8 DIY Christmas Ornaments to Make With Kids

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“Deck the halls” because the holiday season is here! Nothing like boughs of holly, a dressed-up Christmas tree, and a dazzling parol to set a festive mood. For many Filipinos, sprucing up the home for the Yuletide is a family activity. Some start hanging their Christmas ornaments as early as the first day of September, while others wait until after All Saints’ Day. But even if you start decorating just a few days before Noche Buena, what matters is the bond you’ll form.

And you don’t even need to spend a lot to make this happen! Creating décor using inexpensive household items is something your kids will cherish for years. Take your pick from these easy-peasy DIY ideas and start crafting with your little elves. 

1. Popcorn Garlands

Popcorn strings with red cranberries next to fir leaves on a dark brown table

Did you know that popcorn and cranberry garlands are an American Christmas tradition? The finished strands become trimmings for Christmas trees, wreaths, or other festive greenery. You can recreate this simple décor by air-popping some unseasoned popcorn. String cooked kernels through a thin thread using a needle, alternating with dried fruits for color. Finish your masterpiece with a quick coat of varnish to avoid attracting pests.

2. Recycled Bottle Snow Globes

Four DIY snow globes on a table with pine cones and fairy lights in the background

A cute way to bring life to recycled jars is to turn them into snow globes. And unlike the original, your version will be mess-free because you won’t need to fill them with water. Start with a clean and dry Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise bottle. Take hot glue and help the kiddos adhere miniature trees, snowmen, reindeer, or pine cones to the lid. Make snow out of glitter or shredded foil wrappers. Screw the covers back on, shake, and let it snow!

3. Dried Citrus Ornaments

A thick garland decorated with pine cones and dried orange slices

Are you looking for a simple way to utilize extra oranges before they go bad? Turn them into dried citrus rounds that can make your house smell fantastic! Clean the fruits, then let them dry before cutting them into ¼-inch-thick slices. Arrange pieces on a metal cooking rack and bake at 175°F (80°C) for three to four hours. Once cool, let the kids string the oranges with twine and hang them as ornaments.

4. Pasta Christmas Trees

Three mini Christmas trees made of dry pasta on a white countertop

Noodles aren't just for making a creamy macaroni salad. Use extras to build miniature Christmas trees. It’s as simple as gluing uncooked shells to cone-shaped cardboard pieces. Ask your tykes to brush acrylic paint on them so they last throughout the season. Top with a star or a bow tie to complete the look. Or, you can give them a winter wonderland finish with a sprinkling of glitter. Dry completely before arranging on counters and tabletops.

5. Cinnamon Stick Candles

A white candle wrapped with cinnamon sticks next to a red apple and star anise on a wooden tabletop

Liven up boring pillar candles by wrapping them in a festive scent. Children can make this no-glue craft in minutes. To do this, grab cinnamon sticks from your pantry and arrange them around each cylinder. Hold them in place with a rubber band before securing them with ribbons or twine. Reward a job well done by serving your bulilits one of these yummy and creative sandwich ideas.

6. Cardboard Christmas Village

Minimalist white cardboard houses with fairy lights on a white surface

Fancy ceramic Christmas villages are charming but fetch a hefty price tag. Achieve the same vibe on a budget with a DIY version. This project is a terrific addition to your list of family bonding activities for the holidays. Gather empty boxes and assign each child a house to decorate. Help them cut holes for windows or doors, then draw or paint the other elements. You can also insert battery-operated candles or fairy lights to set the mood. Inject fun into the project by including the kids' favorite toys to complete the scene.

7. Tinfoil Decor 

Christmas tree decorated with foil flower ornaments and a sheer white sash

Don’t throw away those foil wrappers! Teach kids about conversion by transforming tinfoil into shiny DIY Christmas tree decorations. Because you’re working with a pliable material, you’ll get to cut, fold, and shape with ease. Just be wary of sharp edges – make your toddlers wear gloves to protect their tiny fingers. Alternatively, let them trace out stars, snowflakes, or flowers, then take charge of cutting. Poke a paper clip through one corner for easy hanging.

8. Mason Jar Lanterns

Two Mason jars with colorful fairy lights and a candy cane surrounded with green garland

Turn Mason jars and glasses into temporary decorative lanterns. Fill them with rechargeable fairy lights, candy canes, bows, and other spare ornaments. Place some underneath the tree or use them as your child’s holiday night light. When the season is over, disassemble and use vessels as intended.

Collect core memories with the family by creating Christmas ornaments throughout the season. Enjoy these bonding moments while snacking on treats you can prep while the kids are busy with their crafts. Isn’t that what the holidays are for? “'Tis the season to be jolly! La-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!” 

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