Spending quality time with your children making Christmas ornaments is priceless regardless of the craft you choose to do, but there are more options to creating homemade tree decorations than stringing popcorn and adding glitter to pine cones.
Let your child’s imagination soar by making clay tree ornaments! You can use polymer clay (follow the manufacturer’s directions ), which is available at your local craft store, or make your own baking clay.
What you need:
- 1 cup table salt
- 4 cups white flour
- 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups water
- Cookie cutters
- Acrylic paints and paintbrushes
- Pretty ribbon for hanging
- Mix the salt, flour and water in a large bowl. Knead until blended and smooth. The clay should feel like bread dough, so adjust the flour and water if necessary.
- Roll out the clay until it’s about 1/2 inch thick, then cut into the desired shapes.
- Make a hole at the top of each ornament before baking at 250 degrees F for approximately 25–30 minutes (until hard but not browned). They can also be air-dried, which will prevent the ornaments from puffing while baking.
- When dry and cool, paint or decorate the ornaments as desired, then after the paint is set (approxiamately 24 hours), glaze the finished ornaments.
- Thread a ribbon through the hole to make a hanging loop.
Ideas for clay ornaments:
- Use Christmas- or holiday-themed cookie cutters to make perfect shapes.
- Try cookie cutters with detail imprints that will act as guides for decorating.
- Make alphabet shapes using the letters of your family members’ names, and hang them by name on the tree.
- Make a circle shape, then have your child paint it in a favourite colour. When dry, paste a school photo in the middle, then protect the entire ornament with wipe of varnish.
- Make a large circle, and have your child press in their handprint, or try a pet version with a paw print.
- These are lasting mementoes, so be sure to add your child’s name and the year to the back.
Super easy and fun, these whimsical ornaments add bursts of sparkly colour to your tree! A word of caution, however: Don’t use them as a decoration if you have young children or pets in the home, since they can be choking hazard.
What you need:
- Styrofoam balls
- Strips of ribbon in coordinating colours
- Toothpicks, broken in half if using an ornament-size ball
- Form the ribbon into a loop and, using a hot glue gun (with a parent’s help) or other craft glue, attach the loop to the Styrofoam ball. Let cool or dry.
- Gather the gumdrops, and insert the end of a broken toothpick into the flat end of each one.
- Stick the gumdrops into and all around the ball. Make sure they are close together so the Styrofoam isn’t visible, and it’s ready to hang!
Stars are a traditional tree decoration, and these pretty versions are a snap to make.
- Twist pipe cleaners into holiday shapes for the tree.
- Turn holiday-themed cookie cutters into ornaments with paint and a sprinkle of glitter.
- Transform plain plastic globe decorations into personal creations with jewels, paint, glitter, stickers or whatever your child’s imagination can come up with!
What you need:
- Craft foam sheets
- A five-point-star-shaped template; draw one freehand, or use a star-shaped cookie cutter as your guide
- Craft glue or spray adhesive
- Glitter and glitter pens
- Ribbon for hanging
- Using the cookie cutter or template, trace two identical stars on the foam sheet.
- Cut the stars out, and make a straight slit from between two points about 1/3 of the way up each star.
- Cover one side of each with glue, then add a layer of glitter.
- Let dry, and repeat on the other sides. Edge the outside of each with a matching glitter pen.
- Using the slits, slide the two stars together, punch a hole in the top point of the star, and add a loop of ribbon.