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Baby’s First Christmas Ornament (So cute.)

April 30, 2016   //  Posted in: DIY, DIY Network Projects, For the Kids, Holiday-Related Projects   //  By: Emily   //  Leave a comment
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This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in December 2014.

The “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments that my parents had collected for my sister and I are some of the ornaments that I appreciated seeing year after year. There are tons of products on the market that you can buy to commemorate the occasion, but if you’re feeling crafty, it’s easy to make your own, a customized piece that both you and your family will adore for decades to come. (A great gift idea too!)

Baby's first Christmas ornament – an easy DIY craft using a photo and oven bake clay.

With a few materials and a little creativity, you can make your own truly custom piece for remembering this first year. My daughter was born in late 2013, and I was in no way prepared to make a memorable ornament in time for the holidays, so that’s why mine is dated for last year.

Step 1

Begin by choosing oven bake clay of your choice. Soften it in your hands and then roll it smooth to a 1/8 thickness with a rolling pin.

Baby's first Christmas ornament – an easy DIY craft using a photo and oven bake clay.

Step 2

Customize the shape of your ornament using a cookie cutter that you love, like a star.

Baby's first Christmas ornament – an easy DIY craft using a photo and oven bake clay.

Step 3

On the backside of the clay ornament, use your ABC letters to imprint message. Because the clay is soft, ordinary rubber stamp letters worked well for me.

Baby's first Christmas ornament – an easy DIY craft using a photo and oven bake clay. 

Step 4

Flip the ornament over and add adornments to the front of the ornament while you can still lay it flat. I created a slight impression in the clay with a smaller star cutter, and then hand-rolled small clay balls to create a decorative border that would frame my photograph after the clay was baked and cured.

Baby's first Christmas ornament – an easy DIY craft using a photo and oven bake clay.

Step 5

The details on the front of the ornament are going to make it pretty fragile at this point, but flip it over once more to apply the finishing touches of the year, scribed using a rolled out piece of clay in a contrasting color. Also, use the pointed end of an unfurled metal paper clip to bore a hole in the top of your unbaked ornament. That’ll be where you lace the ribbon.

Baby's first Christmas ornament – an easy DIY craft using a photo and oven bake clay.

Step 6

Bake according to instructions, and once cool, trim your photograph to fit into the space. I used the smallest star cutter that I own as a guide for making it even. Secure it in place with hot glue applied to each corner. 

Baby's first Christmas ornament – an easy DIY craft using a photo and oven bake clay.

Step 7

Thread a ribbon in the hole you left in the top of the ornament, and hang it on display (forever).

Baby's first Christmas ornament – an easy DIY craft using a photo and oven bake clay.

This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in December 2013.

‘Tis the season! It’s time to get crafty and engage the whole family by making custom ornaments for your own tree. These little paper trees are fun, easy, and inexpensive – a true holiday hurrah!

DIY tree ornament handmade using recycled paper.

Step 1

Cut 1-2 wide strips of old magazine pages. The more colorful, the better. I found that pages with advertisements offered the widest array of color (with less chance of text interfering). Fold the strips in half lengthwise. This helps to give the paper a little more weight, and to give the finished ornament more structure.

DIY tree ornament handmade using recycled paper.

Step 2

The tree ornament itself will be formed by curling the strips of paper around your finger, and using hot glue to attach the paper to itself as it coils. Gradually make the coils looser, so that the paper begins to take a tree form, going from narrow at the top to wide at the base.

DIY tree ornament handmade using recycled paper.

Step 3

Choose a material for your star to top the tree. A pipe cleaner would work well for this, but I had some leftover holiday wire that suited the project perfectly, too. Trim a 10 piece of wire, and fold 4-6 of it into a star that is in proportion to your paper tree.

Create a simple wire star to adorn your paper tree ornament.

Step 4

Thread the remaining wire (the still straight end) through the opening at the top of the tree, and twist it into a knot from the inside so that it can’t slip back out. Only the star should shine at the top!

Step 5

Ta-da! Make them en masse for your friends, family, or kid’s teachers as a small holiday gift. Attach a piece of floral wire to secure the ornament to the tree. (This is also a good technique if you need to protect heavy or fragile ornaments from breaking.)

DIY tree ornament handmade using recycled paper.

This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in December 2013.

As we grow dangerously close to Christmas, we’ve been busily checking fun last-minute gift projects off the list for friends and family, and scouring for vibrant holiday inspiration for next week’s celebrations. With kids to help decorate for the season, I thought it would be fun to have them help out with a little craft — a sweet thumbprint ornament that can serve as a gift, or even a gift topper tied to the ribbons, that the grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles can enjoy and remember for years to come.

How to make clay thumbprint ornaments – an easy holiday tradition for your kids.

Step 1

Form a small ball of clay, about the size of a large marble or a golf ball. I used air-dry FIMO product for this project, though the oven-bake products work just as well and could speed up the total time.

How to make clay thumbprint ornaments – an easy holiday tradition for your kids.

Step 2

Have your child firmly smush his or her thumbprint into the clay. They’ll like this part, I promise.

How to make clay thumbprint ornaments – an easy holiday tradition for your kids.

Step 3

While the clay is still malleable, unfurl a metal paperclip and use it to poke a hole through the top of the ornament for the hook, and to etch in the backside of the ornament your child’s name and the year to document when it was made.

How to make clay thumbprint ornaments – an easy holiday tradition for your kids.

Step 4

Allow the ornament to dry per product specifications (whether it be air-dry or oven-baked). 

Step 5

Once dried, consider the finishing touches. I like to paint mine, and while this year I went the gold or silver spray paint route, last year I picked up craft paint colors and let our daughter paint the ornaments herself. It’s the perfect annual tradition.

Run a length of floral wire through the hole you bore into the top of the ornament (this is also a handy product if you need a reliable way to secure heavy or fragile tree ornaments). If it’s a gift, wrap it up, and gift it to your family before the holiday so they can display it on the tree proudly.

How to make clay thumbprint ornaments – an easy holiday tradition for your kids.