for example, leave the first whole, then cut the next to four inches, then three inches, then two inches, and cut the last down to one inch, but it doesn’t need to be precise) Then, have your little one place one whole popsicle stick in front of themselves. That’s going to be the tree’s trunk. Then glue a whole stick horizontally across the bottom, centered with the tree trunk making an upside-down T. Then have them glue the stick you’ve cut to four inches just above, but not touching the horizontal stick. Keep going all the way up, the three-inch stick next, then the two-inch, with the one-inch piece at the top, but leave a bit of room for the trunk to make a point. It may help to lay the sticks out before gluing them. When its glued together and dried, make your stick tree green using paint or markers, and decorate with stickers, glitter, and beads. Tie a ribbon between the top few sticks to hang.  

Above all, try to remember that while a beautiful ornament is a good outcome (honestly, a goofy looking attempt might give you more joy in the coming years), it’s not necessarily the goal of these crafts. The goal is to create great holiday memories for your kids and to get them involved in making holiday magic. While it may not turn out exactly as you envision, your kids will be proud of anything they create when it’s hung up on the tree. Good luck and Happy Holidays!