5 Do-It-Yourself Holiday Decorations to Make with the Whole Family


My favorite time of year was always when my family would get together to decorate our home for the holidays. As we’re a pretty eccentric holiday household (we decorate for Easter, Halloween and Thanksgiving too!), we were never short of decorations.
In fact, most of our decorations have been crafted by my sister or myself. It’s a sweet tradition that started when we were young children and lasted into our early adult years, allowing us to fill our home with DIY crafts and décor.
This holiday season, if you’re up for the challenge, ditch the store-bought holiday decorations and round up your family for our list of five do-it-yourself holiday crafts for all ages (yes, even your teenagers!).
Ages 2 – 4
While your little ones might need a helping hand (or two!) to complete this first craft, there’s still plenty for them to do.
Footprint Reindeer
Image: EmmaOwl.com
I love this craft, found on Emma Owl , because it’s not only fun for the whole family, it also offers the opportunity to capture a moment in time – since the craft uses your child’s footprint, your ornament also serves as a keepsake, allowing you to reminisce every year on how much they’ve grown.
Here’s what you’ll need:

Card stock or thick paper (the craft suggested white and red)
Washable paint (the craft suggested brown for the color of the reindeer)
Black Sharpie marker
Hot glue gun
Googly eyes (or buttons, if you prefer)
Red pom-pom

Directions:
You might want to lay a tarp, newspapers or old towels on top of your floors and surfaces, because it’s about to get messy!

Paint the very bottom of your child’s foot with the brown paint.
Set the card stock or thick paper down on the floor.
You might need to hold onto your child, depending on their age, but slowly place their painted foot onto the card stock or thick paper.
Make sure the whole foot is planted flat on the paper before removing.
Slowly remove their foot from the card stock or thick paper, making sure the paint doesn’t smudge!
Let dry completely.
When dry, draw on the antlers with the black Sharpie. We recommend drawing the antlers near the top of the foot (by the toes) one by the pinky and one by the big toe.
Using the hot glue gun, secure the googly eyes or buttons near the top of the foot, underneath the toes.
Using the hot glue gun, secure the red pom-pom near the bottom on the foot, on the heel.

There you have it: a super cute holiday keepsake that can double as décor in your home. Put it in a frame for a sweet side table statement or, using a hole puncher and string, turn it into an ornament for your tree.
The possibilities are as endless as the memories you will make creating this craft with your little one!
Ages 5 – 7
This can be a fun age group – as the older your kids become, the more independence they’ll have with crafts! This next craft is super easy and can be done with little or no help from adults.
Chalkboard Ornament
Image: FireplacesandMudpies.com
Think about it: your kids are constantly creating drawings, crafts or sketches that become too much to keep on your refrigerator.
This next craft, found on Fireflies & Mudpies , allows you to preserve your child’s treasured drawings in a holiday ornament.
Here’s what you’ll need:

Wood slices
Chalkboard paint
Permanent chalkboard marker
Twine
Foam paint brush

Directions:
If you feel comfortable, your child can complete this craft on their own (with some supervision, of course).

Use the foam paintbrush to apply two coats of chalkboard paint to the flat sides of the wood slices.
Let paint completely dry between layers.
When dry, have your child draw a picture on the black chalkboard surface with the permanent chalkboard marker.
If your wood slice didn’t come with twine already looped through it, the craft suggested to tie a small loop of twine in a drilled hole in the wood slice. You can always use hot glue to secure both ends of twine to the slice, creating a loop for the ornament to hang.

And you’re done! We told you this one was easy. You’ll be able to see their work hanging on the tree for years to come.
Ages 8 – 10
This is an age where imaginations continue to thrive and kids become even more independent. We took this craft to the next level to follow suit.
Pinecone Elves
Image: OneLittleProject.com
This craft is so cute and fun to make. It’s also pretty versatile, able to function as an ornament, garland or just a cute little piece of décor for your side tables or fireplace mantel.
Here’s what you’ll need:

Pinecones
Felt
Tiny bells
Black paint
String
Twine
Hot glue gun
Wooden balls

Directions:

With scissors, cut the felt into two heart-shaped pieces for the feet, a round triangle for the hat (this will need to form into a triangle dome) and a long skinny rectangle for the scarf. Make sure to first measure the felt in proportion to your pinecones, for sizing.
With a hot glue gun, secure the wooden ball on to the top of a pinecone.
Fold the rounded triangle in half and secure the two sides with the hot glue gun.
With the hot glue gun, secure a tiny bell on top of the felt hat.
Glue the hat to the top of the wooden ball.
Wrap the long, skinny rectangle felt piece around the base of the head, forming it into a scarf. Secure with hot glue.
With the hot glue gun, secure the two heart-shaped pieces one on top of the other.
With the hot glue gun, secure the heart-shaped felt piece to the bottom of the pinecone, becoming the “feet” of the elf.
With the black paint or Sharpie, draw two eyes on the wooden ball.

