How To: Make Quick & Cute Christmas Ornaments

We have our first tree in our new home this year, and we had no ornaments with which to trim it. With a limited budget, I didn't like the cheap looking options that are available to me, so I took matters into my own hands.

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In the unfinished wood section of my local Hobby Lobby, my local craft store of choice, they have everything you'll need for this project, and it's all very inexpensive! They offer many different shapes and sizes of unfinished wood shapes, of which the circles seemed perfect for ornaments. I also LOVED the little people, so I grabbed them as well! The craft paints, in which they offer every color you can imagine, are also super cheap at about a dollar a bottle. Here's exactly what you'll need:


  1. Wooden shapes

  2. Your favorite colors of acrylic craft paint

  3. At least one paintbrush (they sell great multi-packs for variety)

  4. Eye hooks

  5. Ornament hooks

  6. Paint palette or piece of cardboard

  7. Pencil

  8. Can of spray polyurethane (optional)


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The first step is to select a few designs that you like! I have been obsessed with geometric designs in deep fall colors highlighted with florescent accents. I wasn't concerned with sticking to a traditional holiday color scheme or designs---since they'll be on a tree, they'll be seasonal enough already! Just sketch out your designs lightly on the wood shapes.

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Next step? Paint away! I used a small brush the entire time to ensure crisper detail. I like the look of hand-painted things, but if you want the cleanest line possible auto-detailing tape can help you with that. For me, it was about free-handing it and having fun. With these paints, you'll often need to use multiple coats of paint. A helpful hint with the florescent colors is to add just a pinch of white paint to make it more opaque--many of the bright colors are quite transparent.

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Another bit of advice for a beautiful outcome is to paint the edges. It makes the ornaments a bit more polished. Once you're done painting, there is the optional step to polyurethane the pieces for a more lasting finish. I am impatient and didn't want to wait the recommended 24 hours for the coat of laquer to set, so I skipped this step. I may do it before packing the ornaments away for the season.

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The final step is to screw in an eye hook at the top of the ornament and attach an ornament hook or a piece of ribbon, or butcher twine, or yarn... The eye hooks are a little frustrating, but with a steady hand and a pair of pliers for grip, they'll go in with a bit of effort!

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So, paint away! Invite your friends over for an ornament making-party! And see how cute they look on your tree or wreath this year!

Images: Jessica Tata

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