Monday, November 26, 2012

How to Make Your Own Christmas Ornaments (They Make Great Gifts Too!)


When I was a teen, I had this crazy idea one day that I was going to make over our Christmas tree. I was bored of the traditional looking trees and wanted something completely different. I decided to do a pink and gold theme and even spray painted old ornaments we had gold so I would only have to buy new pink ones.

While I was doing this, I suddenly got the idea that I wanted to have pink flowers as part of our Christmas tree. Flowers are really trendy now and I've been doing "Christmas garden" type trees for years now, but back when I was a teen, it was pretty uncommon. I didn't care, I wanted flowers in my tree.

So I went to Michaels and purchased some clear glass ornaments and other items like faux, shimmering snow and fun glittery picks.  Then, I used existing faux flowers that we had at the house and I carefully shoved the flowers into the ornaments and added faux snow and they were beautiful and made the tree look elegant and pretty.


 (some ornaments I made this past weekend)


I continued to make these style ornaments for a couple of years and then I just found myself not having the time and just bought ornaments.

I had a craving to make some again this year so H and I headed to Michaels and he patiently perused the store with me as I selected what would go in the ornaments this year.  I like to do a mix of textures and stay in the same color family.

Some of the items I love to use:

  • Faux shimmering snow
  • Faux flowers (keep in mind that the flower has to fit into the ornament so try to choose a smaller style)
  • Glittery picks (feathers, trees, snowflakes)
  • Glittery stars (basically anything glittery that can be cut)
  • Feathers (I used white)
  • Ribbon (printed)
  • Glitter tape


As far as the ornaments themselves, you will need clear glass ones with removable tops. Michaels sells these but they are not on the website, so this link will show you what I mean.   They have a variety of sizes. I prefer to do mostly large ones and then some medium and a few small ones. 

The key to these ornaments is that the top just pops right off, allowing you to insert what you like and then put the top back on. It's so easy!

Here are some tools you'll need:
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • A hard surface to work on
  • A funnel (to put the shimmering snow into the ornament)
  • A tarp or garbage bag if you have one (to catch the glitter...which is now all over my house, I wish I had done this)
  • A vacuum cleaner (for all of the glitter that will inevitably be left behind)
The thing that is so great about these ornaments is that they are meant to be imperfect. It's always a fun experiment with different combinations inside of the ornament to see what works.  

As you "shove" items into the ornament, they kind of take on their own shape, thus making each ornament unique.  I like to use my scissors to gently help me insert items into the ornament---just be gentle as you do this since you are working with glass. Some softer items can just be inserted using your finger, but again, be careful as the tops of some of the ornaments may have a tiny piece of glass sticking out that could prick you (yes, I speak from experience).

I've added some photos I took while making the ornaments to give you a visual idea of how the items go into the tops of the ornaments. Then I'll show some photos of the finished products.





The total cost to make more than 30 ornaments was just over $60. I bought a lot of the items at 50% off and also used another discount coupon.  I have leftover crafting supplies as well, which is great!

These ornaments add a great personal touch to your tree and also make wonderful gifts. They are also completely customizable to any color scheme and fairly inexpensive to make.  I've also inserted black and white family photos into these ornaments in the past. It's a little tricker but a nice way to honor family members.

Hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you plan to make your own ornaments this year!  Our tree should be up in the next few weeks :)

Here are some of the final products:


and some other goodies that will be on our tree this year (from West Elm):


Thank you for reading!

31 comments :

  1. I love these! I think I will wait until Emma is a little bigger since we can do it together. It will be cute seeing what a child comes up with when they do these things. I really like the one with the beads and the ribbon ones.

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  2. This has nothing to do with the ornaments, but I'm so glad I stopped by today! I just KNEW you were pregnant because of the lack of posting (longtime follower of yours). I'm also due in May (with our 2nd) and have been totally slacking on blogging because of it. So a belated congratulations! Very exciting!!! :)

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  3. They turned out cute! I can't wait to see your tree :)

    xo, Amy
    itwasloveat.blogspot.com

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  4. What a great idea! I often feel like the 'colours' I want to use for our holiday decorating just isn't available in stores. The ornament with the lines of paper in it is my favourite. Simple, but makes an impact.

    the blackbird blogging.

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  5. These are beautiful - great job! Can't wait to see the finished tree!

