lemonade learning Easy Ornaments 
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Beaded Star Ornaments


Pipecleaner Snowflakes
Beaded Pipecleaner Tree
Cinnamon Applesauce Dough
Baker's Clay
(Simple Salt Dough)
Ornaments

Melted Crayon
Glass Ornaments

Paper Strip Ornament
Craft Stick Star/Snowflake
Craft Stick Sled
Ornaments

Pinecone
Bird Feeder

Cookie Cutter Clay Ornaments
Cookie Cutter Paper Ornaments
Cookie Cutter Felted Ornaments
Cookie Cutter Wire Ornaments
Clay Pot Bells
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Warning: Although these projects are intended to be made by children, some may require the use of a stove, microwave, sewing machine or other equipment or materials that might require help. Please check with an adult before starting any project you find on this site.

Beaded Star Ornaments

beaded snowflake ornament

Materials:
plastic and/or wooden beads of various shapes, sizes and colours
white, silver or iridescent pipecleaners (aka chenille stems) for younger children, or thin craft wire for older kids
wire cutters
dark thread and needle, fishing line or length of ribbon (for hanging)

Cut three equal lengths of pipecleaner or wire (4-6" lengths work well). Thread one bead onto each pipecleaner. Push the tip of the pipecleaner back through a small ways. This forms one end. Push more beads on until you are about 1/2" from the middle, then reverse the pattern until you reach about 1" from the end. Push that end part way back into the last bead. Continue with all three pipecleaners. Once these are finished, twist all three together at the mid point. Thread about 4" of fishing line, thread or ribbon through one of the end loops of pipecleaner and tie off to form your hanger.



Pipecleaner Snowflake Ornaments

pipecleaner snowflake ornament

Materials:
white, silver or iridescent pipecleaners (aka chenille stems), 12" or 30 cm long; 2 1/2 per ornament
wire cutters
dark thread and needle or fishing line (for hanging)

Cut two of the pipecleaners into three equal lengths so you have six equal sections.
Form one section into a circle and overlap the ends by 1.5 cm (3/4"). Twist those ends together and pull them out straght from the circle (to make a very fat lollipop shape with a very short stick).

Pull the end of the circle opposite the twist out so that it forms a point and the circle becomes elongated. Measure 1 cm down from the point and twist from the point so that you now have a figure 8 where the circle was, with the top section of the 8 much smaller than the bottom. You may need to use a pencil to open up the smaller hole so it forms a circle. Repeat with the other five sections.

Use the "stick" ends of each section to twist each section to the next, and press any ends that are poking out into the centre.
Clip 6 3 cm (1 1/1/4") sections from the third pipecleaner. Centre and twist each one around a middle section of the figure 8's.
Thread about 4" of fishing line, thread or ribbon through one of the end loops of pipecleaner and tie off to form your hanger.



Pipecleaner Christmas Tree Ornaments

beaded Christmas tree

Materials:
one green or white pipecleaner (chenille stem)
assorted colours of small pony beads or other beads
sequin or bead star
adult weilding a glue gun
dark thread, ribbon or fishing line (for hanging)

Thread your choice of beads onto the pipecleaner, leaving a small space between beads.
Once the length is beaded, form the pipecleaner into a zigzag that starts out very narrow and gets wider at each turn (see picture). Thread about 4" of fishing line, thread or ribbon through one of the end loops of pipecleaner and tie off to form your hanger. Glue star to the top.



Cinnamon Applesauce Dough

Ingredients:
1 cup applesauce
1 cup powdered cinnamon (or variation)
Variation: Use 1/2-3/4 cup cinnamon and add flour and if you wish, ground nutmeg, cloves or allspice to make up the difference so that your powder portion is equal to your applesauce portion

Mix dry ingredients well; add applesauce and stir well then knead, adding more dry ingredients if necessary. Form into desired shapes and air dry overnight. The dough will shrink a fair bit, so be sure to form your shapes about double the size you would like them to be once dry. Try making a flat sheet out of any leftover dough and break it into pieces for potpourri when it is dry.



Baker's Clay (Simple Salt Dough)

Baker's clay is a great non-toxic alternative to polymer clay for the younger set. It has the added bonus of being cheap and made from ingredients most people have on hand. The one thing to remember is that you will need to keep the pieces thin enough so that they do not crack as they bake. If you wish to work in 3-d, make a cone-shaped hollow in the bottom (or top) of your figure to minimize this risk.

