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Heirloom ornaments passed down from generation to generation are often not those sparkling with gold and silver. Some of our most cherished keepsakes from the holidays are often the homemade kind. These ornaments are easy enough for older kids to make and beautiful enough to become cherished year after year.

Paper Bands

These paper ornaments are really fun to make. They do require a little patience but could easily be done by children with a little help. We loved the simplicity of the shapes and the fact that you can make them in any color to go with your décor. (Remember these could also work in different colors for any season strung from a railing, mantle or even outdoors.)

you will need

  • card stock or construction paper in several different colors
  • trims or narrow ribbons
  • a rivet tool (available in any craft store)
  • office clips or paper clips
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • paper cutter
  • stapler


  1. Begin by cutting the strips of paper. The ornaments can be made in different sizes and the measurements for the strips of paper will depend on how big you want the finished ornament to be. We found starting with 6” pieces created a nice size when completed.
    For each 6" ornament you will need to cut:
    - Two pieces of paper 6" in length and 3/4" wide
    - Two pieces of paper 5 1/2" in length and 3/4" wide
    - One piece of paper 5" in length and 3/4" wide
    For a larger ornament you will need:
    - Two pieces of paper 8" in length and 3/4" wide
    - Two pieces of paper 7 1/2" in length and 3/4” wide
    - One piece of paper 7" in length and 3/4" wide
    For a smaller ornament you will need:
    - Two pieces of paper 5" in length and 3/4" wide
    - Two pieces of paper 4 1/2" in length and 3/4" wide
    - One piece of paper 4" in length and 3/4" wide
  2. Start with the shortest strip for each ornament and, at the narrow end of the strip, align the shortest with the next shortest two strips on either side, then add the longest two on either side of that. (Basically shortest in the middle of the other four strips graduating in size.)
  3. Hold this end firmly and either staple or use the grommet tool to fasten these ends together.
  4. Fan out the strips and do the same at the other end.
  5. A ribbon through the end makes a perfect hanger.

Cut Out Ornaments

This is a good one to work on now, before the rush of wrapping and cooking begins. And, it is a wonderful activity to include the kids in. You can find patterns online for these ornaments or look in any craft store for a simple holiday pattern book.

you will need

  • construction or craft paper in holiday colors and patterns
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • glue
  • hole punch
  • ribbon


  1. Begin by selecting patterns from a craft book or online. You can find simple templates for stars, stockings, ornaments etc. online easily and these templates can be enlarged or shrunk when printing or on a photo copier.
  2. Print out two of each pattern, one slightly smaller than the other.
  3. Cut out the shapes and trace one on a piece of heavy colored paper.
  4. Select a complimentary piece of paper and trace the second one.
  5. Glue the smaller one onto the larger one.
  6. Punch a hole in the top of the ornament and run a pretty ribbon through it and hang it on the tree.
  7. Feel free to use your imagination on this one, glitter, stickers, candies and ribbons all add your own special touch to these ornaments.