Handmade Christmas Ornament Gift

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Create these charming handmade Christmas ornament gifts, designed to look like the home of the recipient. So unique, creative, and thoughtful!

handmade christmas ornament
handmade christmas ornament
handmade christmas ornament

Each year, I have a little list of families that I like to do something special for around the holidays.

I do enjoy gift giving but always try to keep an eye on budget while trying to give something that feels special and thoughtful.

These handmade Christmas ornament gifts feel like they cover all of those bases! They’re incredibly unique and charming, but very easy on the budget.

And bonus — you get to spend some afternoons crafting.

Psst — before you get the DIY tutorial, be sure to sign up below for my VIP group, where I’ll send more of my very best holiday and DIY ideas straight to ya!

handmade christmas ornament

Why DIY Christmas Gifts?

My first instinct is to say: why not?!

But honestly, the answer to that is: time. Time is the only reason you wouldn’t DIY a holiday gift. I’ll admit, it’s more time consuming than buying and wrapping a candle.

But! On the pro side, handmade Christmas gifts like this ornament bring an extra layer of thoughtfulness and sentiment to gift giving.

They’re special simply because the giver took the time to plan and create something with their own two hands. I love that.

If these handmade ornaments are too time consuming for you this year, try these leather keychains or this type of ornament. They’re also handmade but you can make them quickly in big batches.

handmade christmas ornament

Handmade Christmas Ornament Gift: Looks Like Home

These handmade gifts are extra special because they look like the recipient’s home!

Can you imagine receiving one of these? They’d be particularly special for a new homeowner or somebody in their first place.

If you have a college student, you could even create one that looks like their dormitory building or fraternity/sorority house.

But no matter who you make an ornament gift for, it will be a special memento from the time that they lived in this particular home.

handmade christmas ornament

Supplies You’ll Need

Air Dry Clay. This link is for a heavier clay more often used by sculptors and makers, but you could even use your kid’s air dry modeling clay if you have any in a light color like white or beige.

Clay Tools. I enjoy using clay tools because they have great shapes for cutting, smoothing, and so on. But if you don’t have any you can substitute kitchen knives, spoons, toothpicks, and other similar items.

Acrylic Paint. You probably already have some paints you could use in your craft stash!

Optional: Glaze or Sealant. If you’d like your final product to have a glossy look, you can apply this over the paint once it’s dry. It will also help protect the ornament overall.

Paintbrushes. For this project, you’ll find it useful to have a few fine-tipped brushes to use on details.

Straw. You’ll use this to punch a hole in the top of the ornament.

String. Any pretty string or ribbon will do!

handmade christmas ornament

How to Make a House Christmas Ornament

  1. I find it easiest to work from a photograph, so snap a photo on your phone of the house you’ll be creating. (Don’t be a creep if it’s not your home — maybe ask the owner for a photo.)
  2. Roll out your clay to 1/4″ thick on a smooth surface or piece of parchment paper.
  3. Use your clay tools or a knife to start cutting out the shape of the home. If there are trees, bushes, or other landscaping, you can include this in the overall shape. Think of this like a silhouette of the entire property.
  4. Once the shape is cut, use your fingers or smoothing tools to smooth out any rough edges or bumps. Use a straw to carefully punch out a hole about 1/2″ from the top of the ornament. Allow to dry overnight.
  5. Once completely dry, use a pencil to lightly sketch out the details of the house onto the ornament.
  6. Start painting the house. Think of this in layers; the house will probably get painted first, followed by any trees or bushes in the foreground. Allow paint layers to dry in between enough that they don’t blur or smudge.
  7. Allow paint to dry completely. If you like, paint a solid color on the back side and allow this to dry as well.
  8. If desired, coat the dried ornament in a glaze or sealant. Allow to dry.
  9. Add a ribbon or string through the hole for hanging.
handmade christmas ornament
handmade christmas ornament
handmade christmas ornament
handmade christmas ornament

More Ornament Gift Ideas

Ornaments are such a great handmade gift idea around the holidays!

If this one is too labor-intensive for you, here are a few more ideas that you can make in large batches and give to everyone on your list. Enjoy! xoxo

handmade christmas ornament
handmade christmas ornament

Handmade House Christmas Ornament

Yield: Handmade Ornament
Active Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Intermediate
Estimated Cost: $20

Create these charming handmade Christmas ornament gifts, designed to look like the home of the recipient. So unique, creative, and thoughtful!

Materials

  • Air dry clay
  • Acrylic paint
  • Glaze or sealant
  • String or ribbon

Tools

  • Clay tools
  • Paintbrushes
  • Straw

Instructions

  1. I find it easiest to work from a photograph, so snap a photo on your phone of the house you'll be creating. (Don't be a creep if it's not your home -- maybe ask the owner for a photo.)
  2. Roll out your clay to 1/4" thick on a smooth surface or piece of parchment paper.
  3. Use your clay tools or a knife to start cutting out the shape of the home. If there are trees, bushes, or other landscaping, you can include this in the overall shape. Think of this like a silhouette of the entire property.
  4. Once the shape is cut, use your fingers or smoothing tools to smooth out any rough edges or bumps. Use a straw to carefully punch out a hole about 1/2" from the top of the ornament. Allow to dry overnight.
  5. Once completely dry, use a pencil to lightly sketch out the details of the house onto the ornament.
  6. Start painting the house. Think of this in layers; the house will probably get painted first, followed by any trees or bushes in the foreground. Allow paint layers to dry in between enough that they don't blur or smudge.
  7. Allow paint to dry completely. If you like, paint a solid color on the back side and allow this to dry as well.
  8. If desired, coat the dried ornament in a glaze or sealant. Allow to dry.
  9. Add a ribbon or string through the hole for hanging.

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4 Comments

  1. Oh, this is such a beautiful and thoughtful gift idea! I think it’d be really great for new homeowners. I’d definitely make myself one when I first buy a house for sure – that’s a milestone you’d want to celebrate as much as possible!