Homemade gifts are always the best kind around the holidays! Whenever it comes time for us to put up the Christmas tree, it’s like we take a step back in time with all of the ornaments from our past- from the handmade ones we made as children to the handprint ornaments of our own!
There were handmade ornaments that my husband made with his grandmother and others that I had received from friends and family over the years. Most of the newer homemade ornaments are from when my daughters were in preschool, a place where so many good memories were made on its own. One of which were the close friends that both my daughters and I made. Earlier this month, one of those friends moved an hour away and my daughter wanted to giver her BFF something to remember her (even though we’ll still see each other).
I had been taking pictures of the girls since they played together on the same soccer team this fall, knowing I would use them in some way when they moved, so I thought that a photo ornament would be the perfect way to add their friendship to the Christmas tree.
To get some inspiration, I searched “DIY photo ornament” on Pinterest and found a lot of great ideas. I then took a trip to Michael’s Craft Store for supplies and found a whole section dedicated to photo ornaments. I was looking for wooden or burlap discs anyway, and they were all together along with plastic discs that were designed to fit a photograph. Keep reading below for my complete list of materials and to see how the ornaments turned out. Needless to say, there were plenty of mom tears when I delivered the BFF ornament on the day our friends moved.
– Wooden disc ornament
– Burlap disc ornament
– Plastic disc ornament (like this one from Michael’s)
– Glitter glue pens
– Christmas paper pack
– Foam brush
– Holiday confetti
– Elmer’s Craftbond glue stick
– Hot glue gun
– Printed pictures (4×6 or smaller) – either in color or black and white depending on the look you want
Instructions for wooden disc ornament
- Pick the paper you want to serve as the background and trace the shape of the ornament. Cut out the shape and glue to the flat side of the ornament. I started with the Elmer’s Craftbond glue stick, which worked pretty well, but then I finished off the edges with the glue gun.
- Trace the ornament over the photo you want to use and then cut the photo out smaller than the circle so your background paper shows through. Lay the photo on top of the ornament and then use your decoupage to brush over the entire surface. Let it sit to dry.
- Once the decoupage is dry, use the glue gun to decorate the edges however you like.
- Once the ornament is completely dry, add a little note and the date to the back.
Instructions for the plastic disc ornament
- Lay the disc over your picture to see where you will need to cut. You don’t need to cut a completely round circle, but make sure that the bottom of the photo is cut in a curve so it fits in the ornament.
- Roll up your photo so that it fits through the top and slide through
- Reach through and push the photo to the front of the ornament so you can fill the back with the confetti. Fill with as much or as little that you want.
- Put the top back on the ornament and secure with some hot glue, depending on how heavy it is with the confetti.
** There are many ways you can do this ornament. You can always decorate the interior or exterior with glitter, use metallic paint pens to decorate the outside, etc. This just the way we did it.
Last but not least: we decided not to add photos to the burlap ornaments and just decorated them with the supplies we had. The girls were way too excited about the glitter glue pens to let them go to waste. I’m pretty sure they emptied them out by the time they were done with these ornaments.
Do you make ornaments or have any homemade ones that tell a story?
AUTHOR BIO: Hilary Morris balances her role as mom of 3 girls with her own social media consulting business. Her love of fashion, as well as her daughters’ natural ability for coordinating unlikely colors & patterns, inspired the launch of her kids fashion blog AFancyGirlMust. She also is a Child Star Style contributor to HollywoodMomBlog. Hilary can often be found on Instagram giving a peek into her world of favorite local spots, recent craft projects, new recipes, fashion finds, and three little loves.