D.I.Y. Christmas Memories

D.I.Y Christmas Memories

As a young girl, nothing was more fun than decorating our family’s Christmas tree. Excited and eager, I couldn’t wait to peek inside the worn cardboard boxes that held the ornaments my parents had collected over the years. Each ornament was a treasure crafted by my sisters or me. A brown felt gingerbread man stuffed with cotton and sewn together with mustard-yellow stitching. Or my favorite, a miniature green drum trimmed in red and gold ribbon hanging gingerly by a cord.

There was a story behind each ornament, which made decorating the tree even more special.

We would pop popcorn and sit side-by-side on the couch, carefully stringing together each kernel of popcorn with a needle and thread. Our fluffy white garlands of popcorn would adorn the tree, but the final touch would be to hang candy canes. Decorating the tree was a family affair set to the tunes playing on my father’s record player. The Temptations’ rendition of Silent Night or Nat King Cole’s O’ Tannenbaum were two of my family’s favorites.

Other than a pack of silver tinsel or a box of candy canes, we didn’t buy many of our decorations from the store. There wasn’t a Hobby Lobby or Michael’s nearby selling every ornament imaginable.  Even if there had been, I have a feeling that it wouldn’t have mattered and we still would have made our own. Most of the decorations we had were made at school or at home. One year my mom decided that we would make cinnamon ornaments, and today I still make these ornaments with my kids. It’s an inexpensive and easy way to decorate your tree. Plus, they make your home smell wonderful.

Today I am sharing my family’s Cinnamon Ornaments recipe with you, along with directions on making our Melted Crayon Ornament Balls.

Cinnamon Ornaments Recipe


3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup ground cinnamon (cheapest if purchased at Costco or Sam’s)

3T Elmers glue

1T ground nutmeg

1T ground cloves

Additional Supplies Needed

cookie cutters

drinking straw

ribbon or twine

extra cinnamon for rolling out dough

Directions: Mix dry ingredients, apple sauce, and glue until dough is formed. Sprinkle extra cinnamon on dry surface and roll out dough. Cut into desired shapes. Using the straw, make a hole at the top of each ornament. Place ornaments on cookie sheet and air-dry up to three days. Place in oven at low temperature if needed to finish drying.

Melted Crayon Ornament Balls

Another DIY ornament I’ve had success with is decorating clear ornament balls. My kids and I have had so much fun with this. The possibilities are endless, but our favorite is melting crayons inside the ornaments to create colorful designs. Here are a few tips for this project:

Supplies Needed

clear ornament balls (plastic or glass)

assorted crayons

blow dryer


ribbon or twine

Directions: Select several crayons. Using pliers, crush crayons into tiny pieces. Drop shards of crayons into the ornament. Turn blow dryer on high heat. Use pliers to hold the ornament less than an inch away from the blow dryer. As the pieces of crayon begin to melt, rotate the ornament slowly to distribute the wax across the inner surface of the ornament to create a beautiful design.

If you’d rather not raid your kids’ crayon stash, here are several other ways to fill and/or decorate clear ornaments:

  • fill with glow in the dark beads

  • add confetti, glitter, and/or sequins inside the ornament

  • add candy treats (M&M’s, Nerds, Mike and Ike’s, etc.)

  • fill with small toys like Legos, plastic dinosaur, pompoms, etc.

  • apply temporary tattoos to the outside of the ornament

  • add children’s pictures or artwork

Go to www.refunkmyjunk.com for more information on these as well as other ideas.

While I am dreading dragging out Christmas decorations and the mess it will surely create, I am looking forward to opening the Rubbermaid container filled with all of our decorations and ornaments and reminiscing about Christmases past. And who knows, we may even have some time to make an ornament or two.

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