How To Make Two “Baby’s First Christmas” Ornaments

Back when we admitted to putting up our Christmas tree before Thanksgiving (oh the shame) a bunch of you asked if Clara was getting a special “First Christmas” ornament. Well, we finally got around to DIYing one right before moving boxes took over our house (at which point we got so caught up in packing that we neglected to write this post, which is why it’s getting posted about a week after our tree came down). Oops.

Anyway we decided to make something silver so it would have a good chance of matching our tree for years to come (we tend to use some element of silver since we have so many silver ornaments and you know we like to use what we’ve got). But of course we wanted it to be distinctly Clara circa 2010, so it would feel as special and customized as possible. So at the craft store (Ben Franklin) we grabbed this plain white ceramic ornament for just a buck and some 50 cent silver acrylic paint. Well, the real story is that we actually bought two ornaments in case the first one didn’t work out. They only cost a buck, after all. And we’re paranoid like that.

The plan was to create a silver backdrop onto which we could Mod Podge a scaled down version of Clara’s baby silhouette. That way we’d get something that definitely says “baby” but also creates a silhouette theme that we can carry on year-after-year if we’d like. It’ll be sweet to see how much she has grown and changed (here’s hoping she decides to grow hair one of these years). And since I still had the digital file of her silhouette from this project we just resized it, printed it, and started cutting. Sidenote: those are the haircutting scissors Sherry got from CVS a million years ago that she also uses to cut my hair. But I guess they’re better than a Flowbee.

When it came to painting the silver backdrop, my hairdresser wife noticed that it was a bit streakier than she’d like. So she figured she’d give the metallic Sharpie that we had in our junk drawer (which has since been packed up- yessssss) a try on the back-up ornament. Good call lady wife. It wasn’t much less streaky, but we later learned that the dried acrylic paint just peeled right off the ornament in one puffy-paint-esque blob. Duh. The lesson? Metallic sharpie grabs glossy ceramic far better than peelable acrylic paint. And a second “coat” of Sharpie about three hours later leaves it looking pretty seamless. So use that if you’re going to DIY one of these baby headed ornaments for yourself.

Anyway, after Sharpie-ing both sides of the ceramic ornament for a shiny silver coin-like finish, we placed Clara’s cutout silhouette in the middle of one side and glued it in place using Aileen’s Tacky Glue (being careful not to let too much squeeze out the sides onto the silver part – if any did we quickly wiped it). After the glue dried, Sherry got her Mod Podge on (covering the entire surface of the black paper silhouette with a few thin and even coats so it was a bit more sealed and protected for the long haul). The result was nothing short of charming. Especially for an under $2.50 project.

Oh, and we also wrote “Clara’s 1st Christmas, 2010” in small handwriting with a black Sharpie on the back. But our marker fun didn’t stop there. Since our spare ornament was now peeled of its paint (it really did cleanly peel off just like puffy paint) we were able to start from scratch and create an alternate version featuring Clara’s hand-print (which we got by tracing her hand on paper, cutting it out, and using it as a stencil to trace the outline right onto the ornament with silver Sharpie). Then we filled it in. I love how her hand just fits. We probably can’t do this one from year to year unless we hunt down some bigger ornaments, but she’ll totally get a kick out of knowing that her hand was once that small.

So that’s how Clara’s first Chirstmas was officially represented on our tree in two fun DIY ways (at least for a few days before we packed everything up). But here’s hoping they make an encore appearance at the new house when we do some quick & dirty Christmas decorating over there. Have you guys DIYed any ornaments? I should mention that Sherry wanted to shove a pink baby sock into one of those round glass ornaments with removable tops to create a third Clara themed ornament but I thought that was weird. So I’d love to know if anyone else out there has tastefully created a baby sock ornament that they’d like to share. I might just change my tune.

Psst- Check out some other ornaments we DIYed a few years back here and here.


  1. says

    Those are really cute! Great job!

    p.s- I bought these 2 books from amazon last week and they are great. I thought you’d like to check them out. I know you are loving color for your new home.

    Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Colors
    Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Accessorizing


  2. Mary C says

    Love your silhouette and handprint ornaments – what treasures! I bought those same ornaments for my 14-y-o daughter last week. You’ve set in motion some ideas, and once she sees what y’all did, she’ll be jumping right on some DIY projects of her own. And that, my friends, could result in some very merry Christmas!

  3. Maggie S. says

    The first year my husband and I were dating, I bought inexpensive ornaments, wrote their names and the year on them, and used them as the gift tags on their presents. It’s really special that I still get to see them on their tree every year.

  4. Jessi E says

    I am loving how the recently discovered versaility of my old sharpies. I have been thinking of some DIY canvas art, but I may give this a go first. Thanks for the idea!

  5. Stacey says

    I’m actually doing something similar to give as Christmas gifts this year. Thanks for the idea to use the sharpie! That seems like it will be a lot easier.

    PS Best of luck with the move!

  6. Elizabeth says

    I JUST DIY’d a baby sock ornament not two weeks ago. I made it into a snowman. Take one baby sock and stuff it a little less than half full with cotton batting. Secure with a rubber band and stuff more batting and secure again with another rubberband. Fold over the top of the sock to make a little hat for your snowman. Use puffy paint for eyes, mouth, and a little carrot nose. Tie a little piece of felt around the neck for a scarf and glue on some buttons on the bottom half to finish off our snowman.

  7. caree says

    so cute!

    question: did ya’ll make a ‘our first christmas’ ornament after you were married? we just got married a month ago, and I’ve been on the lookout for something like that, but the ones I’ve found have been, well, kinda kitschy. So I’d rather make my own. Any ideas?


    • says

      No but we should have! Anyone have newlywed ornament ideas for Caree? Maybe print out a picture from the wedding and Mod Podge it on there with the wedding date or the words “our first Christmas”? Good luck!


  8. Elizabeth says

    P.S. Create a loop to hang it with by threading some yarn through a needle and poke it through the snowman’s head and tie it off.

  9. says

    Serious kudos for the Flowbee reference – a about died when I read that! It always makes me think of the infamous Suc-kut from Wayne’s World (it sucks as it cuts!). Awesome.

  10. jennifer says

    every year my mum makes an ornament for each one of us [well now they have evolved into an ornament she buys and i write all of our names on]and ties it on the top of our present stack [aslo wrapped in individual paper]. my first one [and my favorite] is a snowflake she made with each kids “school” photo in it [back then she made one for all the cousins too], but since it was my first christmas it has a baby picture in it. when we moved out on our own, she gave each of us a box full of our yearly ornaments and some extras that she had purchased over the years so that our first tree of our own wouldn’t be naked.

    this year i have decided to knit cute little sparkly cardinals for gifts and tie a loop on them so they can hang on the tree… i really need to get a move on those!

  11. says

    Those ornaments are adorable. You’ll treasure those forever.
    Don’t worry about the hair. I had a kid bald for eighteen months. Even dressed in pink, people would ask what his name was.
    Now she has beautiful thick wavy hair.
    You know you can use Elmers school glue to glue bows right to their head? I think it’s a little crazy, but I had a friend who did it. She even sold bows on etsy for other bald babies.

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