This is the week where all our Christmas decorating happens. My favorite part is pulling all the decorations out of storage and reminiscing about when we made them.
Instead of buying new holiday decor each year (see also: It’s Okay to Use Last Year’s Ornaments), we choose one special project to do together each year that adds to our holiday decor collection.
We started this tradition when the kids were very young, like under three years old. Their ability to help at that age was limited, but they don’t have a Christmas where they don’t fondly remember helping to make decorations or at least hang them up.
Today I thought I’d share five of our favorite handmade Christmas decorations, in case you’d like to start this tradition with your family.
There’s a mix of easy projects here perfect for all age groups. Of course, you can change out the colors on any of these to work better with your style and home decor.
For the full instructions for each project, click the project picture or the link below the description. Hover over any picture to get the Pin It button to add it to your Pinterest board.
I hope one of these inspires a fun project with your family this holiday season.
1. Yarn Wrapped Pinecones
It really is hard to choose a favorite project from this list, but these yarn wrapped pinecones make me unexplainably happy. My mom collected all the pinecones from the tree I planted in my parents backyard as a kid. We wrapped them in colorful yarn to turn them into ornaments.
Some years they hang from the banister. Some years from the mantel. This year we might put them on the tree.
2. Colorful “Glass” Ornaments
Make your ornaments match your decor.
This one was a complete hit with the kids! Giving them permission to pour gobs of paint into the ornaments and then trusting them to shake it all around inside…too much fun. We used plastic ornaments for safety and inexpensive craft paint.
These ornaments have held up for going on four years now—that cutie in the picture is nine years old now. They’re my favorite color splash on the Christmas tree.
3. Gilded Menagerie
Animal figurines are a hot trend in decorating that won’t be ending anytime soon. I think they’re especially fun for holiday decorating, but you don’t have to spend a ton to get the look. I made these with craft store animals.
If you have little kids, they’ll love this. Let them choose a favorite toy animal from the craft store. The secret to getting a metallic sheen without spray paint is Rub N’ Buff. Put on latex gloves and rub on the shine.
We finished ours off by tearing fabric into long strips to make ribbons. This menagerie graces our mantel every year.
If you prefer the white ceramic look try this project. Let the kids put in the hooks, then you spray paint. Instant ceramic animal ornaments!
4. Helvetica Stockings
Personalized and bold, these stockings are just my style. For years readers have been emailing me photos of their version of this project. It’s so fun to see.
I chose the Helvetica font for a modern look and to keep the letters simple to cut out, but you could use any font for this project. I think a script font would be gorgeous.
5. Cookie Cutter Ornaments
This project is ridiculously easy, but so cute and collectible. I dreamt up this project when my boys were very little and I wanted non-breakable ornaments on the Christmas tree. We’ve continued to add a few new cookie cutters every year since.
Find a local shop near you that carries cookie cutters…the more options the better. Kitchen stores, like Sur La Table and Williams Sonoma, usually have a great selection. We found our first batch of cookie cutters at World Market.
Let everyone pick out a few favorite shapes to turn into ornaments. Collect and add a few new cookie cutter ornaments each year.
So…which one are you going to do first? If you can’t decide, show them to your kids and let them pick a project. I hope you have fun crafting for Christmas!
To see more holiday decorating projects, like DIY tree skirts and simple gold leaf projects, click the Holiday & Seasonal tab in the DIY project gallery.