Fall Pinterest Challenge: 38 Homemade Christmas Ornaments

It’s Wednesday the 2nd… so it’s time to share this season’s (completely unofficial) Pinterest Challenge (not sponsored by Pinterest or anyone else, just dreamed up by Katie to make us stop pinning and start doing).

I actually tackled ornaments (since the winter edition of our little Pinterest Challenge won’t be until January), which I mentioned last Wednesday when Katie, Ana, Erin and I issued our little get-off-our-bums-and-make-something challenge.

I know, I know – it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. I’m one of those one-holiday-at-a-time peeps too. But it was actually oddly satisfying to feel so “prepared” for the upcoming holiday season. And I’m kind of in love with all the happy little ornaments I squeezed out. I actually ended up making 38 DIY ornaments! Here are just a few of the things that inspired them (all found thanks to Pinterest, but originally from here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here):

As are the rules, I took inspiration (or Pintspiration, har-har) from the above projects and then I did my own spin. Which added up to those 38 aforementioned ornaments that I whipped up. My method? Good ol’ trial and error. I just played around and made stuff up as I went along. Here’s what I ended up with:

  • 12 faux ceramic animal ornaments (inspired by the A stuff above)
  • 18 colorful swirl glass bulb ornaments (inspired by the B stuff above)
  • 3 patterned ceramic ornaments (inspired by the C stuff above)
  • 4 faux antler ornaments (inspired by the D stuff above)
  • 1 skeleton key ornament (inspired by the E stuff above)

Here they are now:

And here’s how I made each type:


  • Purchased a pack of small plastic zoo animals from Michael’s for $4 (with coupon)

  • Primed them all with white spray primer

  • Use small drill bit to start a hole to screw small ring hooks into the top of each one so they could be hung

  • Painted 4 of them white, 4 of them lime green, and 4 of them navy (w/ acrylic craft paint from Michael’s)
  • Added colorful string (the kind used for friendship bracelets from Michael’s) for hanging


  • Purchased three six packs of glass ornaments (in small and large sizes) from Michael’s for $9 total (with coupons)
  • Removed the ornament cap and poured a decent amount of 99 cent craft paint in one of three colors into the ornament (exact colors I used: “Limeade” by Apple Barrel, “Metallic Emerald Green” by Folk Art, and “Magenta” by Folk Art Shiny)
  • Slowly swirled the ornament around to spread the paint and create a nice “spun” effect (I aimed to cover 50% of the glass with paint for a not-too-much-and-not-too-little effect). Here’s a video to show you just how easy these babies really are:

  • Allowed each ornament to dry overnight
  • Reattached the ornament caps in the morning after the craft paint dried
  • Added colorful string (the same kind used for friendship bracelets from Michael’s) for hanging


  • Purchased three ceramic ornaments from Michael’s (for $5 total with coupons) along with three Sharpie markers in navy, magenta, and plum (also from Michael’s for another $5 with coupons)

  • Drew magenta and plum chevrons on one ornament, hot pink continents on another (for a modern globe effect), and nested starbursts on the third ornament (in navy, plum, and magenta)
  • Switched out the stock red ribbon for colorful string (yup, the friendship bracelet stuff from Michael’s)
  • Oh and I’m planning to paint the gold cap of the globe ornament someday (white or orange or navy or pink… not sure yet)


  • Purchased one square of Premo Sculpey clay in lime green from Michael’s for $2
  • Sculpted two small shield shapes and two larger ones
  • Used a needle to create two holes for hanging and a stick to create two indents where each stick antler would be glued
  • Baked according to the Sculpey directions to permanently harden them

  • Used crazy glue and sticks from the front yard to create faux antler trophy
  • Added colorful string for hanging (more of that friendship bracelet stuff from Michael’s)


  • Grabbed rusty old skeleton key (a sweet gift from a friend)

  • Used spray primer and white craft paint leftover from faux ceramic animals to paint it white
  • Added the friendship bracelet string for hanging

As for where I’ll display the not-so-Clara-friendly ornaments (well, they’re all super friendly for looking, especially all the zoo animals – just not so friendly for touching when it comes to the glass and ceramic ones), I’ve always loved the idea of a half-height tree on a round pedestal table like this – so we might get a real tree for that (and plant it in the backyard when the holidays are over). But on to the money stuff – here’s the budget breakdown:

