Making New Christmas Tree Decorations Without Buying Anything

Making your own Christmas tree decorations gives your tree a personal touch, is ecologically friendly, and reduces the cost of decorating for the holidays. In the typical household, you can find many kinds of supplies from which you can make unique ornaments. Consider the easy ideas below as you get started.

Old Socks

Stuff old socks with cotton balls or scraps of fabric and stitch them closed to make sock puppet ornaments.


One way or another, you will probably get your hands on a candy cane or two before Christmas. These and other candies make colorful ornaments. You can glue hard candies with clear wrappers to old ball ornaments.  You can also fill old baby food jars with multicolor candy mixtures and hang them as glass ornaments.

Puzzle Pieces

On a shelf somewhere, you might have an old puzzle that is missing a few pieces. Arrange some pieces in a ring as a wreath or picture frame and glue them to each other. Give them a coat of paint to unify their color, or leave them to have a naturally varied pattern.

Compact Discs

You can glue two old discs together with labels facing for a reflective, prismatic ornament. You can also carefully trim them into stars and other shapes with sharp scissors.

Clothes Pins

Old-fashioned clothes pins having rounded heads can make great angel ornaments. Get creative with old bits of lace, metallic pipe cleaners, buttons, clothes hanger wire, or other materials to construct a gown and some wings. You can arrange contemporary clothes pins in star or snowflake patterns and hot glue them together. Dust with glitter or paint them different colors.

Light Bulbs

You can adorn burned out light bulbs with scraps of fabric or paper, beads, and paint to make them into snowmen and Santa Claus figures. The rounded full end of the bulb seems especially suited to these purposes.

Cotton Balls

Since they look so much like fluffy snowballs and Santa beards, you can successfully apply cotton balls to a variety of Christmas ornaments.

Old Christmas Cards

Cut scenes and pictures out of old Christmas cards and apply them to all kinds of ornaments.

Popsicle Sticks and Drinking Straws

These are especially suited to geometric patterns.  Glue them together to make snow flakes, stars of David, crosses, or three dimensional balls.

Soda Cans

Put on some work gloves and cut the cans open with tin snips.  Flatten out the aluminum and cut out ornaments of any shape.


Using small inflated balloons to help them keep their form, make recycled paper ball ornaments with strips of newspaper and watered down school glue. Apply in layers around the balloon until thick enough, and allow to dry completely. Pop the balloon inside and paint and decorate them.

Cookie Cutters

Borrow your cookie cutters from the drawer in the kitchen and hang them as is with loops of colored ribbon.

Other Items

Use your creativity! There are many other items around your house that you can use to make Christmas ornaments. Some of these items include:

  • Milk jug lids
  • Playing cards
  • Wrapping paper
  • Edible nuts and their shells
  • Paper plates
  • Paper clips
  • Old road maps
  • Seashells
  • Medicine bottles
  • Egg cartons
  • Pull tabs
  • Tin cans