Hand Made Holiday

By Jennie Lennick

Ten Retro Inspired Ornaments Tutorials

Check out this selection of vintage-inspired, handmade ornament ideas! This blog includes ornament tutorials perfect for kids and more complicated and intricate projects for more experienced crafters. 

I love the holidays because it's the perfect excuse to get crafty! Each year I spend time making ornaments for my tree, and it's so fun to have this creative outlet and even more enjoyable to unwrap all my handmade decorations every December. It's like a tiny time capsule!  

In this blog, I share ten of my favorite ornament tutorials! 

Learn how to make: 

  1. Ugly Christmas Sweater Ornaments
  2. Miniature Star Piñata Ornaments
  3. Macrame Snowflake Ornaments
  4. Dried Citrus Ornaments  
  5. Vintage-Inspired Pinned Sequin Ornaments
  6. Salt Dough Ornaments
  7. Retro Felt Angels  
  8. Wood Bead Snowmen
  9. Mod Podge Christmas Bells  
  10. Shrinky Dink Ornaments

Ready? Let’s make some ornaments!

1. Ugly Christmas Sweater Ornament 

I love a good holiday sweater. Probably because I'm a maximalist, and ugly sweaters are all about decoration. Intricate patterns? Yes! Glitter? Sure! Unnecessary spangly add-ons? Why not!? This ornament project embraces that more-is-more ethos, with one significant additional benefit: It's easy.   

Check out our tutorial here!

2. Miniature Star Piñata

I love surprises. I also love tiny things. This ornament combines those things excellently. A miniature piñata! To be honest, I don't relish the idea of breaking one of these open after I finish it, but I still like to nestle some confetti and maybe a secret message into the body of the piñata. A fun little secret that'll make me smile every time I see it hanging on the tree.

Ready to make one? Learn how here!

3. Macrame Snowflake Ornament

With the holidays just around the corner, I wanted to use my macrame skills to create a Christmas ornament. These vintage macrame ornaments inspired me to try to create my own!  

In this tutorial, I'll go over a couple of essential macrame knots; the square knot and larks head knots. Once you learn these skills, you will have the confidence to create large and more intricate pieces on your own, including wall hangings, plant hangers, or other snowflake patterns! Learn to make one here! 

4. Dried Citrus Ornaments

Our lemon tree produces so many delicious lemons each season. We feast on lemony cocktails, lemon poppy seed cake, and lemon chicken in the winter. When were all lemon-ed out, I love to slice and dry them!  

It's so simple to dehydrate fruit in your oven, but it takes a long time. I typically let my fruit bake on low for 4 to 8 hours, depending on the thickness of the slices. Don't let this long baking time deter you! Not only will your house smell amazing as the fruit dries, but by the end of the day, you'll have tons of slices ready to use for DIY crafting and cooking projects!

 Learn how to make your own with our tutorial. 

5. Pinned Sequin Ornament

I'm kind of obsessed with vintage pinned ornaments. They're so elaborate and ornate, but they have this great kitschiness that adds a bit of whimsy to any Christmas tree. And, they're never not sparkly, which is a big plus in my book. 

In theory, these ornaments are ridiculously easy to make. You're pinning beads and sequins to a styrofoam ball. But, there's one essential ingredient that you have to think about before you start: TIME. 

Check out our tutorial here! 

6. Shrinky Dink Ornaments

Shrinky Dinks are a kitschy craft that gained popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. Made from a special plastic sheet called polystyrene, Shrinky Dinks shrink when heated yet preserve their original shape. The sheets can easily be cut with scissors and colored with markers or colored pencils. Once baked, the film shrinks to a ⅓ of its original size and becomes thick and rigid.  

You can use baked Shrinky Dinks for many purposes, from lapel pins to earrings and ornaments. Check out this tutorial on how to make your own!

7. Salt Dough Ornaments

Salt dough ornaments are super easy to make at home with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen! Mix flour, salt, and a little water until a thick dough forms. Then, roll it out, and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. This dough takes textures well, making it perfect for a baby's first Christmas handprint ornaments! I made a few of these this year with my daughter, and I'm thrilled with how they turned out!

These ornaments are easy to make but take a long time to dry. You can speed up the process by letting them harden in a warm oven, but you risk toasting your project if they get too hot. I left mine in my oven (which runs at about 100 degrees when it's off) for two full days, and they dried perfectly.  I used this tutorial from Wholefully to make my ornaments! It was super easy to follow, and they have some great suggestions.

8. Wood Bead Snowmen Ornaments

Image courtesy of Country Chic Cottage. 

I have a ton of leftover beads from a macrame project, so I am going to make some snowmen! These little buddies are easy to make and are a low-mess project to do with kids! Find all the details on making them at the Country Chic Cottage. 

9. Retro-Inspired Felt Angels

Image courtesy of Smile Mercantile.

These retro-inspired ornaments are ADORABLE! Use some leftover beads from your snowmen for the faces or go extra vintage and make them from clothespins. This craft is perfect for using scraps of fabric and other craft supplies! This DIY from Smile Mercantile is a lot of fun. 

10. Mod Podge Christmas Bells 

Image courtesy of Handmade Charlotte.

Do they ring? No! Are they colorful and cute! YES! I am in love with these charming ornaments made from recycled materials. In my book, any craft in which you don't need a ton of stuff is perfect.  Check out the full tutorial from Handmade Charlotte here

More Craft Tutorials to Get in The Holiday Spirit 


      Happy Holidays! You can check out all of my DIY blogs
    .  What are your favorite ornament DIYs? Please share them in the comments! 


Designer, entrepreneur, and lover of crafts! Boss Lady at Jenny Lemons in San Francisco


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