5 DIY Christmas Ornaments

Holy moly, can you believe that Christmas is almost here? There are steamy mugs of apple cider to drink, gifts to wrap, and trees to trim.

Store-bought Christmas tree ornaments are far from eco-friendly. They’re usually mass-produced in far-off factories (sometimes with questionable labor practices), shipped all over the world, and they’re usually made from unsustainable materials like plastic. Boo!

The good news is, you don’t have to shop the big box store for ornaments. This year, instead of using store-bought ornaments, you can give your tree a fun DIY twist by making your own, eco-friendly Christmas ornaments! We’ve got some ideas to get you going.

1. Foodie ornaments. Annie B. Bond shares some recipes for ornaments that you can bake up right in the oven.

2. Recycled Paper Cranes. Paper cranes make lovely ornaments! Just raid your recycle bin for junk mail, cut into squares (try 4″ square to start), and fold your paper crane. To hang it from the tree, simply tie a bead to one end of a piece of thread and use a sewing needle to feed it up through the bottom of the crane’s body. The bead will keep the thread from pulling through, and you can tie a loop in the top of your string to hang it from the tree.

3. Woven Cardboard Stars. Over at Crafting a Green World, you can learn how to make star ornaments out of reclaimed cardboard.

4. Use a light bulb. We know that those incandescent light bulbs are no good from an energy standpoint, but what can you do with the ones languishing around the house? Flip ‘em over, paint with some glass paint, wrap wire around the threads to make a loop, and hang your fancy homemade ornaments from the tree!

5. Recycled felt. Over at GreenUpgrader, you can learn how to use recycled felt to make sweet little owl ornaments for the tree.

Don’t have a crafty streak? Don’t despair! We have you covered with some handmade, eco-friendly ornaments that you can buy instead of making.

Next>> Handmade, Eco-Friendly Ornaments

handmade ice skate ornaments

Looking for handmade ornaments that you don’t have to make yourself? We’ve got you covered! Well, more specifically, the amazing crafters of Team Eco Etsy have you covered!

When you buy from a handmade artisan, you’re supporting the arts and helping that person use her creativity to support herself. Choosing eco-friendly handmade goods takes things even further by supporting artists that are mindful about their materials and their impact on the planet. Team Eco Etsy, a collective within the Etsy marketplace, makes it easy. The team is curated by a team leader who makes sure that members really do walk the talk when it comes to green crafts.

Buying handmade is a win all around! Check out these lovely ornaments from some Eco Etsians…

1. Recycled felt ice skates from recycledparts

2. Acorn ornaments with real acorn caps and vintage fabric bottoms from Moon Flower Creations

3. Recycled circuit board ornaments from Debby Arem Designs

4. Upcycled felt hearts from Sewn Natural

5. Vintage calendar tea towel bird from Montclair Made

There are lots more lovely recycled ornaments on Etsy! The trick to finding them is knowing how to search. Rather than just searching “ornament” or “Christmas ornament” try searching for “upcycled ornament,” “recycled ornament,” or “ornament teamecoetsy” to narrow your results down a bit more.

What are you doing to keep your tree trimming eco-friendly? I’d love to hear what you’re making in the comments!

Image Credit: Photo via recycledparts, used with permission.

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Adena Z.
Adena Z.2 years ago

Cool green ideas :)

Joy S.
Joy s.3 years ago

With six children(now grown) I have plenty of homemade decorations.

Terry V.
Terry V.3 years ago

Thanks. There is nothing nicer than a tree decorated with all home made decorations.

susan k.
susan k.3 years ago

Great ideas thanks .

Alberta Gentleman

I love the skates. Thank you for these great ideas!

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener3 years ago


Faith Billingham
Faith Billingham3 years ago

Happy Holidays to everyone :)

Faith Billingham
Faith Billingham3 years ago

great article, thanks for sharing

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

rosemary weston
rosemary weston3 years ago

rebecca, i had to look that up on the internet. sounds harder than most orgami, but worth the effort. it would be cool to do a whole tree of orgami ornaments and add to it each year. an international handmade ornament tree would be fun to. each year one could concentrate on different cultures. in chicago, there is a museum that decorates trees like that each christmas. a lot of the ornaments can be made by anyone interested in learning how from books or from the internet.