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
3/4 cups salt
~1 cup of water
optional: food colouring or acrylic paints

Combine salt and water (and food colouring if desired) until salt is dissolved, then add to the flour slowly, stirring in and then kneading until well combined and at desired consistency.

Method 1: Bake and Paint

salt dough ornaments


Form into shapes, being careful to seal overlapping pieces well with water. If you want to hang them, use a skewer or plastic straw to make a hole in the top. Bake at 275 F for 45-60 minutes. Cooled pieces can be painted with acrylic paints.

We use this to make Christmas tree ornaments each year. The ones above were formed using cookie cutters, and a toothpick to make a hole for hanging, or insert a bent paperclip into the top to make a hanger. You can also make 3-d shapes, but be sure to add a hollow or they may form a crack as they bake (as the snowmen below did).

To make a photo holder,
coil one end of a length of craft wire, and insert the straight end into the top of the shape before baking. A little crazy glue or hot glue can keep the wire from wiggling if it should loosen.

To make a keepsake ornament, roll the dough into a large ball and flatten very slightly. Have the child press a bare hand or foot into the clay. Make a hole in the top for hanging and bake. Paint the print, then with a contrasting colour paint the edges and back of the ornament. Once the paint is dry, use a fine brush to paint on the date and name of the child. Once dry, coat with clear acrylic varnish.


Method 2: Tint and Bake

baker's clay ornaments


Blend dough ingredients until smooth (hand kneading works best). Divide the dough into separate bowls for tinting. Use food colouring (either liquid or paste) to tint the dough. You will need quite a bit of colouring. I suggest wearing plastic or latex gloves to hand knead the colour into the dough. Create your pieces, and use a toothpick to make a hole for hanging, or insert a bent paperclip into the top to make a hanger. Bake as above. Coat with acrylic varnish if desired.

Tip: If you make shapes thicker than your index finger, make a hole in the middle to keep the pieces from cracking when they're baked.



Melted Crayon Glass Ball Ornaments

melted crayon glass ball ornaments

Materials:
    clear glass Christmas ball ornaments
    broken crayon pieces
    a glove or tongs
    hair dryer
    glitter

Remove the top from the ornament.
Arrange broken crayon pieces (shavings are too small and will melt too quickly) according to the colours you wish to use for each ornament.
Insert the crayon bits into the ornament.
Wearing a glove or using tongs to hold the ornament, heat the ornament with the hair dryer until the crayons begin to melt.
Continue heating while swirling the ornament in order to spread the melted wax as desired. Once you are happy withthe effect. turn of the dryer and let the ornament cool for a minute or so before re-ataching the top to the glass.



Simple Paper Strip Ornaments

paper strip ornament

For each ornament you will need:

    2 brass fasteners
    1 2 cm x 12 cm strip of paper
    2 2 cm x 14 cm strips of paper
    2 2 cm x 16 cm strips of paper
    Thread, ribbon or fishing line for hanging
    Optional: glitter glue

To make:
1. Decorate the strips if desired, using glitter glue.
2. Line up one end of each strips in the following order: 16 cm, 14 cm, 12 cm, 14 cm, 16 cm.
3. Using a single-hole hole punch, make a hole in the end that lines up. Fasten the strips together using a brass fastener in the hole you just made.
4. Line up the loose ends of the strips, hole punch and fasten with the other brass fastener.
5. Thread the hanger (ribbon, thread or fishing line) around one of the brass fasteners. If you have used ribbon, you may wish to tie a bow at the top of the ornament.



Craft Stick Star/Snowflake

Materials:

3 craft sticks (aka popsicle sticks)
white or school glue
Optional items for decorating:
    glitter glue
    sequins
    beads
    glitter
    tempera or acrylic paint
    artificial snow
Optional: adult weilding a drill with a 2mm/1/16" drill bit (to make a hole in the top for hanging)
10 cm of thin ribbon, yarn or similar for hanging

Arrange the sticks so that two form a squashed "x" shape. Glue them together in the centre. Add the third stick so that it crosses the other two vertically and glue it to the other two at the centre. Let the glue dry.

Decorate the star or snowflake as desired and let all glue and paint dry.

