An Ornament Party

By Kate Riley December 8, 2009

For me, there is no such thing as too many ornaments during the holidays, especially ones that are handmade, heartfelt, or historic in one’s family.  I just love to deck the halls at Christmastime and having plenty of ornaments on hand is the key to a fa-la-la fabulous season.  My girls and I had a ton of fun in the last few days creating new ornaments this year. 

Welcome one and all to my little parade of DIY ornaments !

ornament party

This year, I came up with a medley of merry décor, from a boxwood kissing ball to glittery cookie cutters to kid friendly peppermint letters to several variations of glass ornaments. 

ornament collage

All of these projects are incredibly simple !  The step by steps are so easy, they can’t even be called tutorials, but I’ll share the ingredients just the same. If you’ve got something creative you’d like to contribute, or a host of family ornaments you’re showcasing, then please join the party and link up at the end of this post!   MckLinky is active through Wednesday to encourage plenty of holiday blog hopping.   

First up, this charming boxwood kissing ball I crafted in about an hour.  I’ve noticed quite a few boxwood spheres popping up in high end stores this year, so I was inspired to create one for this season with clippings from my own hedge. 

boxwood kissing ball final

Supplies:  a 4” Styrofoam ball, long pin with circular top (I used a leftover turkey lacer), 40+ six inch boxwood clippings, hot glue, red berries, decorative ribbon. 

Steps to create:  pierce your Styrofoam ball with your turkey lacer and secure top and bottom with hot glue.  Trim boxwood to form 2 inch clippings and insert into your Styrofoam ball.  Add berries and ribbon.  Solidify ribbon with more hot glue. 

boxwood steps

Here it hangs in our kitchen to encourage my family to kiss the cook !

boxwood kissing ball in kitchen

From what I read online, these should last about a month even without a preservative. 

 boxwood kissing ball rectangle


I kept the kids busy making these peppermint candy letters.   

peppermint letter ornament

You can create these with some $1 dollar craft store letters, craft glue and soft peppermints.  To create, simply cut peppermints in half, shave with fine grater to make perfectly flat on rear, then secure with craft glue for a whimsical monogram. 

The girls and I had fun making these simple glitter ornaments out of cookie cutters. 

Silver & white star

white glitter star

Silver & white snowflake

white glitter snowflake

To create, paint craft glue onto inexpensive set of cookie cutters then shake inside a plastic bag filled with colored glitter. 

glitter ornaments steps

Allow to dry overnight, then secure ribbon to top with hot glue. 

Pink angel

pink glitter angel

Pink mitten

pink mitten

I also bought a few sets of clear glass shapes at Michaels to create some other original ornaments.  I swirled craft paint mixed with a few drops of water on the inside of the glass ornaments to color them from the inside. 

paint inside glass ornament

Once the paint was dry, I added some seasonal sayings sent to me by my friend Sandy, a rep for Uppercase Living.

blue peace ornament

blue believe ornament

A little hot glue and a small feather boa adds a bit more glam to this 5 inch glass ball. 

wish with feather boa

Some frosted glass spray paint and more vinyl letters convey this simple message. 

create ornament

These are all on display in our guest space, hung from some cherry blossom branches.

blue glass on branches 

blues and browns in guest space

If you’d like to order some rub on vinyl applications from Uppercase Living, visit Sandy’s site right here

Some more craft paint and metallic glaze swirled inside more glass balls and embellished with snowflake stickers, we created a set of these for our pink, silver and gold themed tree.

pink and gold snowflakes

Finally, with some of those boxwood leaves and berries, I made this mini terrarium inside a simple glass ball.


All of these creations came from minimal effort and a great time making memories and spending time crafting with my girls. 


How about you?  Do you have a set of special ornaments that you’ve created for your family, or some sentimental reminders of Christmases past ?   Join the party and share your link !  

Minimal criteria friends !  If you’ve added some great décor to your home with some ornaments, handmade or not, click below to link up and share your creativity !  


  1. I’m new to your site, Kate. What a creative DIY talent you are! Wow. I love all the ornaments. I feature quite a few DIY projects on my blog, love all the creativity, but have yet to tackle something more elaborate than just painting or sticking shells on my Christmas trea lights!
    Happy Holidays!

