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20+ Christmas Ornament Ideas for the Holiday Season

Christmas trees are one of the most special symbols of the joy that the Holidays bring to people’s homes. Every year, families across the world take time to decorate their Christmas tree whether it’s real, artificial, or simply a special spot in the home to decorate for the holidays. And each year comes with the opportunity for new ornaments to help you mark the special moments of your year. So if you’re looking for the perfect ornament ideas to help you kick off your Christmas season, we’re here to help. Check out our Christmas ornament ideas, complete guide, and additional resources below to get started.

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How To Make Christmas Tree Ornaments

Whether you’re making handmade ornaments to bring to a holiday exchange party or building holiday memories with your kids, we want to help you with a simple and fun tutorial. Follow the steps below to get started:

  • Pick out your favorite family photos from the last year. These can include anything from family portraits, photos from vacation, or a silly selfie of you and the kids. Anything that sums up the joy and memories you’ve built over the last year will make a perfect choice.
  • Decide on a material and design for your ornament. For a list of options, make sure to visit our collection of Christmas ornaments.
  • Upload your photos. Make sure that your upload file is of high resolution to avoid quality issues from the printing. You may also edit your photos from within the Shutterfly platform.
  • Place your photos in your chosen design. You can also add a special message to designs that have space for text to help commemorate a special event.
  • Review your ornament. Take time to review your project for any mistakes or clarity issues.
  • Order away! And enjoy your holidays with a brand new ornament to help you celebrate what matters this Christmas season.

Homemade Ornament Ideas

These ornaments aren’t just DIY, they’re also guaranteed to shine on anyone’s Christmas tree. Whether you’re looking for colorful paint ideas or unique materials for your DIY ornament ideas, you’re sure to find the perfect inspiration below or by visiting our resource on DIY Christmas ornament ideas.

1. Confetti & Photo

Christmas card ornaments from Shutterfly.

This cute and customizable Christmas ornament idea will help you bring your favorite photos from the last year to life. Use your Christmas card;’s family portrait or a sweet photo of a new family member to ensure this ornament idea stands out from the rest.

2. Sweet Treat Ornaments

Christmas gingerbread cookies on wood background.

Sometimes the best ornaments look as sweet as they taste. Consider using gingerbread, candy canes, or dried fruit to create seasonal decorations this Christmas. Just make sure that these edible ornaments are covered with a protective spray to ward off unwanted bugs and critters.

3. Christmas Snowglobe

Clear Ball Ornament with christmas tree, small gift and christmas light inside.

Create a mini wonderland for an ornament idea that’s guaranteed to stand apart from the rest. This is a great project is you’re feeling especially crafty. Fill a clear bauble with fake snow or cotton, a miniature tree, Santa figurine, or snowman, and small lights or tinsel.

4. Ceramic Photo Ornament

Two ceramic ornaments from Shutterfly.

These ceramic Christmas ornaments are as cute as they are easy to make. Simply upload a favorite photo from the recent year and pick a design to make this Christmas idea come to life.

5. Felt Spruce Christmas Tree

Making handmade craft Christmas ornaments and balls with felt spruce tree. background

Use a cut out of green felt to create a symbolic spruce tree, then glue this to a twine or twig covered Christmas bauble.  This cute homemade Christmas idea also doubles as a great family holiday craft.

6. Wooden Cut-Out

Christmas wooden decorations, angel in hand on light background.

Trace a thing block of wood with a pencil in the shape of a favorite Christmas element, then use a woodcutter to cut off excess material. You can either leave the ornament as is or use acrylic paint to add a pop off-color.

Christmas Ornament Ideas For Kids

Christmas is an exciting time for everyone, but especially for the children. Help bring a little extra holiday magic to their lives with these incredible Christmas ornament ideas for kids.

7. Salt Dough Ornaments

Hand painted Christmas salt dough ornaments on festive wood table.

