Make This! Make Christmas memories with original keepsake ornaments
by Deirdre Long
Dec 02, 2012 | 8828 views |  0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo: Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star
Photo: Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star
Decorating the Christmas tree is such a memorable time in my life. Growing up, the five of us kids were forced to hang out with each other while our parents watched. Half of us would get bored halfway through and wander off to play video games or read books.

It really was a fun time, though, and seemed to mark the beginning of the Christmas season.

My parents’ tree wasn’t one of the stylized ones that seem so popular now. There was no color coordination — the ornaments were all old, except for one or two new ones we’d occasionally get as gifts. Many of them were homemade. Very few of them were glass — there was a toddler in my parents’ house for more than 10 years straight, so glass just didn’t cut it.

We strung popcorn for many years, too. I loved the mish-mash look of that tree.

Now, with two toddlers of my own, I’ve come to know the beauty of the handmade ornament.

While the salt dough and felt mouse ornaments that every kindergartener brings home are cute, handmade ornaments don’t have to look so childish. I found a ton of beautiful ones on Pinterest that can be made in just a few minutes.

A digression: If you don’t know what Pinterest is, you should definitely check it out. lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the Web. So you’re surfing along the Web, and you come across this recipe that you have to try. You “pin” an image from the Web page to one of your boards, say, your recipe board. Next time you’re looking for something to make for dinner, you open the recipe board and that recipe (and any others you’ve pinned) are there in photos, with a link back to the original site. Pinterest is a DIYers best friend, and worst enemy — you’ll spend so much time on there finding ideas for new projects.

Now, peel yourself away from Pinterest and start your Christmas season by making some of these handmade ornaments.

You can find all these and more on my Keepsake Ornament Pinterest board (

Mini Christmas tree paper ornaments

Cut layers of paper in the shape of a Christmas tree, staple in the middle and fluff. I used a folded sports section of The Star for the paper and colored the edges of mine with green marker, then dabbed the edges with glue and added glitter. From (A tree template is available on the website.)

Christmas list ornament

This is my favorite of all my handmade ornaments. Take a wooden thread spool (Hobby Lobby should carry them), and paint it red, green or whatever color you wish.

My spools came from a sewing cabinet that belonged to my grandmother, which makes these ornaments even more special.

Measure the width of the inside of the spool. Cut a piece of cardstock the same width, about 10 inches long. Tape one end of the cardstock to the spool and wrap the remainder around, securing with a rubber band for a while to help the paper shape to the spool.

Unwrap the paper and write your kids’ Christmas list for that year on it. Label with their names and the year. String a ribbon through the spool to hang. From

Personalized glass ornaments

1. Clear glass ornaments can be made into the prettiest handmade gifts. They can typically be purchased at crafting stores. You can partially fill them with glitter, then paint the date and a name or monogram on the outside in a matching color. From

2. You can also make glitter ornaments by pouring a little bit of Pledge Floor Finish with Future (found in the cleaning section) into the ornament. Pour the excess liquid back into the container. Then funnel in some extra fine glitter and swirl it around until all the glass is coated. Let dry and the ornament is ready to hang. From

3. For the ultimate personalized ornament, print a photo on some transparency paper, sized a bit larger than the diameter of the ornament. Cut the photo out in a circle, roll it up and put it inside the ornament.

It will unroll, and you then have a beautiful photo ornament. This is a great gift idea for grandparents! From

Show us your keepsake ornaments

Tell us about the ornaments that mean something to you and your family! We’ll share them in an upcoming edition of the Sunday Life & Arts section. Send photos, along with the stories of your ornaments, to “Keepsake Ornaments,” Anniston Star, Features Editor Lisa Davis, Box 189, Anniston, AL 36202. Or email to (Please put “Keepsake ornaments” in the subject line.)
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