01 of 09
Easy-to-Make Decor Can Trim the Tree or Adorn Packages
A Christmas tree can never have too many ornaments, can it? My tree is really big to hold my eclectic collection of ornaments, some of which we have had for 50 years. But there's always room for more, especially if they are grandchild-made.
Even if a grandchild makes them, however, I don't want ugly ornaments on my tree. All the ornaments I feature here can be made by kids but are still aesthetically pleasing. And all can be used in other ways -- as package decorations, for example, or to... hang in a window or on a wall. And making ornaments with grandchildren is a great way to while away cold December days. Such fun!Continue to 2 of 9 below.
02 of 09
Handprint Ornaments Made From Salt Dough
Start with these handprint ornaments. A simple recipe of four parts flour to one part salt is the basis for these precious keepsakes. Simply mix the flour and salt, then moisten with water to form a firm dough. Pat out a round large enough for a child's handprint. Use a drinking straw to make a hole for hanging. The dough can be cured overnight or by placing in a slow oven (150 degrees) for one hour.
I like the natural look of these ornaments, but you can also add food coloring to the dough.... Ornaments can also be painted. If you are a different kind of grandma than I am, you might even add some glitter. (I hate cleaning up glitter!)
If you want your ornaments to last a long time, spray with acrylic or paint with polyurethane to seal. Otherwise they will be vulnerable to damage from humidity and insects.
Do this while your grandchildren are young! They grow up too fast.
Read detailed instructions for handprint ornaments at Nest of Posies.Continue to 3 of 9 below.
03 of 09
If you're a grandparent, you may remember having seen an old-time silhouette artist at work with scissors flashing. Silhouettes are still popular today, but you don't have to be an artist to create them.
To make your own silhouettes, photograph the children in profile. Turn the photographs into silhouettes using a computer program or app. (Kellie at Nest of Posies, who created these lovely examples, recommends Ribbet.) Then just print and frame.
If you prefer a low-tech method, follow... these instructions for manually creating silhouettes. Older children should be able to help.Continue to 4 of 9 below.
04 of 09
Lego Christmas Ornaments
Finding Chris McVeigh's Lego ornament designs made me so happy! My grandsons have crates of Legos, and I'm always happy to see them being reused.
Chris's website features lists of the pieces needed to create each ornament and detailed directions. Print out the guides, or save paper by viewing them on your tablet as you build. Chris also has building guides for a tiny turkey, an adorable gingerbread house, a holiday train and more. And be sure to see the Star Wars ornaments on the... next page.
If you don't have a lot of Legos, you can still make unique ornaments with Chris's help and the Pick a Brick program from Lego, which allows you to place a custom order for bricks. Chris also sells kits for making some items.
See Chris McVeigh's complete holiday building guide. Click next to learn about his sci-fi creations.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Sci-Fi Lego Ornaments
If you have Star Wars fans in your family, you'll be glad to learn that Chris McVeigh's ornament designs include the Death Star, a spaceship, a tie fighter and the Milennium Falcon.
Related designs that would appeal to the proud-to-be-a-nerd crowd include a police call box to evoke the TARDIS from Doctor Who and a question block from the Mario video games.
If you have an eclectic tree like mine, these will fit in quite nicely, but they would also be fabulous for a small kids' tree. If... the grandkids are coming for Christmas, wouldn't they love their own tree decorated with these little jewels!
You can see more of Chris McVeigh's work on Flickr, or search for him on social media.Continue to 6 of 9 below.
06 of 09
These snowman ornaments make me smile, but I also love them because they show up so well on a tree.
The essential items for making these adorable ornaments include:
- Clear balls of glass or plastic
- White filler for the balls
- Pipe cleaners and pom-poms to form the ear muffs
- Vinyl for the features.
If your grandchildren are young, you'll want to use the plastic balls. Sarah of Becoming Martha has detailed directions for making snowman ornaments like a pro.Continue to 7 of 9 below.
07 of 09
College-Themed Glass Balls
They may be too old for handprint ornament or cutesy themes, but your teenage and young adult grandchildren will know that they are still treasured members of the family when you make (or help them to make) these college-themed ornaments.
Start with clear glass or plastic balls, available from discount stores and craft stores. Collect decals, miniature mascots or other college-themed items. You can also use cut-outs from photographs. Insert the items into the balls. Then pour in fake snow or... sprinkles. Use a chopstick to position the items the way you want them.
Fancify by dipping the bottom of the globe in metallic paint, or add a festive bow to the top.
See detailed instructions for college-themed glass balls or instructions for more college-themed ornaments.Continue to 8 of 9 below.
08 of 09
Sparkle Spool Ornaments
I have a sackful of wooden spools salvaged from my mom's sewing supplies, and now I know just what to do with them.
Kirsten Thompson over at Sweet Tea and Saving Grace turns spools into beautiful ornaments using washi tape and dangles. In case you don't know, washi tape is like a higher quality masking tape, usually made of rice paper or other natural materials. It comes in lovely colors and designs.
Kirsten just threaded twine or string through a spool, attached a dangle, threaded it back... through the spool and then added the washi tape.
Kirsten's version is perfect for the understated, natural-look Christmas decorations that are in vogue right now. If you prefer a more traditional decoration, the spools could be painted in red or green.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Beaded Candy Cane Ornaments
These candy cane ornaments are close to my heart because they can be done almost entirely by young children, yet they are cheerful and eye-catching on the tree.
Ann of The Fountain Avenue Kitchen is responsible for this version, which uses12" chenille pipe cleaners that have been cut in half. A supply of pony beads is the only other ingredient. Ann uses red and white, but you could certainly put green into the mix. Help the children get the first bead secured, and then let them go. Putting... the beads on the pipe cleaners is good for fine motor skills, and learning to follow a pattern of colors is great brain training.