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  6. So pretty!! Congrats on your pregnancy! I'm a longtime follower & so excited for you!!! :)

    Janine

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  7. I love this! And, to be honest, I never would have pegged you for the crafty-make-your-own-ornaments kind of lady (for some reason you just seemed too cool) so now I just have one more reason to love you (not in creepy stalker kind of way, just in a I-would-so-be-her-friend kind of way)

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  8. So adorable! Look at you, little miss martha stewart :)

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  9. I love these!! I really love the ones with the ribbons and the paper with writing on it!!

    -Andrea

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  10. such a great idea! pretty soon you'll be making one for the baby tree with either baby blue or pink ornaments!

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  11. Beautiful! I love the pearl ornament- what great ideas for filling the ornaments. I actually put flowers on my tree this year for the first time and I'm so happy with the results. I'll have to posts photos once we finish decorating.

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  12. V, great post...as usual!

    I've always loved that [pink] peonies arrangement on the white tray! Where did you find the silk flowers and the square/modern vase? I'm thinking about replicating for my home. Thanks! :)

    xo, tasha
    Enter to win a monogram pendant necklace

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  13. These are really elegant and awesome! Since you'll have a baby then toddler soon, you might want to steer clear of glass bulbs and switch over to buying shatter proof ones. This is our first Christmas with a toddler (our son was 8 weeks last Christmas) and it never dawned on me until now how hard decorating a tree is for the first few christmas' with kids.

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  14. Great idea for a unique decorated Christmas tree...

    xo, Violeta

    http://www.shoegaloutintheworld.com/

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  15. Clear ornaments give me bad memories from my childhood. Growing up, my sister and I made ornaments every year for our family members. One year I wanted to do stuff with clear ornaments. Rather than pay more for the clear ones, my dad bought gold ones and I had to use alcohol and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE forever to make them clear. It was such a pain and just shows how cheap my family is. Haha!

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  16. I've made ornaments like these for the past couple of years (I've never done the white before). I usually do hot pink & green or red & silver or blue & silver. I love the different items that you have put in them, I will have to try to make these this year. I use the shredded shiny paper to put inside mine and I use a pencil (not sharpened) to stuff my items inside. You can use the eraser as well, it helps to "grip" the items. I also tie a 2 different color ribbons at the top of the ornament in a bow.
    I'm loving to look of the all white that you did.
    Congrats on your pregnancy !!

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  17. These are gorgeous! Definitely much more classy than many of the ornaments that I saw at Target today! They're very you :)

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  18. First, I wanted to congratulate you on your pregnancy! I've been so busy at work these last couple of weeks I hadn't read your blog. Many blessings and well wishes to you and your Husband.
    I love your decorated clear ornaments! I made some last year for our Christmas tree I like how you added ribbon and feathers very cute! I'll have to make more.

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  19. This is such a cute Idea! I will definitely try that out :)

    xoxo

    http://verenarice.blogspot.de/

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  20. I've been following your blog for a while now, and I love it so much! You are such a fashion inspiration to me and you have great ideas for decorating :)
    I love this idea for Christmas. It's so cute, yet classy.

    xoxo
    Suzanne
    www.writtenbysuzanne.com

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  21. Great ideas!!....Congrats on becoming a mom!

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  22. very cute! i make ornaments every year using wedding invitations to give to friends as a special something for them. those glass ornaments are my favorite! they also have some plastic ones that are such a thin plastic they look and feel like glass. those can be a bit safer to work with too. they're just hard to find.

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  23. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

    Congrats on the pregnancy!!! : )

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  24. I love this idea! I'm for sure going to try the feather one :) Loving your blog dear!

    XO
    Pearls & Paws

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  25. Those are beautiful! I love your colours - the white/cream/silver are stunning. Great idea for having unique decorations that aren't breaking the bank.

    http://theworldfrommystilettos.blogspot.ca/

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  26. these ornaments are so chic! Such a great gift idea! I just stumbled on your blog via Noelle ;) Congrats on your pregnancy. We just had a baby girl and it is truly the best blessing! xoox

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  27. I love them. I'm gonna try them and give as a gift to my mom (who loves to create new tree decorations every year). She will love them. Thanks for the idea

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  28. These look BEAUTIFUL!!! (sorry I'm just catching up now but did see a preview on the 'gram!) I've used these clear glass balls from Michaels before but with paint, so this is totally different.

    I actually have bought balls like this from Bouclair (with feathers inside, or little pearls on a wire, etc.) but making them is EVEN BETTER!! They'd be a fabulous gift to give, and yours look SO NICE!

    I love your ideas, and how you showed us what supplies you bought. So creative with what you put inside; very inspirational, V! WELL DONE!! xo

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