During the rush of the holiday season, it’s easy to feel sucked into buying everything you think you need. Yet, some of our fondest holiday memories are often those we create together.
If you’re craving a fun bonding experience with kids, there are a variety of imaginative crafts and projects you can create together. Shape family memories that will last a lifetime by designing and making your own holiday ornaments.
Here’s a list of some easy-to-make ornaments for kids of all ages that will help brighten up your home this holiday season.
We’ve all designed poorly executed construction paper ornaments before, but DIY ornaments can actually appear expensive and cohesive. Bring the rustic element of the outdoors inside by decorating pinecones with glitter and stringing them on your tree’s branches. Kids will love hunting for pinecones outdoors and turning them into glittering treasures for the whole family to admire.
If you can glue two objects together, this will be an easy craft for you. Enlist a large selection of popsicle sticks, some white paint, and a tiny army of children to help with this one. Start by painting the popsicle sticks white (or the color of your choosing), then glue four together to form a snowflake shape. You can then cover them in glitter (blue, white, silver, or gold will add a touch of sparkle) or decorate them with white buttons or pom-poms.
Add some color to your holiday decor by mirroring your ornaments after one of the kids’ favorite parts of the season—candy. Create gumdrop ornaments tempting enough to eat with help of styrofoam balls, glue, and candy or pom-poms. Start by adding a ribbon or hook to your styrofoam ball, then begin gluing multicolored pom-poms or actual gumdrops to your ornament. If you use pom-poms, finish off with glitter and have fun hanging these delightful crafts all over your home.
Let’s be honest—the smell of freshly baked cakes, cookies, and pies is one of the best parts of the holidays. Incorporate the aromas into your ornaments by dressing up cinnamon sticks and turning them into Christmas trees. To start, you’ll need cinnamon sticks that are roughly 2.5” to 3” long, a strip of pine garland, glue, and buttons or pom-poms for decoration. Cut the garland into three pieces per tree—a 1” piece (for the top), a 2” piece (middle), and a 2.5” piece (bottom). Glue them horizontally to your cinnamon stick and decorate with buttons or pom-poms. Adhere string or twine to hang up these spicy-scented beauties.
If you aren’t particularly crafty or you prefer to keep your DIY projects fairly simple, transforming acorns into works of holiday art may be the project for you. Have your kids gather acorns every time they’re outside and gently wash them off before making your ornaments. Let your kids’ imaginations run wild with painting the acorns—they can be fancy with gold or silver tops and colorful bottoms, or more eclectic with wild colors. Try attaching twine just underneath the acorn top (add glue for stability) once you’re ready to hang these dainty gems.
Preserve holiday memories by printing out photos of your favorite family adventures for this nostalgic craft. Once you have your photos ready, paint popsicle sticks red and white in a candy cane striped fashion. When dry, use your popsicle sticks and some glue to form a frame and attach some string to hang. This is an easy craft for kids who aren’t extremely patient but still want to create their own ornaments with the family.
Wreaths are a sure sign of Christmas, and creating miniature versions to hang on your tree or around the house is extremely easy. You’ll need some pipe cleaners, craft buttons (choose red, green, and white for a traditional wreath), and a ribbon to hang your wreath. Bend your pipe cleaner into a circular shape, begin threading buttons, and twist the edges of the pipe cleaners around each other to close. Hang with a ribbon or ornament hook and add or tie decorative bows to complete each masterpiece.
Have fun creating these crafts with your kids, nieces, or nephews, or during large family gatherings. Let the kids’ creativity take over and have them dream up their own ideas for ornaments and decorations, too—you never know what incredible works of art they’ll imagine in life.
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Courtney Johnston writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.