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?

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DIY Kid Craft: A New Kind of Tissue Paper Flower


Who remembers making tissue paper flowers? Folding strips of different colored paper into an accordion, tying the center, then opening up the whole thing for fiesta day at school? That’s what I think of when someone mentions tissue paper flowers. But here’s a new (at least to me) twist on these classics, and you probably have everything you need already.

Below are my instructions (all you need is tissue paper, glue, construction paper, a popsicle stick or a green pipe cleaner, and a willing participant). If you’d like, you can download my template in a variety of sizes HERE, but you can just as easily freehand it. No artistic background required!

A special thanks to my 4-year-old son for completing this sample project. Those are his cute little hands in the photos.

Instructions:

  1. Cut a piece of construction paper to the desired size to serve as the background. (If you read MY LAST BLOG POST, you already know my tip about starting with pre-cut paper the size of a frames you have on hand so that you can display the artwork immediately–and, you don’t risk needing to cut the artwork just to fit it into a frame.)
  2. Use a pencil to draw a simple flower (or many flowers, depending on how large your paper is). Just a stem, two leaves on the stem, a circle, and some petals. Don’t spend too much time on this…it’s going to get covered up anyway.
  3. I recommend gluing the stem down first and, while that’s drying, you can prep all the other pieces. Use either a green pipe cleaner or break a popsicle stick into long, thin pieces and use one of those. Glue to paper and set aside to dry.
  4. Prep the tissue paper for the petals first, as this is a job your child can do while you’re using scissors to prep the remaining pieces. All you need to do is tear lots of different colored tissue paper into pieces about the size of your child’s hand (he or she can help with this step, too). After you have a big stack, ask your child to crumple each piece into a tiny ball.
  5. While he or she is working on that, you can prep the leaves and the grass for a finishing touch. Cut two leaves approximately the shape of what you drew. Use green construction or even green foam sheets if you happen to have any. For the grass, cut a few sheets of green tissue paper as wide as your background paper and a few inches high. Stack them, then make vertical cuts, leaving about half an inch between the bottom of your cut and the bottom of the tissue paper. See the photo if that’s confusing. We’re making stems of grass by using this technique.
  6. Now it’s time for gluing! This is where your child can take complete control. Trace and fill in the petals with glue and then allow your child to add the tiny balls of tissue paper, creating whatever color combination he or she would like! If you’re feeling really fancy, you could use a yellow pom pom for the center of the flower.
  7. Once the petals are all done, your child can glue on the green leaves to the stem. I recommend that you glue the grass on as a finishing touch.

Voila!! A work of art has been created! Allow to dry thoroughly and then frame.