Homemade Christmas Ornament Countdown – Day 1

41 days until ChristmasI love Christmas. Specifically I love to decorate the Christmas Tree.

It was always such a big ritual when I was a kid. The whole family would pack up and head out and pick out a tree. Then Mom would shlep my sister and I outside while dad put the lights on the tree. I always thought it was so it would be kind of like a surprise when the tree was all lit up. I have since learned it was so we wouldn’t hear him swearing while he fought with the lights. Even so, we’d come in to the most beautiful lights on the tree. Then Mom would put on some Christmas music and bring out the ornaments and let us hang them. Mom said she could always tell how old we were in the Christmas pictures by how high / low the ornaments were hung.

When I went away to college I was exited to have my very own Christmas tree.  I was excited, that is, until I saw how pathetic the 4 boxes of ornaments I bought looked on my tree.

That was when I decided to start a tradition for my cousins who were about 5 & 7 at the time. I didn’t want them to have a sad looking Christmas tree when they grew up and moved out of the house. So that year I made them homemade ornaments. And each year after that they got a different set of ornaments.

That was (gulp) over 20 years ago. That’s A LOT of different kinds of homemade ornaments.

I haven’t always been good about getting pictures of the ornaments that I have made. But I do have quite a few of them documented. So with only 41 days (gulp) until Christmas I thought I would share with you some of my favorites.

Last year’s ornament definitely rates in the top 5. I love it because it was the 1st time that I was able to include the kids in the creative process.

Handprint snowmen ornamentThere are bunches of tutorials on the web for this ornament, and I can’t give you one because I don’t remember where I got the idea.

Basically …..

  • I took a red ornament, but it would work with any color
  • Painted one of the kids hand white with craft paint.
  • Carefully had them hold the ornament like a ball
  • Left them upside down to let the snowmen dry
  • Used craft paint to add hats, scarves, and faces.
  • Used glitter glue (stickles) to add snow

Some things I’d recommend if you are going to do this.

  • Do not attempt this right before bed time or nap time. Trust me on this one.
  • Have several more ornaments ready than you need. That way if you get a badly smudged one you can have a do – over ornament
  • Don’t get all wrapped up in the snowmen being perfect. After all when’s the last time you saw a perfect snowman in real life?

Everyone got 1 M and 1 N ornament. And the best part was I started making a set for each of my kids. So they will have full trees when they move out too.

Homemade snowman handprint ornament

Ornament countdown links:


About NotYourNormalSteam

I love to make things, food, paper, fabric, the medium doesn’t really matter. I am also an obsessive planner. The day after Christmas I am already working out plans for the next year.
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2 Responses to Homemade Christmas Ornament Countdown – Day 1

  1. KellyO says:

    Such a cool tradition. My mom started making us homemade ornaments in grade school, so I never went through the bare looking tree issue when I moved out. Those are some of my favorite ornaments to this day. What a cool thing to start for N & M. Of course, mom also created a monster who now has six trees. 🙂

  2. Thanks Kelly. My cousins really enjoyed the tradition. And both N & M already have their own tree for their room. And LOVE to decorate their own tree. We are a 6 tree household as well. One tree in the craft cave being dedicated to all my homemade ornaments.

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