Decorating for the holidays seem to start earlier and earlier each year. This year, we’re getting a head start on our DIY ornaments.
I didn’t use to do much decorating for the holidays when I was single. There didn’t seem to be much point. If there was a poinsettia on sale at the grocery store, I might have grabbed it and put it somewhere around my apartment.
But now that we have kids and especially since they are getting to an age where arts and crafts are a big component of their day-to-day activities, we seem to be doing a lot more decorating around the house for the holidays.
I dedicate at least two weekends to Christmas tree decorating and the tree isn’t complete unless it is about to topple over with handmade crafts and ornaments made by the kids.
The holidays always seem to sneak up on us each year, which is why I like to plan ahead when it comes to Christmas gifts and decorations.
Every year I like to create new holiday crafts in advance so I can either give them to my friends and family or keep them for my home.
This year, I’m focusing on DIY Christmas tree decorations. Why? They’re fun to make (especially if you involve your kids) and cost-effective!
There are many different types of ornaments you can make by hand. My favorite projects are the plastic ball ornaments and flat wooden discs.
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Materials for plastic ball ornament decorating ideas
Ornament blanks – There are actually a lot of different plastic ball ornaments. There’s plenty of choices for wood ornaments as well. Each have their own benefits:
- Flat discs for paint-filled ornaments – also great for adding vinyl designs
- Pull apart rounds for filling
- Wood ornament blanks
Cricut – I use a cutting machine to do some of the cutting for this project. This of course is optional but it sure makes things go faster. Check out my reviews for Best Cricut machines for beginners if you’re new to the Cricut.
Templates – This set of Ornament SVGs are free and available in my resource library.
Here are my favorite Christmas tree decorations you can make from home that are almost guaranteed to inspire holiday cheer:
How to decorate a clear plastic ornament
There are many ways to decorate a clear plastic ornament. I like to add a graphic or holiday saying to using vinyl for my ornaments. I find the flatter disc is better for this as they have a flatter area or transfer your vinyl.
Since I don’t really plan on washing these ornaments, I like to use removable vinyl so that when the outermost part of the design inevitably creases because of the curvature of the bulb, I can lift it and re-position it so it is flush against the plastic.
These DIY Christmas tree decorations are so vibrant and colorful. You will need to buy a set of acrylic paint, but the fun is filling the interiors with different color paint.
Start with pouring some paint into the bulb, swirl it around closest to the opening because that is the part you will not be able to get with a brush.
Then take a brush and spread out the paint in the rest of the bulb.
For an extra touch, add some glitter after it’s been painted.
Here is a separate tutorial on how to make these silhouette ornaments.
You can also fill your plastic ornament with paint. I like to use acrylic because it is super affordable and comes in different colors. Just make sure you get the runny kind so it flows inside the bulb.
DIY glitter ornaments – how to make glitter ornaments with Mod Podge
I don’t like to work with glitter if I don’t have to because it seems to get everywhere but this is one project where it is relatively contained.
Making glitter ornaments if similar to painting the ornaments with acrylic. Just squeeze about a tablespoon of the glue into the bulb and swirl it around.
Elmers glue works as well but it is slightly more opaque than the Mod Podge gloss. Some people like to use Polyacrylic but that’s not something I have around and didn’t feel like ordering it just for this project.
Make a funnel using any scrap paper for plastic sheet. Just make sure the funnel end fits your bulb opening.
Funnel in about a tablespoon of glitter for each bulb. Swirl around until all the interior surface is coated.
Place these in a well-ventilated area to dry. It may take a day or so to completely dry depending on your climate.
If you’re in a rush, you can use hairspray instead of glue which dries in a couple of minutes. If you’re using the aerosol kind, just spray into the ornament for about 5 seconds to collect about a half teaspoon of hairspray to coat the interior. After coating the interior, funnel the glitter, put the cap back on, and shake to coat the interior. This all needs to be done in a couple of minutes or the hairspray on the wall of the ornament will dry and all the glitter will clump in the middle.
Fairy Light Yarn Christmas Tree
Just stuff the LED lights into the clamshell and turn it on!
You can add a little star on the top with glitter paper and a start cut out or leave it bare.
Wooden Christmas Tree Ornaments
I love to repurpose items I already have and this applies to DIY Christmas tree decorations.
However, if you don’t have wood rounds around, you can get a super affordable set from Amazon.
Once you have your wood rounds glue them together using some twine. You add some decorations on top as I did here with my snowman face. You can also add a festive holiday saying.
For other snowman craft ideas, check out the full snowman craft tutorial here.
If you have kids, no Christmas tree is complete without a Santa cam. Get your free Santa cam template from my resource library and make yours today!
I also use my Cricut cutting machine a lot for Christmas decorating. Check out more Cricut project templates in my Premium SVG Membership.