Handmade Christmas Ornaments

Mike and I bought and decorated our Christmas tree this weekend! I've gotten into the habit of making ornaments by hand whenever I can, though our tree is still covered in traditional globe ornaments. Nonetheless, my favorite of the less-conventional ornaments are these origami peace cranes (keep reading to learn more) and my red-glitter-covered pine cones. For these, I simply grabbed some pinecones outside, coated them with a spray-adhesive in a well-ventilated room, and then poured the glitter over top, being sure to shake the excess off into a cup. Then I twist green floral wire around the top and fashioned a little hook for hanging. So simple and really festive! As for the origami cranes, they're a bit more involved, but still so worth the effort once they make it onto the tree!

One of the great things about origami is that it's not an art which requires the cultivation of a skill over many years, so much as an art that requires the ability to follow good instructions. When I was young I remember folding little paper squares into flowers, frogs, and hearts, but few of those patterns have stayed fresh in my mind over the years. Luckily, even though I hadn't touched a sheet of origami paper for over a decade, I was able to easily get back into this form of folk art after having found a really good origami pattern online.

One of my favorite origami sculptures is also probably the most popular of all, the peace crane. I hang them in windows and around the house all year long (see the photo below), but they make for a simple and inexpensive DIY ornament during the holiday season.

The easiest pattern for the peace crane that I've ever come across can be found here, but any origami form can work as decoration so long as you can stick a needle and a piece of string through it for hanging. There are even some more complex patterns out there for things like Christmas angels, Santa in his Sleigh, Santa Claus, and Christmas stars.

And if you need a last minute gift for someone, keep money origami in mind as a creative way to personalize the simple gift of cash.

Here are some of my favorite origami cranes from this year's tree. I used some traditional origami paper (it's the easiest to fold), as well as some magazine images (also fairly easy to fold), and then some patterned holiday craft and scrapbooking paper (not so easy to fold). They make a great addition to the tree and are easy to incorporate into any decorating scheme. My tree has mostly gold and red ornaments, so I stuck with these colors for my cranes. If you're tree is bright jewel-tones or icy blues and silvers, keep your eye out for paper in those color families.


Good luck origami-ing and happy holiday decorating!


  1. I love the peace cranes. What a great idea. :) I really love the idea of homemade ornaments.

  2. What a great idea! I love that they're homemade. The whole tree looks beautiful! :)


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