If you want a hole for hanging, have your adult drill one at the top of the ornament. Otherwise, you can tie your ribbon or yarn to the top and keep it in place with a dab of glue.



Craft Stick Sled

craft stick sled ornament

Materials:

6 craft sticks (aka popsicle sticks)
adult weilding a glue gun or white glue and a little more time
tin snips or other means of cutting sticks (adult job!)
drill and 2mm drill bit (or 1/16") *if using a power drill, have an adult make the holes
10 cm of thin ribbon, yarn or similar for hanging

Start with the top section. Have an adult cut one craft stick in half on a 45 degree angle. Now have them cut the ends off of another craft stick. On the craft stick with the ends cut off, make a mark about 2/3 the way down the stick and have the adult make another cut there. If you wish, you can cut the edges of the longer piece on an angle as we have done. This longer piece will be the steering board. Drill a hole at either end of the steering board.

sled ornamentTo glue together the top, take two uncut sticks and set them with long edges together. Place your first cut sticks (the ones that have a rounded edge) on either side and slightly forward as shown in the photo. Place the shortest of the other cut sticks about 1/4 of the way up from the rounded edges of the other placed sticks so that it crosses all the sticks. Glue this to all of the sticks. Place the steering stick about 1/5 of the way from the other end (with only two rounded sticks beneath it). Glue this in place.

To attach the runners, line up a stick edge-wise on top of the two glued sticks so that it is even with the longer uncut sticks. Glue in place and repeat on the other side.
Thread your ribbon or yarn through the holes and tie in place.



Pinecone Bird Feeder

Materials:

pinecones or other cones
natural peanut butter, sunflower seed butter or coconut oil
birdseed
large mixing bowl
cotton string or wool yarn

Combine equal parts peanut/seed butter or oil with birdseed and mix well using your hands. Adjust the amounts so that you get a sticky dough consistency. Use your hands to push the mixture deep into the recesses of the cone. Coat well, filling all of the gaps. When all of the cones you will be working with are filled and coated, clean your hands, then tie a length of string or yarn to the top of the cone for hanging. Hang this outdoors near a window so you can watch your feathered friends feast!


Cookie Cutter Clay Pottery Ornaments

easy clay pottery ornaments from cookie cutters

Materials:

regular or air-dry clay
cookie cutters of desired shapes (stars, snowmen, candy canes, stockings etc.)
roller, dowel, or smooth-sided can for rolling the clay
small drinking straw or toothpick for making a hanging hole
suitable glazes for kiln-dried clay, or acrylic paint
thin ribbon or yarn for hanging
optional: clear acrylic varnish for painted items

  1. Roll out your clay until it is about the thickness of your index finger (a little thinner if you are an adult with large hands).
  2. Choose your cookie cutters and press one into the clay as you would if making cookies. Repeat until you have no room for more shapes, then re-roll the leftover clay and make more as desired.
  3. Note: the clay will shrink by about 10% once it has dried or been fired.
  4. Be sure to make a hole in the top of each ornament for hanging, and make it a bit larger than you wish for your finished hole as there will be shrinkage as it dries.
  5. Let the ornaments dry according to the package instructions (up to 3 days).
  6. Fire the regular clay in a kiln. Do not fire air-dry clay.
  7. Glaze or paint as desired, then refire glazed pieces.
You can make painted pieces shinier by adding a coat of acrylic varnish over the paint. Do not fire or glaze air-dry clay.

For a keepsake ornament, use a round cutter (or a can also works well) to make a circle. Press your child's hand, foot or fingerprint in the centre. When you paint or glaze it, use a darker colour on that part to help it stand out. Be sure to mark the child's name and year on the ornament too!



More Cookie Cutter Ornaments

From Paper Mulch Dough:

Materials:

1 batch of paper mulch dough
assorted cookie cutters
string for hanging
a non-stick surface or a paper making screen to work on

Make up a batch of paper mulch dough. Try using seasonal colours, glitter, etc.
Place a cookie cutter on your screen or non--stick surface.
Tie your string into a loop. Take a handful of paper dough and squeeze out excess water, (but leave enough so it will still take the shape of the cookie cutter). Mould the douch around the string so that the knotted end is embedded in the dough. Press the dough into the cutter being sure to leave the loop at the top of the shape. the string will dangle over the top of the cutter. Let the shape air dry until it begins to lighten in colour. Remove the cookie cutter and let dry completely.

