DIY Ornaments They’ll Keep Forever

Make an ornament for that special someone that will capture the perfect moment in their lives!

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Giving gifts can become even more special when said gifts are works of art from the heart.  This doesn’t mean they have to be expensive, or that you need to be craft whiz to whip one up – this year, DIY is all about making something unique that captures a moment in your life or in the life of a loved one.  Try to incorporate any major milestones, such as a new home, first Christmas together, birthday, or even a pet's first Christmas.  All fo these make an ornament more memorable, and will sure to stir up stories each year when it is taken out and put back on the tree.  Here are some ideas of how to get the whole family involved in making ornaments to last a lifetime!

Trapped in a Snow Globe Ornament
For the quirky cousins or cute kids in your family, turn their funny pictures into a fake snow globe!


  • Camera and color printer or printed photos
  • Clear plastic cup
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Fake snow
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Paint
  • Hot glue

Directions:  For this neat ornament, take a photo of whoever will be the star of this ornament, preferably in a neat pose, as though they are responding to being trapped in a snow globe.  Print the photo in color on cardstock (or glue it to cardstock) and cut around the person’s body. Next, take a clear plastic cup and trace the mouth of the cup on a piece of cardboard.  Cut to make a cardboard circle, and paint it green or white.  After the paint dries, tape your picture with cardstock to the center so that the picture is standing up. Put the plastic cup over the person (mouth down) to make sure that everything fits.  Then, put about 1/4 cup of fake snow in the plastic cup, and hot glue the cardboard stand with the photo on the mouth of the cup (the person will be upside down, headfirst in fake snow at this point).  Wait for the glue to dry, then flip the whole thing over.  Take a pipecleaner and put the ends together to make a loop for hanging the ornament, and hot glue the two ends to the top of the cup snow globe.

Snowman Handprint Ornament
For a cute family gift, make this 5-person ornament (though more can be added if needed!).


  • Medium-sized clear round glass or plastic ornament
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Ribbon

Directions: Remove the clear round glass or plastic ornament from packaging.  Dip a large paint brush in white paint, and paint the palm of your hand and fingers with white paint.  Then, gently take one ornament and place it in the palm of your hand cupping your fingers around it.  Gently release your fingers and take the ornament with your other hand.  The 5 finger prints left behind will serve as a snowman family, and the palm print will be the snow at the bottom.  String ribbon through the top of the ornament and hang it while the white paint dries.  After it dries, use smaller paint brushes to add details to the snowmen, including eyes, noses, mouths, branch arms, globes, hats, and scarves, as well as any details of your choice.  Then, let it dry and wrap it carefully to give as a gift!

Salt Dough Ornament
These ornaments almost look like cookies, and give a homey, personal feel to your tree!


  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup water
  • Stamps
  • Ink pad
  • Straws
  • Twine
  • Cookie cutters

Directions: Mix salt, flour, and water together in a mixer until a soft dough forms.  Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick, and then cut out shapes using cookie cutters.  Make them your own by using letter stamps to monogram them for your loved ones, using an ink pad of any color.  Use a drinking straw to cut out a hole at the top of the shape, then bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours. Allow them to cool, then string twine (or ribbon or a string of your choice) through the hole and hang on your tree!

Wood Slice Ornament
Take in some thick branches that have fallen down in your yard to make this rustic piece!


  • Slices of wood (about 2-4 inches in diameter)
  • 400 grit sandpaper
  • Eye hooks
  • Sharpies/paint pens
  • Mod Podge
  • Sponge brush
  • Ribbon

Directions: Take a slice of wood and sand down the faces using 400 grit sandpaper.  When it is smooth, brush off any dust and draw a picture, phrase, or greeting in black marker, then accent with another color marker or pen, such as silver or gold. When you are sure it is what you want, use a sponge brush to apply Mod Podge (or any other sealer you have on hand) and apply a thin layer across the top.  Twist an eye hook into the top of the disc.  String ribbon through the hook and you are good to go!