Salt dough makes for a classic Christmas ornament craft for a reason. This easy to make, fun to paint ornament idea uses only a few ornaments, and it’s a great way to get the kids involved for the Holidays. Just make sure that the salt-dough isn’t too heavy for the branches on the tree.

8. Snowflake Paper Ornaments

Children's hands cut out on a white background blue and red snowflakes from paper.

While paper snowflakes aren’t a traditional Christmas ornament idea, they are a great addition to the Christmas trees of families with young children. Teach the kids how to use scissors safely to cut special patterns in colorful paper to create unique snowflakes. You can then hang these directly on the tree to display all season long.

9. Painting Pre-cut Ornaments

Christmas decor made by painting ornaments.

Using acrylic paint and pre-purchases or previously cut wooden ornaments, create a special crafting station for the kids. Let them paint their most creative designs on the wooden ornaments for a fun and festive activity. The finished products will also double as great gift ideas for the kids’ friends or family members.

10. Painted Baubles

Boy showing self-painted Christmas ball to his Dad.

Similar to the wooden ornament craft, this idea requires the set up of a mess friendly paint station. Make sure the kids know to be extra careful with these delicate ornamental baubles so that no one gets cut during their fun holiday activity.

11. Mom and Dad Star Ornament

hand painted Christmas star ornaments for mom and dad on festive tree.

These painted salt dough ornaments are the perfect gift idea for the holidays that kids will have lots of fun creating. Show them how to mix, carve, and bake the salt dough and provide acrylic paint to decorate the finished product.

12. Popsicle Stick Tree Ornaments

Homemade Christmas tree ornament made with ice cream sticks and buttons.

This Christmas craft only calls for a few simple materials: popsicle sticks, glue, paint, buttons or pom poms, and string. Set up a mess friendly station for the little ones and show them how they can fit the sticks together to create the shape of a Christmas tree. Then let them decorate to their heart’s content.

DIY Christmas Ornaments As Gifts

Thinking of gifting an ornament or set of ornaments to loved ones this year? If so, you’ve picked a perfect holiday gift, and we’ve discovered a few ideas to help make your present stand out. Just make sure to include your family Holiday card with the gift!

13. Glass Photo Ornament

Photo on glass ornaments.

These custom glass ornaments look beautifully crafted and double as the perfect gifts for the Holiday season. Just be prepared to make more than one, as you’ll likely want to keep one for yourself.

14. Twig Christmas Ornaments

Christmas tree with eco friendly decorations, ornaments and gifts on an old wood background.

These twig ball ornaments can be created by soaking long flexible wood strands overnight and then tying and gluing the pieces together. These natural and delicate ornaments can then be coasted with glitter or left as is before gifting.

15. Mini Christmas Trees

Girl in a cozy knit sweater creates a Christmas tree made of wooden shelves on a white wooden desk.

Simple, delicate, and adorable– this ornament idea has it all.  Using small popsicle sticks as a base, glue twigs and beads one at a time to represent the tree’s branches. Then gift a set to friends or family to use on their own Christmas tree.

16. Jeweled Photo Ornament

 

A photo ornament from Shutterfly.

This jeweled Christmas ornament doesn’t just look beautiful– it’s also guaranteed to last as a reminder of a wonderful year and holiday season. Use a family photo to customize the ornament and gift the finished product to your family members.

17. Reindeer Ornament

Christmas, Christmas Ornament, Reindeer, Christmas Tree, Decoration.

Reindeer ornaments are a traditional tree decoration perfect for any friend or family gift idea. Consider adding a decorative bow, beads, or additional decorations for a special handmade touch.

18. Wooden Photo Ornament

Two wooden photo ornaments from Shutterfly.

These wooden ornaments help add a rustic look and feel to anyone’s Christmas tree, and their durability makes them an excellent Christmas gift. Just make sure to personalize the ornament with a special photo and holiday message before ordering.

19. Bell Tree Ornaments

Christmas holiday rustic bell, natural fiber baubles, and decorations on old white wood background.