If embedding the string is too tricky, you can make a hole in the dried ornament for hanging instead.


Felted Ornaments:

Materials:

carded raw wool
a bowl of very warm water
dish soap
cookie cutters
bubble wrap or other flexible textured surface
needle and embroidery thread

I have changed the directions to improve the quality of the finished product. There are a few more steps now, but the ornament will stay together much better this way.

  1. Take a small piece of wool and gently pull it apart to fluff it up.
  2. Lay your fibres in layers on the bumpy side of your bubble wrap or textured surface. Make the shape slightly larger than your cookie cutter. Alternate the direction of the fibres with each layer so the fibres lay perpendicular to each other. Repeat layers until you have 5-8 layers in total.
  3. Sprinkle or spray soapy water on the fibres.
  4. Fold over the bubble wrap to sandwich the fibres in the centre. Press down on the fibres, or use a can or rolling pin to press the layers together. If the fibres stay fluffy, add more soapy water and repeat the pressing/rolling.
  5. Gently peel the edges up around your felt and curl them toward the centre (but don't press them down yet). Lift the entire shape and press it into your cookie cutter. Press the edges into the sides of the cookie cutter.
  6. Place the shape back on the bubble wrap while still in the cookie cutter. Use the corner of the wrap to press down on the shape some more, gently rubbing it back and forth a bit. This will help the fibres take on the shape better, and also encourage the fibres to grip each other.
  7. Remove the shape from the cookie cutter then dip it in hot water. Leave it there for a minute or two, then remove and squeeze out the excess water.
  8. Let it dry. You can speed this up by putting it in the dryer with a load of laundry, but be sure to put it in a separate mesh bag first.
  9. Use the needle and thread to make a loop for hanging.
Wire Ornaments:

Materials:

copper, brass or silver-coloured heavier wire (~24 guage), enough to wrap around your cookie cutter twice plus 5-10 cm
Fine (~18 gauged) copper, brass or craft wire, about 1m
a tree, star or other bold-shaped (not detailed) cookie cutter
wire cutters
needle-nosed pliers
a pencil or pen
ribbon or metallic cord for hanging
optional: beads

This craft is adapted from one found at the Family Fun website.
Steps 1 and 2 are best left to adults or older children; younger children can do the beading and wrapping steps.

  1. Make a loop in one end of the heavy wire by wrapping it around a pen or pencil. Starting with the loop end at the top of the cookie cutter,rap the heavy-guaged wired tightly around the outside twice, ending at the top, then twist the end around the loop.
  2. If necessary, snip off the end so that there are no sharp edges sticking out.
  3. Remove the shape from the cutter.
  4. Twist one end of the finer wire onto the shape near the top. If you are using beads, now is the time to thread them onto the finer wire.
  5. Wrap the wire around the shape being sure to criss-cross the wire. Continue until most of the wire has been wrapped and you are pleased with the effect. Adjust as necessary.
  6. Twist the end of the wire onto the shape and tuck it in and/or trim it so that there are no sharp edges left over.
  7. Thread a ribbon or piece of cord through the top loop for hanging.

You can see the original version of this craft here.


Clay Pot Bells

clay bell ornament

Materials:

a small clay flower pot (1-2")
2 buttons, slightly larger than the hole in the pot
thin ribbon, about 15 cm (6")
yarn or string, ~10 cm (4")
a small round craft bell
acrylic paint, brushes

  1. Paint the pot as desired and let dry.
  2. Thread Both the string and the ribbon through one hole of one of the buttons.
  3. Thread only the string through the bell, then double the string back and tie it to itself beneath the button so that the string from the knot to the bell is the same length as the depth of the pot.
  4. Thread the string and ribbon through the other hole in the button.
  5. Thread the loose ends of ribbon and string through the inside of the pot and out the hole.
  6. Thread one end of string and ribbon through one hole in the second button, and the other ends through the other hole.
  7. Pull the button tight against the pot and tie a knot in the ribbon and string above the button.
  8. Tie the ends of the string together. This will form the hanger.
  9. Tie the ribbon into a bow on top.

Origami Christmas Tree Prioject (external link)