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

    Thanks so much for hosting the link par-tay today! Wow 76 submissions already and I know you’re going to have tons more! I did a post about using cardboard & twine. I don’t have a hobby lobby etc here in the Caribbean where I live (woe is me) but I love to use what I have anyway! xoxo

  2. Pip says

    Love the ornaments – so cute and personal. All you need now is a special Clara one (and a Burger one, that makes 39 & 40). I particularly liked your modern globe (especially compared to the inspiration photo – great update!)- imagine a little stick figure on Australia waving hello. Or not, a bit stalker-y for the Christmas tree.

    • says

      Aw thanks Pip! We definitely need to add a special Clara and Burger one to the mix! I had so much fun I predict a lot more ornament making in the next month or two!

    • says

      Since you guys love initials so much (I’m partial too), why not get the little ceramic/plaster letters at the craft stores and paint those up for ornaments on the tree? First letter for each person? Clara could even paint hers the same way she did her pumpkin :)

    • Laura says

      I have an idea for a Clara ornament…

      The tradition in my family is to get a clear glass round ornament and we each draw on one per year (using paint pens, but sharpies work too!). I have them from when i was little and just scribbled to now when we draw the highlights from the year. It really is one of my favorite traditions, I’m so glad my parents started this tradition so many years ago!

  3. jennifer f says

    He- Im so excited for your table setting posts. I am actually hosting both thanksgiving and xmas this year for the first time and really really want to have a fabulous table. When are you guys coming out with that?

    • says

      We’d love to do one of those again soon! Not sure when (they’re not really a regular event, but we usually do one before the holidays each year – so here’s hoping!).


  4. says

    Thanks for hosting this brilliant challenge! It was so much fun and I can’t wait for the next one! Your animal ornaments are brilliant (both the colors and the idea)!

  5. says

    I, too, could not resist the siren song of Christmas decoration for this Pinterest challenge. LOVE those ornaments! Thanks for the “call to action” to get my butt in gear and actually make something I pinned!

  6. says

    I posted 2 projects. Hope that’s okay. Both Pinterest-inspired projects. One was just done before you announced the Fall Ed.
    Love the ornaments. I have a date planned with my sister in early December to craft up some ornaments/gift tags etc myself.
    Can’t wait!

  7. Ryan Elizabeth says

    omg! i love the faux ceramic animal ornaments. we share a love for ceramic animals, sherry!

    always enjoy seeing your projects.

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