Handmade Ornaments

Making ornaments back in the olden days before Google or Pinterest, people either had to come up with an idea themselves, rely on magazines and the ideas of friends, or reinvent something they saw and make it better.

I'm going to share 11 of the 25 years worth of ornaments I've made.  These might not be the cream of my crop, but they were the ones I could easily find in the ornament bins.
Handmade Ornaments Shotgun Shell Santa Bliss-Ranch.com
2005 - Santa made from shotgun shell casing

Handmade Christmas Ornaments Bliss-Ranch.com
Santa's back side
Over the years I didn't just make two or three ornaments every December, I made anywhere from 20 in the early years to 50 or more the last time I had the ambition or an idea.

Most of the ornaments were not elaborate, didn't involve sewing since I can't, and most could be done with kids because with 6 of those I either didn't have time for elaborate, or the craft needed to be kid friendly so they could help.

Or both.

Handmade Christmas Ornaments Bliss-Ranch.com
Wood craft stick sled, circa 1980
Little sleds are all over the internet these days because they are simple.

One of my blogging friends made some this year and hers are totally awesome and 2014.  I thought maybe I should go back and remake them to suit the style of today's Bliss, but instead I'm just gonna admire Kimberly's.

Made from Popsicle sticks.  Notice the date that sled sports........ 1980.  That would be 32 years ago.  My very first ornament and I copied it from my at the time 10 year old sister in law.

Our tree used to be all rustic, everything fit in.  I may or may not have gotten better at making stuff over the years.
Handmade Christmas Ornaments Bliss-Ranch.com
1995 butcher paper snowman with batting between layers, where is his hat?
Of those 20 - 50 ornaments I would make each year, I gave them to my friends, my in-laws, nieces and nephews, and of course one for each of my kids.

That also meant whatever I made should be cost effective and routinely I turned to the front yard for raw product because raw product was abundant there...and free.

Handmade Christmas Ornaments Bliss-Ranch.com
Glittered white Snowman bulb - 2003
Snow men are popular with me because there is minimal artistic ability needed to make their face or the round shape for their bodies.  And due to my sewing INability, the glue gun is my friend.

Handmade Christmas Ornaments Bliss-Ranch.com
1997 - Birch branch & twig Snowman
Long before Martha had her line of awesome glitters, I picked up fine glitter powder, sprayed the ornaments with sealer and sprinkled the glitter on.  It reflects like crystals in the snow would.
Handmade Christmas Ornaments Bliss-Ranch.com
2002 Trash - smashed soda cans.  I also made smaller ones from V-8 cans
Orange paint or tooth picks cut and painted was my choice for carrot noses.

The craft bin in those days consisted mostly of bells, twigs, black puff paint, old buttons, bits of flannel and that glittery white fake snow stuff for beards on Santas' or snow on snowmen.

Handmade Christmas Ornaments Bliss-Ranch.com
2006 - Rusty tin star snowman
When ever I needed wood or tree cut, I would say something like, "Brawn could you cut me some slat roofs for my birdhouse ornaments?"  "Yes... how many would you like, beautiful young crafty wife?" (Surely he said something like that).

My reply as I ran away before he could change his mind..."Two slats each roof, so 100?  Thank you".

Handmade Christmas Ornaments Bliss-Ranch.com
Rustic tree-branch birdhouse with nail perch
Sometimes ornaments that look easy turn out to be a pain in the butt.

Too putsy - and when you have 40 or more to make you will quickly regret the putsy part.

 Like this elf.  Too many small pieces of felt to cut out.
Handmade Christmas Ornaments Bliss-Ranch.com
1999 block elf
One of my favorites are the tree branch snowmen with baby sock hats.  Probably because all I had to do was raid the mismatched sock bin and wander the woods for supplies.

Plus the orange light bulb nose is cute.

Handmade Christmas Ornaments Bliss-Ranch.com
2004 Baby sock hat snowman
We have all sizes of Rudolph around here.

Brawn's uncle made some 25 years ago and since then we have copied them time and time again.  We have large ones that line our outside walk and short stubby ones our boys helped make.

We make more big reindeer as gifts each year, then Brawn gets to be a lumberjack chainsawing log deer bodies.
Handmade Christmas Ornaments Bliss-Ranch.com
1998 Mini version of our outdoor deer
This Rudy is still in the ornament bin waiting to have his legs reattached.  A couple years ago in the middle of the night he and some friends had an accident.

