As someone with her own private tinsel tree forest, I tend to have a hard time finding Christmas ornaments that not only curl my kitsch-loving toes, but also match my colorful trees. Traditional ornaments just won’t work on an eight-foot-tall, hot pink tree. Most times, I turn to vintage ornaments. Those ladies of yesteryear knew how to get their holiday craft on. However, the holidays bring out the crafter in people. Why not try making your own Christmas ornaments? Get the kids involved, make it into a ladies’ night party, or start a tradition of one handmade ornament a year. The only rule when making untraditional ornaments is to not follow any rules.
1. Christmas in an Ice Cream Cone
If you thought ice cream cones only came in tan, then you probably also thought Christmas trees could only be green. Fake trees can come in almost any color of the rainbow, and so can ice cream cones. These adorable pink ones seemed too cute to eat, so I turned them into an ornament. Check out my entire tutorial here.
2. Festive Felt Stencils
Felt is such a fun craft medium. It comes in so many delicious colors, something about the texture is so comforting, and you can do almost anything to it.
When it comes to Christmas ornaments, a pile of felt has endless possibilities. You can decorate your tree in felt from head to toe with everything from tree skirts to garlands to ornaments. You can stitch it, paint it, layer it—or, like I did, all of the above.
Using my friend Ed Roth’s Stencil1 stencils, I created a whole slew of felt ornaments this year. I embellished them all with pompoms and embroidery. I love the way these turned out, and how they look on my tree.
3. Beaded Beauties
To me, nothing says “kitschy Christmas” like a handmade beaded ornament. There is something so tacky, yet amazing, about these. Alone, they look like you went to a craft swap at your local church; in a group, they look like sparkly Christmas heaven. Check out my full tutorial here.
4. Feliz Navidad Piñata Tree
When you decide to have a Feliz Navidad tree, you need to make your own ornaments. You can find a handful of piñata-shaped ornaments ready-made at the stores, but hand-making them is so much more fun. Check out how to make your own piñata ornament right here.
5. Painted Ladies
If you are an artist, nothing says you must only paint paper and canvases. Small pieces of wood, blank craft ornaments, or even shatterproof ornament balls are your Christmas canvas. Use craft paint to make these ornaments anything your little heart desires. Don’t forget the cardinal rule: Pompom fringe and glitter make everything better, especially Christmas ornaments. If you live in Austin you can swing my the Blue Genie Craft Bazaar and grab one of mine.
So what kind of ornaments are you going to make for your tree? Seems a shame to just run to the store and buy some boring red and green balls, when you could get your Christmas craft on instead and make your very own customized holiday tree.
This blog post originally appeared on BlogHer.