You can choose to stop here and use the elves as decorations or toys for your kids. Or, if you want to turn your funny little friends into garland or ornaments, follow the final steps of the craft here . Otherwise, enjoy!
Ages 11-13
Ahhh, the teen years. It might be a little more difficult to get your teens on board with family crafting, but this next craft is so fun and easy, they might not be able to resist!
No-Sew Snowman Craft
Image: EasyPeasyAndFun.com
Honestly, anything that says “no-sew” already has my undivided attention. This next craft is perfect for your crafty kids, with simple steps that yield amazing results.
If you have an influx of missing socks in your home, repurpose your single socks for this craft, found on Easy Peasy and Fun !
Here’s what you’ll need:

1 clean white sock
1 clean sock in a color of your choice
Rice
Rubber bands
Colorful buttons
Ribbons
Glue gun
Markers or paint
Orange pom-poms

Directions:

Fill your white sock with the rice. The craft suggested that you’ll need quite a bit of rice to fill up the sock.
Based on what size you prefer for your snowman, secure the open end of the sock with a rubber band.
Using other rubber band, secure the band around the middle, more to the top of the snowman to form the head.
Using the glue gun, secure the colorful buttons to the bottom half of the filled sock in a straight line, leaving a small gap between each button.
Using the markers or paint, draw the mouth and eyes on the top half (or the head) of the filled sock.
Using the glue gun, secure an orange pom-pom as between the eyes and mouth, forming the nose of the snowman.
Tie the ribbon between the head and bottom of the snowman, forming a scarf. Secure with hot glue.
Cut off the excess white sock off the top of the snowman.
With scissors, cut the foot part of the colorful sock, leaving the heel. Roll the sock from the cut portion, towards the end an inch or so.
Place the colorful sock on top of the snowman forming a hat. Secure with hot glue.

And that’s it! Now you have a cute and cuddly (well, assuming that the sock is washed!) snowman that you can use for decoration in your home or as a gift for a family member or friend.
Ages 14 – 18
You might think this is a tough age group to reach through crafts, but we’ve found an awesome craft for your teens and young adults to help get them in the holiday spirit.
DIY Rustic Felt Pine Trees
Image: LittleHouseOfFour.com
This chic craft, found on Little House of Four , was inspired by store-bought decorations. However, the DIY is a fraction of the price with the same great results.
Here’s what you’ll need:

Felt (the craft suggested a half yard per tree)
Sticks
Hot glue gun
Tree template (can be found and printed off online)
Scissors
Two-inch thick sticks (can be found at craft store)
Wooden slices

Directions:
It doesn’t matter what color felt you buy, but there’s nothing more traditional than evergreen!

Fold the tree template in half.
Fold the felt in half and place the folded tree template on top, using it as a reference for where to cut.
Cut out as many trees as the felt will allow. (You’ll need quite a bit!).
Fold each cut-out felt tree in half, apply the hot glue to the folded side of the felt and secure onto a two-inch thick stick. Be sure to secure it a half inch from the top of the tree, so that the felt sticks out above the top of the stick.
Repeat this step until the stick is full of the felt tree pieces.
Using the hot glue gun, add glue to the center of the top of the stick and work each felt piece together into a pointed tip to make the peak of the tree.
Shape your trees with the scissors and glue the bottom of the stick to the wooden slices as a base to hold the tree up.

And that’s all, folks! You’ll have created a rustic tree display for your home that is sure to make a stir with your holiday guests.
No matter the age of your child, these crafts are easy and fun for the whole family. After the holidays are over, make sure your crafts last a lifetime by protecting and storing your holiday decorations carefully .
Which craft did you like best? Do you have other DIY favorites? Tell us in the comments below!
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