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Cute Cheap or Free Christmas Ornaments You Can Make Yourself

Ideas for Creative DIY Decorations for the Holidays, Even on a Tiny Budget

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Take ordinary objects and turn them into customized Christmas tree decorations, like these ideas from your Guide to Interior Decorating.
  • Colored Glass Balls
    Embellish standard colored holiday balls with a variety of special touches. For example, spray ornaments with glitter paints or frosty coatings, glue on glitter or craft store jewels, attach braids or ribbons, or use stickers, craft paints, or ribbons to add personality.

  • Snowflake Tree
    Remember the folded paper snowflakes you made in elementary school? Revisit the past and create these simple, yet sweet, decorations with your kids. Make them large, medium, and small, and then iron flat. Leave them pristine white or embellish with clear or silver glitter. On your tree, add some cotton batting to the branches for a snowy effect.

  • Glittered
    Use paint brushes to paint glue onto the ornament in a pattern or the letters of a name, then sprinkle with ultra-fine glitter. Let dry completely before using. Or, dot glue onto an ornament with a round pencil eraser and add glitter for a dotted look.

  • Romantic Tree
    Do you have a collection of grandma�€™s doilies or lace hankies sitting unused in a box somewhere? Dig them out and make little sachet-style ornaments. Simply fill the centers with a handful of batting and tie up gently with little satin ribbons that can loop over tree branches. Next, look in the bargain bin at the fabric store for bolts of lace edging that might be used as a tree garland or tied around packages. Finally, underscore the romantic theme with craft store wooden hearts that can be painted red and attached to the tree with velvet ribbon bows.

  • Anyone for Tea Tree
    Get out an unused silver or china tea set and attach the cups to their saucers using dabs of tacky wax or white floral clay. A ribbon or a wire through the teacup handle will allow you to hang the cups on a Christmas tree. Next, nestle and hang silver creamers or sugar bowls, tongs, spoons, or even teapots into sturdy branches. Finish up by hanging pretty tea bags still in their colorful wrappers.

  • Peppermint Candy Tree
    Warehouse stores make it easy (and cheap) to buy candy in bulk. Create a peppermint tree extravaganza using candy canes as ornaments and gluing together the cellophane wrappers (end-to-end) of wrapped peppermint balls for a unique garland. Flat wooden shapes can also be used as a backing for hot-glued candy decorations such as red hots, peppermint sticks, or mint disks. Keep these longer by spraying them with a clear sealer so humidity won�€™t affect the candy.

  • Origami
    Fold origami shapes for your tree and hang with loops of thin gold cording. Choose paper colors and shapes in a theme, or go wild and make each one unique. Or, try making larger and smaller versions of the same fold for a harmonious overall look.

  • Toy Trees
    Tiny toys look wonderful on a Christmas tree. Mix them up using an assortment of toys from your own kids, from garage sales, or thrift stores. For a collected look, go with one theme such as dolls, bears, or trucks. Wire heavier items to the sturdiest branches, then hang lightweight items by colorful ribbons or raffia loops. Not enough to cover the tree? Fill in with plain glass balls, garlands, or bows. This is also a fun idea for a small tree in a child's room.

Read on for more ideas for DIY Christmas ornaments.

All About Christmas Decorating Themes

~ Coral Nafie

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