Simple Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Simple homemade Christmas ornaments can bring the family together and make fantastic presents, all for very little money. Instead of picking up ornaments from the store, gather together the kids, pick up some craft items and get started.

Cinnamon-Scented "Cookie" Ornaments
Materials You Will Need:
1 cup cinnamon (or a 4-ounce tin)
1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground cloves
3 tablespoons white/classroom glue (you can also use the clear kind)
1 cup all-purpose flour
Rolling pin
Cookie cutters

Mix the dry ingredients first, either with a spoon or with your hands. Blend them thoroughly so it all looks uniform. Add the glue, and stir together until it's smooth like cookie dough.

Flour your work surface, cookie cutters and rolling pin. You can either roll all the dough out as one sheet, or separate it out into pieces to conserve space. When it is all rolled out, the dough should be approximately a ¼-inch thick.

Use your cookie cutters to cut out shapes, and make a small hole in the top to thread ribbon or a hook through to hang it on your tree. Set on wire baking racks to air dry and harden.

These ornaments will need to dry for up to one week before they will be cured enough to hang up, so make sure you leave enough time before the holidays.

Homemade Pinecone Ornaments
Materials You Will Need:
Pinecones to decorate
Pipe cleaners: brown, silver, gold or white
Gold and silver spray paint
Gold and silver glitter
Ribbon (your choice of color but it should coordinate)
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Scissors

(Caution: Spray paint should be used only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. This project requires adult supervision.)

Insert the pipe cleaners through the top and center of your pinecones. You can use them as handles while you paint them. Spray-paint the pinecones so they are evenly covered on all sides with one color paint, and then sprinkle glitter of the other color on top. Use the pipe cleaners to hang the pinecones up on a tree branch or on the porch so they can dry for a few hours or overnight.

Once they are dry, use your hot glue gun to attach your ribbon to the very top of the pinecones so you can hang them on your Christmas tree. Make sure to tie a big bow so it looks pretty.

Rudolph the Clothespin Reindeer
Materials You Will Need:
Brown acrylic paint
2 wooden clothespins
Wood glue
Small plastic doll eyes/googly eyes
Red button or small pompom
Pipe cleaners (red or white)

Use the brown paint to cover both clothespins. Once they are dry, use the wood glue to attach the head of both clothespins. One clothespin head should be stacked on top of the other, and the legs should face in opposite directions. Choose which end you want to use as your head and antlers, and which end you want to use for your legs.

Once you know which clothespin will represent the head, glue the eyes to the upper half of the middle "head" piece. Below and in between the eyes, give your Rudolph his glowing red nose with either a red button or pompom and a little more glue.

After all the glue has dried, thread your pipe cleaner around the middle of your Rudolph, and loop it around to hang it from your tree.

Christmas Rose Pomander
This sort of pomander will last forever, and you never need to worry about it drying correctly. This ornament is perfect for themed trees if you want a romantic effect.

Materials You Will Need:
10 inches of ribbon (your choice of color)
1 medium-size foam craft ball
25 to 50 small or medium silk craft roses with wire stems (matching color of the ribbon)
1 clear or matching color thumbtack
White craft glue

Pin your ribbon to the top of the craft ball in a loop with your thumbtack. This is what you will hang your pomander from. Cut the wire stems of your roses down to less than ½ inch so they don't bend and break when you stick them in the foam ball.

One by one, stick your roses into the ball as close as you can get them to one another, painting each spot with craft glue before sticking them in and holding them firmly for 10 seconds. You'll want your rows of roses to be straight around for the most part, but as long as all of the foam is covered it's up to you to make it unique.

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Decorate your Christmas tree with homemade Christmas ornaments just like your great grandparents did. While a commercially decorated tree does look lovely, there's something special and personal about homemade Christmas ornaments hanging from the evergreen branches. Homemade Christmas ornaments also make lovely gifts for friends, teachers, neighbors and family members.

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