  2. Maybe it’s just me…but I don’t think MckLinky is working right? I will keep trying tho… LOVE the the ornies
    your painted on the inside! So classy!

    m ^..^

  3. Hi Kate, Love your ornaments! I made small boxwood wreaths last year. Loved them, but my supplier of boxwood clippings has changed their garden, so I don’t know if I can find enough clippings this year. Love the painted balls too! I find the silver and blue combo so elegant!

  4. I just love your beautiful “Kissing Ball”-I haven’t heard of these before but I might just have to give that project a try. How do you take such amazing pictures too. These images are truly stunning, as are all of the pictures in your blog!

    Thank you so much for hosting this “party”-I am going to go back and study your directions for that ball!
    Best wishes,

  5. The stuff you created are always so elegant, thanks for sharing this with us. You’re indeed very inspiring.

  6. Kate, thank you so much for hosting this party! :) I’ve been looking forward to it. I have to take the girls (gulp) to have their birthday/Christmas pictures taken this morning and then to see Santa, but I am planning to sit down with some hot chocolate tonight and peruse all of these great links. :)

    I love all of your ornaments…to hard to pick just one as a favoroite. I always wondered how to do the craft paint ornaments…thanks for showing the picture of those. :) The glitter ones are beautiful too!

  7. So many great ideas….I shall copy you. :) I especially love the clear ornaments with paint glazed inside. We did this with vases for my daughter’s wedding in the summer. Thanks for hosting!

  8. I love all of your ideas. My favorite would have to be the glitter covered cookie cutters. You always have a way of making your DIY look so elegant.
    Thanks for hosting the Parade of Ornaments!

  9. Thank you for your posts. You inspire me and I will be using one of your ideas with the kids in my son’s playgroup!

  10. i just found your party this morning…too late to join in. i love your ornaments and i’m having fun at your party!
    all the best,

  11. OK, I. AM. IN. LOVE. with ALL of those!!!…….too little time, too much I want to do! LOL I’m going to have to give some of these a try for sure!! We need to take 3 ornaments to an ornament gift exchange party and I can’t find anything I like………but these I LIKEY!♥….heading to Michales tomorrow to see what I can find! Thanks!


  12. Gorgeous, girl! Every single one of them. You amaze me with all you do. I don’t know how you blog, do all these projects, take pics & post them AND take care of your family. These are all SO pretty and unique. Love the boxwood ball and those blue ones in your blue room are just stunning.

  13. Oh I just love the cookie cutter ornaments. They would look great on a kitchen tree. The blue swirled paint ornaments are just lovely. You could really color customize.

    I linked up three projects that now grace my tree~ the pearl encrusted star, button ball and the Anthro inspired tree topper. I hope you’ll come take a peek.

  14. Kate, I’m new to your site and am so inspired. Love your projects. Love the kissing ball. We have boxwood and mistletoe here so I could do one of each!

    Merry Christmas!

    Christi @ A Southern Life

  15. I love the boxwood kissing ball, and the frosted glass ball. They are all so lovely!

    Thanks for hosting the party, I hope you let me know what you think about my ornaments. I’m hurrying to get one more done by tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll be able to link that one up too.

    Have a great day!

  16. these are all great ideas! i crafted some ornaments this weekend but they are not worthy to post on here. but i am so happy that you are having this party so i can get more ideas and maybe have something that is worthy to post

  17. I love the ornaments…we have some beaded ones from my husbands mother that I love. I want to make the peppermint initial ones! so cute!

    Also – I LOVE your light…where did you get it from? I have been looking for a new dining room light and it’s the first one I’ve seen that is in the brushed nickle that I actually like!

  18. I love the idea of getting the clear ornaments and putting a little paint inside to color them! Using the uppercase living words finishes them off beautifully. If I have any time left I’d love to try this one.

  19. Thanks for the link Kate! I love your ornaments — they came out perfectly! I’m going to have to try your paint trick. Better yet, can you just come to Texas and decorate my house for me?!

  20. These clear ornaments with the paint inside! I love them! I will be saving that idea for next year!
    Thanks for hosting!

  21. I’m done for this year, but I am going to make those glitter cookie cutters for next year. They would also be great napkin rings for a holiday table. I love all your ideas…always!


  22. They are all fabulous! I think I love the glass ones painted from the inside the best, what a great idea! Thanks so much for hosting us and stopping by my blog.

