While I love them all, the handmade Christmas ornaments on our tree are my favorite. Something about personalized ornaments speak to me, and apparently to my kids as well because they are always talking about them! If you are looking for Christmas decorations to make this year, these DIY ornaments will turn any ol’ tree into a family tree.
Did you guys get your photos edited and printed yet? You can use any way of doing it of course, but for you non-Photoshop peeps I hope the PicMonkey tutorial was helpful. Now we’re ready to make the rest of the photo ornament, PLUS a I’m sharing a few Christmas tree decorating ideas that make our tree extra special (do you know what ‘curly ting’ is? read on!)
Now that you have your photos ready, it’s time to make some DIY Photo Ornaments featuring your gorgeous family and friends. Then you can sit back and gaze at your tree and have all those you love– including your angels– right there with you. Kids especially enjoy talking about the photos and it’s the perfect way to have cousins and grandparents close by even whey they live far away.
Plus, I could look at this all. day. long.
These ornaments are also very light; no droopy tree branches, which is a plus. They make great gift tags, or hang with the stockings so everyone knows which one is theirs. Wouldn’t they also look great attached to a wreath? I know a proud grandmother or two that would love one of those.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the ornaments:
- foam board
- Elmer’s Glue and/or Mod Podge
- paintbrush, foam craft brush
- EXACTO or craft knife
- ruler, scissors
- edited and printed photos
- headpins for making earrings, used to hand ribbons (optional)
- scrapbook paper for back of ornaments (optional)
1. Measure and cut a 3″ square from foam board and one from scrapbook paper (the paper will become the back of the ornament).
2. Cut out your photos and get your Mod Podge ready. You can also use Elmer’s glue, watered down a teeny bit to make it easier to spread.
3. Lightly and evenly apply Mod Podge to both the back of the photo and the face of your foam square. I used a cheap foam brush (the .29 cent kind) from Michaels. Press the paper and foam together, smooth out any bubbles.
This step is optional: if you’d like to use scrapbook paper on the back, Mod Podge both the foam and the paper, press together, smooth.
4. Get ready for some glitter! Extra-fine glitter made these really sparkle. Silver worked best for me, for some reason the blue glitter was too transparent. I bet the microbead glitter we used on the DIY Glitter Pinecones would look stunning as well, but I’m a microbead glitter kind of gal.
I used thinned Elmer’s glue for this step, perhaps the Mod Podge would work but I haven’t tested it out yet. Using a paintbrush, apply a border of watered down Elmer’s around the front edges of the ornament. Cover with glitter, and brush off excess.
5. For the edges, I used a combo of a thin line of regular Elmer’s smoothed down with some of the watered-down Elmer’s and a paintbrush. You don’t want any lumps of glue here, it will drip. Be sure to get glue in all the nooks and crannies, and cover with glitter. Brush/tap off excess.
6. Isn’t it looking so pretty? I didn’t add glitter to the back of the ornaments, so this is what most of mine look like– just a thin glitter border, which is a remnant from when I glittered the edges:
7. If you happen to have some earring headposts (with an “eye” loop) on hand, they really make it easy to attach the ribbon hanger. Simply add a tiny dot of glue in the center of the top edge of the ornament and push them in until only the ring is showing. Then add a ribbon hanger to finish the ornament.
10. If you don’t have earring headpins, you could simply hot glue your ribbon hanger right to the ornament.
There you have it, a fancy-schmancy glitter photo ornament. The more you have on your tree, the more beautiful and cohesive they look. Another tip for making your tree glow is to add some curly ting to the branches. Curly Ting is almost as much fun to say as spouncers. I just stick bunches into bare areas and the lights bounce off of it, making for some extra twinkles in your eye.
It’s a little touch, but it makes a big difference.
After years of searching, I finally found a Moravian Star-esque Capiz Shell tree topper. Actually, my husband found it which makes all those nights of whispering
sweet nothings ‘I want a Moravian Star Capiz Shell tree topper’ into his ear worthwhile.
We do a lot of this nowadays:
And isn’t that what a family tree is all about?
Much love to you all, now tell me… what’s on your tree this year? Do you collect special ornaments, have heirlooms, or go for the designer look? I love hearing about traditions and Christmas tree decorations, please share yours!