diy projects, handmade holiday, holidays

DIY: Handmade Ornaments

ornaments_leadWhile I do enjoy making ornaments for my own tree, there’s something extra special about making ornaments for someone else’s tree.  Personalizing ornaments doesn’t just have to mean you put someone’s name on it.  I take inspiration from the people I’m making the ornaments for – whether it’s their personal style, decor taste, or even their home’s holiday color palette – and then personalize their ornament from that.

Since I feel I’m not the only one with limited crafting time and budget around the holidays, I’ve included 5 DIY ornament ideas below that are all very quick and easy to make, and best of all – cost close to nothing to create!  Plus, the below ideas shouldn’t require a trip to the craft store, as they call for items you most likely will have around your house, including nail polish, epsom salts, stickers, paint and glitter. Click “Continue Reading” for the simple ornament tutorials.

diy ornaments

All of the below ornaments (except one) were made from clear glass balls, which can be purchased almost anywhere.  I’ve included the materials needed for each ornament in the corresponding texts below.  

1. Nail Polish


How beautiful are these?  I just love the way that the nail polish creates a muted metallic color.  And when hung on the tree, the colors look so incredibly beautiful against the lights! To make these I used: 2 nail polish colors (flat silver and shiny gold), a clear top coat polish, a plastic bag, silver tissue paper, a hole punch, and the Avery reinforcement labels (pictured below).

Note: For a lot of these ornament ideas I used a clear gloss top coat spray, but for the nail polish ornaments I was aiming for the  flat muted color, so did not use a gloss on these. 

For the gold ball, pour some polish on a crinkled plastic bag (pictured below) and rub the bag together to move the polish around. The more crinkled the bag is, the better!


Apply paint to the glass ball by gently stamping the ball with the plastic bag to get the gold leaf look. Let dry and you’re all set!np3

Next, follow the same step above with the silver color. Once dry, use a hole punch to cut out some holes from your silver tissue paper.  Apply  a small drop of the clear polish to the back of each paper hole and sporadically apply to the ball to create a polka dot pattern.

If you want a polka dot pattern on a clear ball, use Avery labels (pictured below) to achieve perfect mini dots.  Randomly place the labels around your ball and then apply polish to the center of each one.  Let polish dry and then remove the labels to discover your perfectly round dots.  And don’t worry if you accidentally get polish somewhere on your ball it shouldn’t be. Nail polish remover can be used to spot treat any mess-ups!

polishhint2 np2

2. Epsom Salts


Another ornament material that looks beautiful next to the lights on the tree is epsom salt.  To make these you will need: epsom salts, craft glue (i.e. Mod Podge) and a clear gloss top coat spray like this one.

Note: If you don’t have epsom salts, you could also use sea salt for these.

To make these, I poured glue into a bowl and dipped my first ornament (the middle one above) in it. Then I dipped it into a second bowl I had filled with epsom salts. As you’ll see it came out a bit thick, so for the next ornament (the right one above) I used a paint brush to apply a thin layer of glue around the ball and then dipped it into the salt bowl. For the other ornament I used the brush to apply glue in a random criss-cross pattern on the ball and then sprinkled on the salt.

For each of these, let them dry and then spray with the clear gloss top coat three times (allowing dry time in between each coat).  I made another craft with epsom salt a couple weeks ago and didn’t spray it with the gloss which eventually resulted in salt everywhere.  Three coats of the gloss will safely secure your salt to the ball!


3. Stickers (+ Paint)

stickers ornament

Now if you want to personalize with a family name, the year, or just a simple holiday greeting, this ornament is for you!  For this ornament you’ll need: spray paint (any color) and some alphabet stickers to use as stencils. As you’ll see, I also used a white spray paint to paint the top of the ornament.

Once you choose what you want your ball to say, place the letters down on the glass ball and apply pressure to ensure they’re stuck on. Remove the top to the ornament, and apply 2 coats of paint to your ball (allowing dry time in between). Set aside to dry for one hour. While you’re waiting, apply a coat of paint to the ornament top.  Once the ball is all dry, peel off your sticker letters.  Use a knife or toothpick to chip off any unwanted paint that may have run under the letters.  If you are looking for a shiny look, use 1 coat of the gloss spray to finish.

4. Paint


Oooh I love these ones so much! I can’t pick a favorite of this DIY ornament post, but these are definitely a contender. For these you will need silver spray paint and a metallic craft paint (I recommend Martha Stewart’s).  For the silver, I wanted a vintage-esque silver color, so I swirled my paint, but you can apply lightly to achieve an even look.  To start, remove the top and position your finger (or a brush/dowel/hanger/etc) inside the ball.  Spray a heavy coat of paint on your ball, then spin the ball to get the paint to swirl a bit.  Set aside to dry. silver paint

For the metallic ball, I poured a bit of paint inside the ball, added a couple drops of water, and gave it a spin.  Once all of the ball’s interior is coated, pour out the excess paint. The metallic under the glass is such an amazing hue, just look at this pretty little guy below!metallic paint

5. Glitter

glitter ornament

For the ornament on the left you’ll see I used a white ball as my base.  If you like this look, just spray one of your clear ornaments with white paint first.  For these ornaments you will need: glitter, craft glue (i.e. Mod Podge), paint brush, clear gloss top coat spray, and the Avery labels I used for the polish ornaments (example #1).

For glitter polka dots use the Avery labels, following the same process as I noted for the polish, but instead of applying polish, apply a light layer of glue and then some glitter. Let dry, remove the labels, and you’re all set!

For the very glittery ball, use your craft glue and a paint brush to apply a light layer of glue around the ball and then pour on the glitter! Let dry, shake off the excess glitter, and then spray with 2 coats of the gloss spray to finish. Love the way this one sparkles on the tree!

And that’s it for my DIY ornaments! Happy handmade holidays!!