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!

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DIY Holiday: Christmas Ornaments (Part 1)

spiral tree ornament
As you know, I really enjoy making my own Christmas ornaments. Here’s a cute Christmas tree ornament I came up with last week.

All you need is some wire (any gauge sturdy enough to hold its shape but pliable enough to be easily manipulated–I just used some I found in my craft bin in my closet), some beads, and needle nose pliers. I used “starflake” green beads as the main component of this ornament. I find these at A.C. Moore and I have them in green, clear, and red. They’re great for all kinds of Christmas crafts and I’ve NEVER been able to find these beads at any other craft store or online. Then, for the “ornaments” on the tree, I used a mix of random red, green, white, and clear beads I found in my stash. The gold bead at the top is a pony bead. If you don’t have gold, you could use silver, clear, or yellow.

For my ornament, I used a total of 30 green starflake beads, 1 gold pony bead, and 16 random smaller beads to represent mini-ornaments on the tree. I cut about an 11-inch piece of wire for that amount of beads (I like to err on the side of caution) and strung the beads on in a random order. You can absolutely use different amounts of beads than I used if you want a larger ornament. My ornament turned out to be about 3.5″ tall.

To start your ornament, I recommend stringing on the first bead (in my case, a gold pony bead), and then folding the wire back over and twisting it to secure that top bead (see picture). Then, just string on the rest of your beads until the ornament is a large as you want it. Then, snip the wire about 1″ from the last bead and twist that wire into concentric circles as far as you can. Then, I use the tip of the needle nose pliers to push the concentric circles against the bottom of the last bead to lock it in place. The final step is to twist the ornament into a corkscrew and add a ribbon hanger through the top bead. Viola!

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.