  23. Oh my gosh!! I love that some of the ideas are for ornaments that will last a season and some are meant to keep forever…..And I L-O-V-E the idea about swirling paint in the clear glass balls to get ANY color ball you want! That rocks…I am not a very crafty person but I feel I could handle that…and I don’t know if that is an idea that has been around for a while but I haven’t ever heard of it…and I HEART the glittered cookie cutters!! I love putting glittery ornaments on the tree because they sparkle so beautifully at night when the lights are on, but so often the glittery ornaments you can find in the store are either tacky or too pricey…I feel like I’ve gotten an early Christmas present just from reading your blog today!! Thank you!

  24. Thanks for hosting such a fun party Kate! I posted quickly this morning before going to work but now I am back and enjoying each and every entry. Also, I just love the ornaments that you made as well. Especially the pale blue and silver bulbs. I have boxwoods in my yard and will have to give the boxwood ornament a try. All are just beautiful! Thanks!

  25. All of the ornaments look very, very pretty! But better than that, you made memories with your girls! That’s the best gift of all.
    thanks for hosting!

  26. Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog! I love all of your ornaments, but the kissing ball is my fav. You always have such great ideas!

  27. Hi…I love your site. I have a question that I hope you will answer. My daughter had her bday party last weekend and we put paint in the ornaments but it never dried:( How did you get yours to dry??? Thanks so much for your response.

  28. These are all adorable! Love the ones that are painted inside!! I’ve been meaning to do that for years! I linked to an old post from last year that uses those glass ornaments. Now I may have to do this with them instead. :) I have some DIY ornaments I’m working on but won’t post them for a week or so probably.

  29. Wow! They all turned out great! Got to bookmark this so I can remember to attempt something that may turn out that nicely!

  30. Wow – I love the painted glass/snowflake sticker ornaments. Amazing! You’re going turn me into a crafter aren’t you?!!


  31. Love all the ornaments. I won’t be playing along this year because of the move but I am enjoying everyone’s ideas and decorations.

  32. Hi~I’m new to your blog. It is fabulous. I’m not very crafty but feel like I want to be and am challenging myself to just try. I hope to try your glittered cookie ornaments next year and am already trying to think ahead about gifts I might plan to do in 2011. I’m kind of slow and I’m really thinking I could do the glass balls and glittered ornaments! Thanks for the wonderful directions.

  33. What great ideas! I ran out of time this year to make any new ornaments, so I plan to more than make up for it next year. I will definitely be using some of these ideas! :)

  34. I am trying to make the glass balls with the blue paint inside and they were a complete fail. The paint settled on one side of the ball. How did you get the paint not to settle on one side while drying?


  35. I tried to make christmas ornaments with the glass balls from Michaels last year also. I used acrylic paint and when it would dry the glass ball would crack at the top- where the hanger is. Did you have any trouble with them cracking? What type of paint did you use? THANKS LOVE YOUR IDEAS, YOU ARE SO TALENTED !!!!!!!

  36. RE: Painted inside balls
    If you live in an area that gets hot in the summer just forget about doing those with acrylic paint. We did these a couple years and as soon as they go into the garage the paint sinks to the bottom of the ball. Total waste. The ones we did with the dye inks have kept the color. Do that instead.
    Just my $0.02.

  37. Wow….could I BE any more envious of your amazing house AND decorating skills!? I think not! I love love everything you’ve done! So great! I’m extremely amazed and wanna run out right now and buy some supplies to make some of these – thanks so much for sharing!

    ~ ~

  38. I love your glass ornaments that are painted on the inside. Last time I tried it the paint wouldn’t stick – did you use general craft paint or glass specific glass paint?

  39. I realize that Christmas has come and gone but after reading your blog you have inspired me to get a jump start for next Christmas. I found a bunch of great glass balls the day after Christmas for a really good deal. Thanks for the inspiration.

  40. Wow, how beautiful !I want to get the goods .Anywhere,I will introduce you a website which is also has beautifuljewelries.
    Beautiful women must have a look!

    • Hi Charity, I’m not but I had a friend who was a demonstrator last year. Gorgeous designs right?

  41. I saw your cookie cutter ornaments on pinterest and did them today with my 4 boys. They were so easy, and they had a blast! They can’t wait to hang them on the tree tomorrow when they dry! It was great to find something so cute that my kids, ages 2-5, could do almost completely by themselves! Thank you for the great ideas!

  42. Just found you via pinterest. LOVELY ornaments! I especially love what you did with the clear ornaments and adding paint, this is perfect for making a custom color theme!

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