There are so many creative and fun ways to decorate your Christmas tree with decorations you make yourself. These can be done with your partner or the whole family. Here is a list of cool do-it-yourself (DIY) Christmas tree and interior décor ideas you can totally do yourself!
Coffee Filter Snowflakes
Coffee filter snowflakes can be hung one by one or strung together. To make the snowflake, simply fold the paper coffee filter in half, then half again as many times as you like. This will turn the round filter into a triangle shape with the center of the filter as the point. Then with scissors cut out bits from each side. When you unfold it, it’s a snowflake! Just like real snowflakes, no two are alike. You can leave them white or color with crayons, pencils or markers.
All you need for this one is pinecones, white glue and as many colors of glitter as you like. Dip or brush the glue onto the pinecone. While the glue is still wet, sprinkle or dip your pinecone into the glitter. You can tie a string to the tops to hang them on your tree branches. You can also use this technique with foam balls or paper Mache shapes such as stars, candy canes and Santa’s; with white glue and glitter, anything can be turned into a glittery and festive ornament!
Stringing Cardboard Beads for Garland
About two weeks ahead, start saving paper towel and toilet paper cardboard rolls. Cut the rolls into 3 inch pieces (they don’t need to be exact). With craft or tempera paint, or crayons and markers, decorate the rolls. With colored yarn, string the pieces together to make a colorful and fun Christmas tree garland. This is a fun and easy activity for small children and is a good exercise in hand-eye coordination by stringing the “beads” onto the yarn. Drape the garland around the tree, along the fireplace with stockings, or around a doorway for extra festive decorating!
Salt Dough Ornaments
Salt dough is a super simple recipe. Mix one cup table salt, two cups of flour and ¾ cup water. Mix well (little hands do this best!) and roll flat with a rolling pin. Using metal or plastic cookie cutters, cut out shapes. You can also press patterns into the dough, roll into a “rope” and create other holiday-themed shapes—just use your imagination! Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to poke a hole at the top for a string later. Once you have your shapes, bake on a cookie sheet in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. For thicker ornaments, bake for up to an hour. They come out kind of puffy and ready to paint, glitter and string up to hang on the tree. Add a cup of cocoa to make the occasion extra special!
String Felt Squares into Wreaths
You can use one or multiple colors of felt. Cut the felt into two inch square pieces. With a needle and thread, string the squares by drawing your needle through the center of each square. You can string just a few for a smaller wreath or many more together for a larger wreath. When you’re ready, just tie the two ends of your thread together in a knot. Leave enough thread to make a loop and your felt wreath is ready to hang.
Bird Seed Ornaments
Bird seed ornaments are fun even after the tree comes down in January. Take your ornaments and hang them outside for the birds and squirrels to munch on. To make the ornaments, dissolve a package of plain gelatin in simmering water. Remove from the heat and stir in the bird seed. You want it to be malleable in consistency. On a cookie sheet, have holiday cookie cutters ready. Press the bird seed into the cookie cutters and let set overnight. Don’t forget to press a loop of yarn or twine in the top of the shape. The next day, you can gently press the ornament out of its cookie cutter and they are ready to hang.
Beaded Candy Canes
All you need for this DIY ornament are pipe cleaners and red and white plastic beads, both of which are available in any craft store. String the beads onto the pipe cleaners, alternating red with white beads. Bend into a candy cane shape and it’s ready to hang! It’s super easy and a safe one for kids to help with!
Christmas is a great time to start family traditions. Why not start this year by making your ornaments yourself? It can become something you do with your kids and create wonderful holiday memories for many years to come. You will cherish these ornaments forever, as they will remind you of when the kids were little, and they will enjoy having played a part in making the tree beautiful for Christmas.
Fowlie, Kait. (2013). “How to Make Salt Dough Ornaments.” http://urbanmoms.ca/life/how-to-make-salt-dough-christmas-ornaments/. Internet. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
Kalie. (2014). “How to Make a Bird Seed Ornament.” http://chachingonashoestring.com/2013/12/18/how-to-make-a-bird-seed-ornament/. Internet. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
Barnes, Nancy. (2011). “Spicy Marshmallow Cocoa Recipe” for Fitness Republic. https://fitnessrepublic.com/nutrition/recipes/spicy-marshmallow-cocoa.html. Internet. Retrieved 12 December 2014.