Holiday

15 DIY Ornaments for the Least Boring Tree Ever

Plus, there’s something for every style of decor.

November  3, 2020
Photo by Rocky Luten

If you grew up celebrating Christmas, you likely know that trees—in size, origin, decor, and placement—vary greatly from house to house. Some families are staunch advocates for real Douglas firs; others have kids with allergies or curious pets, and decided to go faux instead. There are trees that blend seamlessly into existing decor, ones with strict color schemes, and ones with ornaments of every shape and color imaginable.

While I rather like the idea of a tree that fits right in with the style of a home, I also know that I’d never be able to forgo the charm of assorted, mix-n-match ornaments—both purchased and homemade. My tree always appears a little scatter-brained, with its allusions to pop culture, childhood memories, favorite foods, past hobbies, and all kinds of animals.

Whether you’re a regimented tree decorator (I’m jealous!) or a collector of tree tchotchkes from all over, you’re bound to love—and want to craft—at least one of these 15 DIY ornaments.

1. Leather & Brass

These little guys are minimal in materials, but evoke many decor styles at once—we’re seeing farmhouse, hygge, minimalist, mid-century, and more.

2. Vintage Printables

The second-best thing to actual vintage ornaments are ones you can make yourself, right? These printables are adorable on their own, but made even better with wooden beads, baker’s twine, and mini bells.

3. Easy Chinoiserie

The detailed vignettes of your grandmother’s china know no bounds—and these ornaments are way easier to make than they look. Printed napkins, glass ornaments, and mod podge are the only things needed to pull them off.

4. Tiny Gnomes

These little gnomes bear a striking resemblance to a more traditional Christmas character, but fit seamlessly into Scandinavian decor.

5. Stained Glass Blocks

Stained glass sounds difficult, but this tutorial is totally beginner-friendly, and the payoff is major.

6. Geometric Clay

If your home leans boho, these oven-baked clay numbers will tie the rest of your decor in with the tree this year.

7. Pinecone Swans

These little birds feel reminiscent of camp crafts past, and yet, they’re somehow very fancy.

8. Painted Pastels

If you can draw hash marks and dotted lines, you can make these pastel (or any hue) ornaments.

9. Mudcloth-Inspired

Mudcloth-inspired blankets, pillows, and other textiles show no sign of slowing down, so why not extend their pattern to the tree?

10. Dried Citrus

Truly there is not an easier DIY ornament than a dried citrus one. Oranges, lemons, grapefruit and more make the most delicate ornaments, and garland as well.

11. Mini Sputnik

Spiky, shiny, and asymmetrical—just like the ever-popular sputnik light fixtures—these mid-century ornaments harken back in the best way.

12. Salt Dough and Botanicals

You can make these ornaments from ingredients and items you already have: flour, salt, water, and dried botanicals.

13. Blocks and Tassels

These ornaments combine tassels and natural wood, which, as far as I’m concerned, go with any style of decor.

14. Wooden Bead Snowflakes

Natural wood beads are everywhere—most notably in strings on styled coffee tables—so it only makes sense that the trend translates to ornaments.

15. Gold Leafed Glass

A little bit of gold leaf on the bottom portion of these ornaments instantly elevates otherwise plain orbs.

Do you have handmade ornaments on your tree? Tell us their story below!
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1 Comment

Clare C. November 16, 2020
My favorite handmade ornament is the Star of David “stained glass” paper ornament my daughter made in preschool. After years of buying tree-toppers that wouldn’t stand upright no matter what I did, I gave up and hung the Star at the top of the tree. Problem solved and a recognition of the holiday traditions of others all rolled into one!