Simple DIY Christmas Ornaments

Want to give a beautiful handmade Christmas ornament to your child’s teacher this holiday as a memento of her rambuntious little group of 1st graders?  Or would you love to fill your tree with sweet photo ornaments of your children from year to year? Making awesome DIY Christmas ornaments is easier than you might imagine!


Supplies That You Need

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All you need is a few basic craft supplies, about 20 minutes (no really!!), & you’re ready to get started!

Mod Podge

The literal “glue that holds this project together” is Mod Podge! Mod Podge is a decopauge, glue-like medium that can be used to adhere paper or fabric to and object & also to seal it!  It really is one of my favorite craft supplies, because you can really work wonders with Mod Podge. My preference is usually the matte finish, but I’m beginning to think the glossy might work best when using photos.  There is also a sparkly finish!

Plain Ornament

I use a paper mache round ornament similar to this one (I found mine at Hobby Lobby for less than a dollar a piece).  Paper mache ornaments are inexpensive & make a wonderful canvas for lots of creative projects!

Fine Glitter

I also use fine glitter instead of regular glitter.  Fine glitter looks so much better than regular glitter on most projects, and it doesn’t seem to flake off everywhere like the larger glitter does. I like the gold, but as you can see, there are LOTS of colors to choose from.

Scrapbook Paper

I really have a thing for pretty paper, and there are so many options in scrapbook paper.  You can find lots on line, or buy the paper by the sheet at your local craft store (I can truly get carried away in a craft store… especially the paper isle!!!).


Sometimes, I edge my ornaments with ribbon or rick-rack instead of glitter.  Make sure that your ornament has between 1/4-1/2 inch space around the edge to add a ribbon. I use 3/8 inch wide ribbon around my ornaments.

A Photo or Quote

Find a photo that has the subject centered in the pic.  This way you will be able to get the most of the pic on the orament.  If you are using a quote, print it off in the size that you want it to be, leaving a little edging for  your scrapbook paper to show thru.

You Will Also Need…

  • scissors
  • a small paintbrush- to apply the Mod Podge (a foam brush works well)
  • wax paper to make a work area

How to Make DIY Christmas Ornaments

  1.  First, decide what type of ornament you want to make.  If you want a photo ornament, make sure that you pick a photo that will fit on your ornament.  I use a 3.75 inch round ornament & and 4×6 photo. If you hold the ornament behind the picture and hold it up to the light, you will be able to see how you need to place your ornament. 
  2. Once you’ve decided what part of your photo that you want, lay the photo face down being careful not to move your ornament.  Trace around the edges of your ornament onto the back of your photo.
  3. Carefully cut the circle out.  It’s ok if you have to trim a little more around your photo after your done, it’s better to trim to little to begin with than too much!
  4. Apply a coat of mod podge to one side of your ornament.  Make sure you have enough, but not too much… MP dries quickly, so if you have dry spots, your photo won’t adhere to the ornament well.  You don’t want to have air pockets.  If you have too much MP, you might end up with wrinkled paper especially when working with thin paper like tissue paper.  Take care to spread a rather thin even coat on the whole side of the ornament that won’t dry before you apply your photo! (If you notice it drying too quickly, add a little more MP.
  5. Once you have a good coat of mod podge on one side of your ornament, carefully place your photo onto the wet MP.  Gently press the photo onto the ornament being sure to flatten out any bubbles.  
  6. After placing the photo securely, apply another coat of MP on top of your photo (you don’t have to let the MP dry under the photo before applying the top coat, just make sure that the photo is secure).  The photo will appear hazy until the MP has dried. You must allow this first side to dry completely before flipping the ornament over to continue to the other side.  Be careful even once it’s dry to not lay it on something that will stick to the glue (like paper, the glue stays tacky for a while), this is why I like to use wax paper to work on when making these ornaments. 

**If you want to have something on the back of your ornament follow the same steps above with another photo or a piece of scrapbook paper.  

7. If you choose to add a quote or scripture on top of your first layer, be sure to place it while your mod podge is still wet, & seal it by applying MP (remember not too much) on top of your layer.

8. Once you have completed both sides with your photo &/or paper, you can paint the edges of your ornament (fairly generously, but not goopy! ;)) with MP & roll it in your fine glitter, and allow it to dry. If you are edging with ribbon, choose a thin ribbon. Apply MP over the top of the ribbon also. This is the first time I have use MP over the ribbon, but I think it is now my go to! You can also secure the ribbon to the ornament with hot glue if you wish. You can hang these ornaments to dry on your tree, or even a kitchen cabinet knob.

Want to create a DIY Christmas ornament using a quote, or scripture?  Do the exact same steps, just remember, if you are going to layer your quote onto your scrapbook paper, you will have to apply the mod podge between each layer of paper, and then also on top to seal it!

DIY Christmas Ornaments: The Perfect Gift

I have made several ornaments with this method for special gifts, and they are some of my favorite! Once, I made my son’s violin teacher a Christmas ornament with a mini copy of the sheet music to the song my son played for recital.  Also, several years back, I made one for each child in my son’t Kindergarten class with the class picture on one side, and the teach & year on the other.  The options for making these special for the recipient are endless!  I hope you have lots of fun making beautiful, personalized DIY Christmas ornaments for your friends & family this holiday season!!!

Please comment below letting me know how you liked this craft project.  Also, please let me know if you would like to see other simple craft projects on The Sweetest Part!  Ideas, please!!!

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