  • $4 for plastic zoo animals (from Michael’s)
  • $2 for ring hooks for animals (from Lowe’s)
  • $3 for spray primer for animals (from Lowe’s)
  • $3 for acrylic paint in navy, white, and lime (from Michael’s)
  • $2 for friendship bracelet string for hanging (from Michael’s)
  • $9 for 18 clear glass ornaments (from Michael’s)
  • $2 for magenta & teal acrylic paint (reused lime paint from animals)
  • $2 for Primo Sculpey clay for faux antlers (from Michael’s)
  • Total: $27 (so each of the 38 ornaments was 71 cents on average)

Oh and don’t forget to check in on Katie, Ana, and Erin to see what amaaaaazing projects they whipped up (they’ll be sharing theirs sometime today as well)!

And now here’s the part where we invite you to share all of the fun Pinterest Challenge projects that you guys have tackled in the last week (right along with us, well at least virtually with us). If you’ve already blogged about it, just:

  1. click on the blue “Add Your Link” button with the odd cartoon head at the bottom of this post (you might have to do some scrolling, depending how many projects are added)
  2. add a link to your specific blog post about your project in the url field (not your home page)
  3. where it says “name” write a descriptive name for your project (ex: “38 DIY Ornaments”) as opposed to your actual name
  4. we’d also love if you could quickly link back over to our project posts within your own (here’s Katie’s, Ana’s, Erin’s, and ours) – it’s also nice to link to your inspiration project on Pinterest as well as to directly link to the original project/site, just so they get some love too.

And if you’d rather just link over to your project in the comment section, feel free to do that – or even add a link to a free photo sharing site like Flickr with your pics if you don’t have a blog (remember to set the gallery to public so we can all see it). We can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to! Geeked out doesn’t even begin to describe it.


  1. says

    Thank you so much for hosting, John and Sherry. This is my first time joining the Pinterest Challenge. I put my own spin on a recipe this time, but I hope you guys do this again because there are all sorts of Pins I’d like to work on. I just need the motivation. ;) I love the ornaments you made…the navy, plum, and magenta ones are my fave. Have a great day!

  2. says

    I think these are super cool! And they don’t look like they took/take a lot of time, either. I’d guessed that the craft paint swirl was how you’d done some of those — hee, I’ve clearly been reading too many blogs!

    I am totally a sucker for skeleton keys, so I think that’s my favorite, but all of these look great! :D

  3. Erin S. says

    Cute! We have a little girl about a year older than Clara, and we hung “not so friendly” ornaments on the upper half of the tree and “not-breakable, but not exactly meant to play with” ornaments on the bottom. Then we taught her “one finger touch” with the ornaments, and she was GREAT with the tree last year. We spent a couple of days reminding her, but the rest of the month, she would look carefully and never once pulled something down. I have a feeling Clara would be cautious and listen like my girlie was last year!

    Random coupon question — how do you use so many Michael’s coupons at once? They always only let me use one 20% off coupon at a time. Do you check out about 10 different times? :)

    • says

      That’s a really smart idea Erin! Love it! As for Michael’s coupons, I’m just there so often (I got things in a few trips because I wasn’t organized and kept changing my mind- haha). I usually get a 40-50% off coupon to use the next time I’m there and I pick the most expensive item and use it for that thing (ex: one 6-pack of large glass bulbs). Sometimes when John and Clara are there with me they’ll get in one line with half the stuff and I’ll get in another line with the other half of the stuff and we’ll each use a coupon (since they’re usually only limited to one per transaction but the gals there don’t mind if families split things up that way). Hope it helps!


  4. says

    Wow! I LOVE the little spray painted animals!! They are my favorite for sure. They are cool and totally kid-proof which I definitely need this year. I am already planning on DIYing a whole slew of ornaments this year since all of ours are glass (we have a 20 month old…that doesn’t mix). What great ideas.

    We tackled staining our concrete floor in our future guest room/office–which I have been eyeing/pinning for months. I LOVE the Pinterest Challenge.


    …off to check out everyone else’s project.

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