DIY Holiday: Kid-Friendly Christmas Ornaments (Part 2)

plastic globe ornaments
Have you read my “DIY Holiday: Kid-Friendly Christmas Ornaments (Part 1)” post yet? (Click HERE to view.) I gave you instructions on some super-easy but surprisingly beautiful tissue paper ornaments.

Now, I have some other ideas to share with you. They’re so easy, and you may already have many of the supplies you need:

  • PLASTIC globe ornaments from the craft store (I get mine at Michael’s and they come in three sizes)
  • Assorted red, green, white, and clear beads (I just used whatever was in my stash)
  • Brightly colored feathers (from the craft store)
  • Glitter balls (I got these at Michael’s after Halloween on clearance–apparently, silver, green, and purple are now Halloween colors)
  • Yarn/twine (I used red and green yarn plus regular old twine)
  • Thin ribbon (to create a hanger)
  • Small-ish jingle bells (optional)

All you have to do is set out all the supplies for the kids. Then, remove the ornament caps and let the kids put everything inside the ornaments. (Obviously, some of these supplies post a choking hazard, so if your kids are really little, you’ll need to be extra careful.)

Then, you can put the cap back on. Again, I like to string a jingle bell onto a ribbon and use the ribbon to make a hanger as an extra touch. And since we’re using plastic globes, even if your kids drop them on the floor while making them (which happened in our house!), they should survive the fall.

There’s still time to make these before Christmas! Good luck!

DIY Holiday: Kid-Friendly Christmas Ornaments (Part 1)

tissue paper ornaments
I do so love making Christmas ornaments. And this year, I realized I have an ornament buddy–my four-year-old son! I had no idea he’d love it so much, but he thoroughly enjoys creating his masterpieces.

So I thought about what kinds of ornaments we could do together. What would be easy, kid-friendly, and beautiful? I came up with several ideas, all of which I’ll post on this blog. (Normally, I only post twice a week, but leading up to Christmas, posts will be more frequent.)

Here’s the first kind of ornament we tried: Tissue Paper Ornaments! They look beautiful on our tree and they make terrific gifts for grandparents as well. These ornaments are so easy that your kids can absolutely do these by themselves. Here’s your list of supplies:

  • PLASTIC globe ornaments from the craft store (I get mine at Michael’s and they come in three sizes)
  • Assorted tissue paper, all colors
  • Thin ribbon (to create a hanger)
  • Small-ish jingle bells (optional)

So what I did was set my son up at the table and lay out all the supplies he needed. I made one with him so he knew what to do, and then he took over. I probably have two dozen of these now. More than I need, of course, but the supplies are so inexpensive and he has so much fun being creative. Plus, he’s so proud to show off his work to anyone who will look.

Remove the ornament caps. Then, all the kids have to do is tear up the tissue paper into small pieces, maybe 1.5″ square (there’s a lot of room for error here). Then they can either squish the tissue paper tightly to form balls, or they can just crinkle the paper enough to give it dimension. Then, just stick the paper in the ornament, piece by piece. Since the ornaments are plastic, you don’t have to worry about glass breaking and any little fingers getting cut. Then, you can put the cap back on. I like to string a jingle bell onto a ribbon and use the ribbon to make a hanger as an extra touch. If you have more than one child, you could get fancy and use a glitter pen to write an initial on the ornament so the kids can tell which ornaments are theirs.

That’s it! Simple, right?

DIY Holiday: Shoe Organizer Advent Calendar


This advent calendar is one of my all-time favorite Christmas decorations I’ve ever made. And it’s SO simple!! All you need is a 24-pocket shoe organizer and some creativity to make this adorable advent calendar. (I purchased this organizer at Target for under $20.) In each pocket, I place a small gift (a Hot Wheels car, stickers, Christmas socks, etc.). My four-year-old son loves running for this in the morning to see what surprise awaits him.

I created the red and green numbers on my computer and printed them onto iron-on transfer sheets to add them to the pockets, but you have lots of options: for example, puffy paint, fabric pens, stamps, sewed-on or ironed-on felt numbers. The kids can help to decorate it, too!

Plus, you can mix up the numbers randomly or start at 24 and go down to 1. The sky’s the limit! If you try this craft, please email me a photo at carolyn@carolyncrowndesigns.com. I’d love to see what you come up with!

DIY Holiday: Grilled Christmas Ornaments


I love to make my own Christmas ornaments. In fact, almost every ornament on our tree is homemade. And I’ve tried a bunch of new techniques this year, including these awesome melted Christmas ornaments I made on our grill out back. I’ll be sharing many of the others on this blog over the next month.

Here is the ORIGINAL POST that inspired my idea.

Now, I’m calling this a Holiday Craft and a Kid Craft, but obviously, the children should only be involved in the prep work. I’ll explain what to do below, and honestly, it’s so easy (and they’re so beautiful), you’ll want to make a hundred of them. All you need is a large package of pony beads, a muffin pan, and a grill.

Note #1: I didn’t want to use my good bakeware for this, so I bought a cheap muffin pan at Target for $5.
Note #2: I’m sure you could use your oven instead of a grill, but I was worried about stinky melted plastic fumes in the house, so I decided to try the grill.

Instructions:

  1. Fill your muffin pan with pony beads. These are just standard pony beads that I purchased in a “value pack” at Michaels. It’s important to fill them only one layer thick, and don’t pack them in there. Leave a little breathing room so that there’s space to melt flat. Otherwise, you’ll get a big lip around your ornament, and (trust me) it’s not pretty. You can use whatever colors you’d like, I made some red/white/green, some pink/purple, and most of them were just random.
  2. Fire up your grill! I have a gas grill and the temperature was around 400 degrees, and that seemed to work great.
  3. Once the grill reaches your desired temperature, pop your muffin tin on there. I closed the lid for the first few minutes and then left the cover open so I could tell when they were ready.
  4. Watch carefully. Once all the beads have completely melted, you’re done! Mine probably took about 5-6 minutes total.
  5. Remove the tin from the grill (it will be VERY hot) and allow to cool. Once everything is completely cool, you can just reach in with your finger and they’ll slide out. Seriously, it’s that easy. It’s quite amazing, actually. I was fully expecting to have to pry them out, but they just popped out cleanly.
  6. Now comes the only tricky part. I had my husband do this final step for me. You need to drill a small hole to insert a ribbon through to use as a hanger. My husband used the smallest drill bit we had. I know, it totally seems like they’ll break under the pressure, but they’re surprisingly sturdy. My four-year-old son accidentally dropped one on the floor, and it didn’t even crack.

Now, just string a ribbon through and hang on your tree! I’d try to arrange them so that they hang in front of a light so that all the colors can shine. Have fun and let me know if you try! I’d love to see some pictures.