Top 5 Things around the House to Make an Original Christmas Ornament


Photos of Family and Friends

Homemade photo ornaments add a personal touch to any holiday tree.
Homemade photo ornaments add a personal touch to any holiday tree.
©iStockphoto/Eileen Hart

Along with those holiday cards, you probably have dozens if not hundreds of photos of friends and family: snapshots from a ski trip, the kids sitting on Santa's lap, the last Thanksgiving with Grandma and so on. Decorate the tree with those images, for a colorful reminder of what the season is really about.

This doesn't mean you need to go out and buy a bunch of hanging picture frames. As long as you're repurposing your decorations, you can create the frames too.

Almost anything can be turned into a photo frame. The bottom of an aluminum beverage can provides a lightweight circular frame for a wallet-size photo. (See How Recycled Aluminum Can Crafts Work for instructions on how to take apart a beverage can.) And the cardstock method described on the previous page works as well for photos as it does for cards.

For an unusual, reflective ornament, use an old CD to set off your photo. You may want to paint the CD first. Spray paint and acrylics will work. But the original CD art can also provide a colorful -- and sometimes appropriate -- background for your photo. Trim the photo into a circle or a diamond and position it on the CD. Use a hot glue gun to fasten it in place.

If you have some time, and some leftover tissue paper from a gift, you can create your own frame with papier-mâché. This method is useful for creating fanciful, knotty, free-form shapes and curlicues. Use a square or rectangle of cardboard as a backing. Make a thin paste of flour and water. Dredge small bits of tissue paper in the paste, and stick them to the cardboard. Work in layers, allowing each layer to dry before proceeding; use a hairdryer set on low to speed up the process. When you're done, paint and varnish the frame. Only then should you place the photo within it.

Up next -- how to turn beloved old clothes into holiday decorations.