slideshow

How To Make Christmas Ornaments

How to Make Fun, Easy Christmas Ornaments with Your Kids
With Christmas and holiday vacation, schools give children almost 3 weeks off to celebrate with their families. This can be frustrating for busy moms who need to get their errands done, not to mention Christmas shopping. But all of that time with the kids presents a fantastic opportunity to spend some quality time with them. Rather than just letting kids spend their Christmas vacation in front of the TV, why not try and make Christmas ornaments with them?

 

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After all, decorating the Christmas tree has always been one of kids’ favorite Christmas activities. It let’s them feel as if they are contributing to the celebration, and each ornament becomes a special memory. When you make Christmas ornaments with kids, you are quite literally making memories—every year afterwards, they’ll hang their creations on the tree and remember the fun you have as you make Christmas ornaments come to life.

 

A particularly nice decoration for families who are interested in learning how to make Christmas ornaments are stained glass ornaments. The directions can be modified so mothers and fathers can do them with little children or with high-school age kids. But young or old, it will be so much fun to make Christmas ornaments that you may find this will become a yearly tradition in your household.

 

Stained Glass Window Ornament (for younger children)
For children under the age of 8 to make Christmas ornaments that shine like real stain glass, follow these instructions:

Materials:
Clear plastic cups (the kind you would bring to a picnic)
Sharpies (or other permanent markers in a variety of colors)
Hot glue gun
Ribbon
Foil and cookie tray

Instructions:
If you want to make Christmas decorations properly, you need to do a little prep work to make sure everything goes according to plan. Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Take a cookie tray and line it with foil, then spray the foil with a non-stick spray like Pam. This will be set aside for later.

 

Give your child a cup and some markers, and have him or her color the cup in any way they wish. To make Christmas ornaments colorful, your child should use as many colors as possible to best catch the light. Be aware, however, that these cups will be melting in the oven, so fine decoration and detailed work probably won’t be seen once the plastic shrinks and condenses. Once your child is happy with the way the cup has been colored, place it on the foil-covered cookie sheet and place it in the oven.

If you’ve ever used the Seventies-era toy “Shrinky Dinks” you’ll be familiar with what happens next: as the plastic heats up in the oven, it shrinks and condenses into a semi-transparent roundish shaped ball. The plastic should only be in the oven for about a minute or so, so it’s important to keep a close eye on it and make sure the plastic doesn’t start to bubble or burn—burning plastic releases fumes that aren’t very healthy, not to mention a fire hazard.

 

Once out of the oven, you will notice that each cup has melted in a different way. To make Christmas ornaments out of these shapes, wait until they’ve cooled a bit, then remove them from the foil and place them on a cool stone surface. When the plastic is warm to the touch it can be molded without risk of burning. In this semi-soft state you and your kids can form the colored plastic into whatever shape you like.

 

For final touches, make Christmas ornaments by punching a hole in the plastic with the hot tip of the glue gun, then threading a length of ribbon through it. Your stained glass ornaments can be hung on the tree, or in the window to catch the light.