I don't know which elf was being mischievous, but they undid the tree top anchor ties and toppled the 12 footer to the ground.

We heard a loud crash and knew what it was.

So between watching Brawn in his underwear stand the 12 foot tree back up at 2:00 A.M., soaking up water from the tipped stand, and re-decorating said tree for a second time the next night ...... I surveyed the damage and was thankful the only ornaments that broke were easily replaceable.

Subscribe, Bliss Ranch arrives magically!

Follow on Bloglovin


  1. These all look like the kind you buy at a fancy craft fair. Mine look like the children made them!! We had a tree topple once thanks to a bad kitty. What a mess!

  2. Your post brings back memories of making ornaments with our girls every Christmas. The girls have taken the ornaments for their own trees, but I still have the memories. I haven't made many ornaments over the past few years, but I think I need a shell casing to make one of your cute Santa ornaments for our deer hunting son-in-law. Too funny!

  3. Sometimes homemade ornaments are the best! They're definitely the most creative and unique. I laugh every time I've seen that shot gun shell ornament though. Those should be hung on every tree down here in GA. LOL!

  4. What there was glitter before Martha?? I love your ornaments, and I am keeping the snowmen as easy to do this year when I have currently done nada, zip zilch things for christmas.

  5. These ornaments and your stories take me back to the sweet days of making ornaments with the boys. Thanks for sharing these with us, B. Makes me feel all warm and squishy on this cold night. I must say that I never made anything using a shotgun shell. I can imagine their glee if I did! LOL

  6. You're just so creative, if I saw your ornaments in a shop I'd be buying them, in fact I have a little birdhouse and snowman star similar to the ones you've beautifully crafted.
    I sewed some when I was very young and they sit on a miniature tree that belonged to my grandmother - well they will do, when I get them all out and start displaying them.

  7. I love all of these because they have stories that go along with them. I am a sucker for the stories.

  8. I have a tree full of stories too. Love handmade ornament . I have had my share of tree catastrophes too. Unfortunately some were irreplaceable. Memories I'd what makes the holidays so wonderfu . Have s Happy Thanksgiving

  9. Dang, girl, this is proof of your history of awesomeness. Seriously.
    I've had a couple of experiences with my 6-foot tree (and that was bad enough) being 'downed', each time it was done by cats captivated by 'nature' suddenly showing up in the living room.

  10. These are all super cute! The kids and I may be making some versions of these this weekend! Thanks for the inspiration once again and Happy Holiday Season to you!

  11. Oh Bliss! I STILL remember the year that my then 18 month old brother (who is now 50) pulled our 10 footer over on himself...on the BRAND NEW WALL TO WALL CARPET....20 minutes before "company"was to arrive for Christmas eve. All we could see was the feet of his "footie pj's" and a bunch of broken glass. Fortunately, no one was hurt, ornaments could be replaced and the red dye from the gift wrap came out of the carpet before the new year. I adore your ornaments....and YOU, my dear friend! Happy Thanksgiving...and Merry Christmas (early) xoxo

  12. Ah Ha! So you didn't just wait until now ... you were cool when you were young too! ;) The only one featured, that I'm not sure about is the crunched can. But then lately, I've been cutting up my fingers washing out Progresso soup cans for crafting, so I'm a bit ticked off at tin presently.
    Great post. They always are! HAPPY & SAFE THANKSGIVING TO ALL.

  13. Love that shotgun shell Santa! I had a real tree once and although I watered it regularly, someone slammed the door on Christmas Eve and every single needle fell off of the tree...but the ornaments stayed.

  14. I love all your ornaments Bliss, so fun! You are amazing, I'll bet your kids loved helping make them!

  15. Hoping to make some ornaments this week with my great-nieces. I think the two best parts are the ritual of making the ornaments with the little ones and of course, the giving them away at Christmas. It appears from the comments, that falling Christmas trees is a bit of a ritual for many, as well, LOL


I read every.single.comment. If comments are turned off on a post it's due to spam, so drop me an email instead BlissRanchBoss@hotmail.com.

Disclosure Policy for Bliss Ranch:
From time to time there might be a written review of services or products on this blog for which Bliss Ranch may or may not have received that service or product for free. Receiving a product or service for free or at a discount will never dictate what is written on this blog or guarantee a favorable review. All opinions here belong to Bliss Ranch and Bliss Ranch alone. Bliss Ranch is not monetarily compensated to write anything on this blog... period! For the complete privacy policy please see the tab at the top of the blog.