Tie a special holiday ribbon to a large Christmas bell for an ornament idea that looks handmade and heartfelt. This traditional gift can also be paired with another gift as part of the wrapping.

Ornament Exchange Ideas

If ornament exchanges with friends or family are a common tradition in your holiday season, we’ve found a few ideas just for you. From matching ornament sets to beautiful DIY creations, you’re guaranteed to find inspiration below. 

20. Custom Metal Ornaments

A set of festive metal ornaments for Christmas.

These metal ornaments are lightweight, easily customizable, and the perfect idea for any gift exchange party. With plenty of room for photos, friends and family can have lots of fun filling the design with their favorite moments from the past year.

21. Sequins for the Christmas Tree

Making Christmas ornaments by pinning the sequins onto the ball.

Looking to add a pop of color to your giftee’s Christmas tree? This unique DIY Christmas ornament idea will do just the trick. Simply use small pins or glue to stick individual sequins onto a styrofoam ball to create a lightweight ornament.

22. Stuffed Felt Fir Trees

Handmade Christmas felt ornaments on a DIY background.

Using a sewing machine or needle and thread, sew scraps of tree-shaped felt together with a small amount of stuffing or cotton inside. This cute Christmas ornament exchange idea also doubles as a fun festive craft with the family.

23. Personalized Light-Up Ornaments

Two versions of Shutterfly's light up ornaments.

These ornaments don’t just let you include fun photos and Christmas messages– they also light up. So whether you’re looking for an ornament to exchange or gift, you’ll probably have a hard time giving this finished product away.

24. Wooden Snowflake Ornaments

Christmas tree with homemade ornaments.

Using small wood cutting from a tree, carve or paint a unique snowflake design to create a rustic ornament that stands apart from the rest. The recipient is guaranteed to love it. Also, this idea pairs especially well with other natural tree decorations, like painted pinecones.

25. Twine Christmas Stars

Woman creates a woolen star for her Christmas tree.

Use wool, twine, or yarn to wrap around star-shaped cardboard cut out for a lightweight ornament that fits perfectly on any tree. Consider adding Christmas ribbon or color paint if you’re looking to make these yarn ornaments stand out even more.

Christmas Ornament Storage Ideas

Once it’s time to put away all your beautiful Christmas ornaments, you’ll want to take care that they’re stored safely. That’s why we’ve made a list of our top ways to store ornaments that guarantees they’ll make it to next year’s Holiday season. They include:

  • Cups superglued to a plastic bin. This unique idea helps keep ornaments safe and clearly organized. Simply hot glue plastic or paper cups to the bottom of a plastic bin on cardboard and then fill the cups with your ornaments.
  • Keep beads or lights in plastic bottles. Keeping your tree’s more easily tangled decorations in sealable plastic bottles will ensure they won’t get mixed up and unorganized with the rest of your decorations.
  • Cut felt scraps. Felt helps protect your more delicate ornaments from breaking. Cut felt to cover the ornaments and place them around them when you store them in your usual containers.
  • Make use of Christmas present wrapping leftovers. Have a lot of used tissue paper and wrapping? Use it as protective wrapping when putting away your ornaments. 
  • Use drive-through coffee holders or apple holders. These round holders make natural containers for ornaments and you’re likely to naturally pice them up during a coffee or grocery run.
  • Repurpose egg cartons. Similar to apple holders, these cartons are natural shaped and well suited for ornaments.
  • DIY Cardboard dividers. Cut halfway down a slap of cardboard a few inches apart to fit additional cardboard pieces on the top. By doing this at 90-degree angles, you’ll make a DIY ornament divider shaped in a grid-like organization.
  • Organize by color. To make things easier for the next holiday season, try to keep ornaments organized by color and/or type.

Resources Related to Ornament Ideas

If you liked this resource on homemade Christmas ornaments, and you’re looking for more inspiration, we have you covered. Make sure to visit our related resources below: