Simple Handmade Ornaments

Easy Crafts

Commemorate Christmas with a keepsake you can make in minutes.

By Carrie Brown
Photos by Erika Lapresto


This craft will have you looking at matchsticks in a new light!

  • Trace the star template (available at onto cardboard and cut out.
  • Cut the red tips off 4 wood safety matches and make a plus sign in the center of the star as shown; secure with craft glue.
  • Glue matches, tips out, to fill each of the 4 sections.
  • To hang, use hot glue to attach a loop of red embroidery floss to the back of one of the points of the star.


Create a flock of ornaments by stitching together gift-wrap scraps.

  • Trace the head, breast and body templates (available at onto wrapping paper and use scissors to cut out.
  • Thread a sewing needle with embroidery floss. Working from neck to beak, whipstitch the head piece to one of the body pieces. Then, working from beak to neck, whipstich the head to the second body piece. Continue to stitch the body together along the top and bottom of the tail.
  • Working from tail to beak, stitch one side of the breast piece to one side of the body. Stuff the bird with cotton batting. Then, working beak to tail, finish stitching the other side of the breast to the body; knot to close.
  • Attach rhinestones for eyes with craft glue, then sew a loop of embroidery floss through the top of the bird to hang.


Delicate yet unbreakable, this decoration looks gorgeous when mixed with traditional glass balls.

  • Inflate a water balloon to the size of a baseball and knot.
  • Cover with spray starch, then wrap in embroidery floss.
  • Saturate the balloon with more spray starch and hang to dry.
  • Once dry and firm to the touch (about 12 hours), pop the balloon with a pin and gently remove through an opening in the floss. To hang, add a loop of floss to the top.


The plumbing supply aisle inspired this pretty copper ornament.

  • Arrange two 1" copper pipe straps (available at hardware stores) on your work surface so the flat ends touch at the top and bottom.
  • Use wire cutters to cut a 1" and 7" piece of 26-gauge copper wire (available at craft stores).
  • Attach the flat ends at the bottom of the pipe straps together by looping the 1" wire piece through the holes and pinching shut with needle-nose pliers; trim any excess.
  • Thread one end of the 7" wire piece through a 16mm jingle bell ($5.49 for 72; Pinch the wire shut with pliers to secure the bell in place.
  • Center the bell in the space between the pipe straps and sandwich the wire between the flat ends at the top. To secure, loop the wire through the top holes twice, then bend the remaining wire into a decorative hook.

Meet the Crafter

Carrie Brown is the author of The New Christmas Tree: 24 Dazzling Trees and Over 100 Handcrafted Projects for an Inspired Holiday ($29.95;