Are you looking for easy, non-messy Christmas crafts to make with your kids? In this collection of 4 DIY paper ornaments, you’ll find ornaments that preschoolers through adults will enjoy making! Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links (which means if you purchase from one of these links, your cost is the same, but I may receive a commission), however I only recommend products that I love! Please check out my disclosure policy for more details.
Christmas is not only my favorite holiday, it’s my favorite time of year…and I try to stretch it out for as long as possible! For many of you, the Christmas season may start on December first, or even the day after Thanksgiving. In my house, we started listening to Christmas music a few days before Halloween… (Yes, I’m one of those people.) However, on Thanksgiving weekend, we cannon-balled in! After spending a few busy days with family, we were itching to pull out the Christmas decorations and really dive into Christmas at home.
My Mom did a great job of creating Christmas traditions. I remember, each year, helping to decorate the tree, listening to Christmas music 24-7 during the month of December, fighting my siblings over who got to light the many Christmas candles decorating our living room, decorating sugar cookies, making Christmas ornaments…. and I am so excited to do the same with my own children!
While we have done the Christmas tree decorating, Christmas music on loop, and sugar cookie making for the last few years, this year was the first year that I decided to try making Christmas ornaments with all of the kids. Though I enjoy crafting, crafting with young children can be… messy. And I have a hard time giving my children things that will result in a large mess that I will have to clean up. (Like playdough…and anything with glitter. ) So I began to search for low mess, low stress, DIY ornaments that all three of my kids (ages 3, 5, and 8) could make.
DIY Paper Ornaments for All Ages
As I was digging through my craft supplies looking for inspiration, I came across a large pack of Christmas scrapbook paper that I had bought last year during after Christmas sales. I grabbed it and my stash of glue sticks (that I had stocked up on during the summer school supply sales) and went to work creating paper Christmas ornaments! I wanted to come up with a craft that each child could create that was challenging enough to keep their attention, but not so challenging as to cause frustration.
Paper Ornaments for Preschoolers
The most obvious paper Christmas ornament was one I remember making as a kid – paper chain garland! The scrapbook paper I found was 8-1/2 x 11 inches, so I cut each piece of paper into eleven 1 inch wide by 8-1/2 inch long strips. I showed my three year old how to create and link the loops of paper (using a glue stick to glue the ends together) and he was off! The big kids enjoyed working on this as well!
Paper Ornaments for Younger Elementary Aged Children
I found two other ornaments that my 5 year old could do mostly on his own, onion shaped ornaments and 3D symmetrical ornaments.
Paper onion ornaments are super easy to make, and cute, too! They also lay flat, so they work great for decorating cabinet doors.
To make paper onion ornaments:
1. Cut out five strips of paper, with the middle being the shortest strip, the two strips flanking the middle a bit longer, and the outside two strips a bit longer than the strips next to them.
2. Stack the strips so that they are flush at one end, and staple them at that end.
3. Next, bow the strips so that the opposite ends are flush. Staple that end, and you are done!
These work best with double sided scrapbook paper because you can see both sides of the paper strip when the ornament is assembled. If you, like me, don’t have double sided paper, use twice as many strips, placing matching strips back to back.
3D Symmetrical ornaments
These ornaments are my favorite! They require more work, but the possibilities are endless!
First, create a template for the shape of the ornament. To make sure it’s symmetric, fold a piece of paper in half. Now, with the fold being the center line of the ornament, draw half of the ornament. Cut along those lines, then unfold the paper. You now have a symmetric pattern!
To make 3D Symmetrical ornaments:
1. Fold a piece of scrapbook paper in half lengthwise.
2. Trace your template onto the paper. We were able to fit three shapes onto our sheet of scrapbook paper.
3. With your paper still folded, cut around the shapes. (Cutting out two at a time this way saved a lot of time!)
4. Now fold each shape in half lengthwise.
5. Using a glue stick, glue the back side of one shape half to the back side of another shape half. Do this for six shapes. (Using six shapes made a pretty, full ornament.) The last shape will be glued on both sides to close the circle.
My five year old needed a little bit of help with these. I traced out the shapes onto the paper, and let him cut them out. He was able to fold them lengthwise, but needed a bit of help when gluing it all together.
Paper Ornaments for Older Elementary Aged Children – 3D Stars
These 3 D stars are a little more complicated. My five year old gave up pretty quickly, but my 8 year old LOVED making these.
To make these 3D stars, you will need two square pieces of paper. Each piece of paper will be folded and glued into a 4 pointed star. The two stars are then glued back to back, having been rotated so that the points of the back star are in between the points of the front star.
I followed this step by step tutorial from Emma at Gathering Beauty to create these 3D stars.
Once the glue has dried, use a needle and thread to add some string to hang your ornaments!
I love the way these ornaments turned out, but even more importantly, the kids and I had a fun time making these together. They turned out so pretty that we used them to decorate our kitchen! We draped the paper chain along the top of the cabinets, hung ornaments from cabinet doors and in front of the kitchen window, and decorated the nook above the microwave. I think we’ll make even more to add to the tree and to Christmas gifts!
What were your favorite Christmas traditions, growing up? What traditions have you carried on with your own children? ?
**And if you are looking for some last minute Christmas gift ideas, check out my collection of gift guides! Here you will find toy and non-toy gifts, gifts for kids who like to read, write, draw, craft, build, experiment, etc! Even some gift ideas for Moms!**