Handmade Ornaments – Every Year!

Carol Ann Waugh has a very personal Christmas tradition, handmade ornaments. Read below to find out what makes them so special.

One of my favorite things about celebrating Christmas is putting up the tree and hanging the ornaments.  Each ornament I have collected over the years has a special story but the ones I like the most are the ones I made myself.  Many years ago, I started a tradition of sewing ornaments to give to family and friends. I felt it was a way for them to remember me and the special times we shared and that once a year, they would touch something I had also touched. It was my way of reaching out to them again and again.Handmade Ornament with Rattail Binding
So when my grandchildren were born, I decided to make them ornaments every year as well—this time, using photos of them so they could see themselves grow up as they placed the ornaments on the tree.

Handmade Ornaments with rattail binding These are the ones I made of the two grandkids and the parents. I’m looking forward to helping them decorate the tree this year and seeing the kids faces as they search for their special ornaments and remember what they looked like when they were younger!Handmade Ornaments with rattail binding If you want to make these for your family and friends, the directions are really simple! Select your photo and crop to 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ Print your photo on fabric (I used June Taylor’s Colorfast fabric sheets for ink jet printers). Choose a Christmas themed fabric and sew a 1 ” border all around the photo. Add batting and a backing and free motion stitch around the background to hold everything together. Trim to 4″ x 4″ and add a rattail binding around the edges. To see how to do this I created a video in which I demonstrate the rattail binding technique. Leave enough rattail to tie a bow at the top so you can hang the ornament on the tree.Handmade Ornaments with rattail bindingI hope this inspires you to make some photo ornaments for your own family and friends this year!


Our December 2 Gift For You

Today’s gift is a selection of 5 fat quarter fabric sets to one awesome WeAllSew fan. All you have to do is post a comment below answering the following question:

For whom would you create handmade ornaments?

A winner will be chosen at random on December 3, 2015 and announced later this week!

Good luck!

Day 24: Countdown to Christmas

Congratulations to our WeAllSew reader “jencat22”, the winner of the December 2 gift. Enjoy!


177 thoughts on “Handmade Ornaments – Every Year!

    1. I have made ornaments for many years for my family…some quilted, some knitted, some needlepoint. I have made some for myself as well and they are my favorite ornaments on the tree.

    2. I will create handmade ornaments for my grandson. I want to keep the tradition of giving handmade ornaments to my grandchildren like my mother made for my children. My children cherish those ornaments to this day!

  1. I make Christmas gifts for family and close friends, and I have made many different kinds of ornaments. I am always looking for new gift ideas and that is why I love Bernina’s experience and We All Sew web sites. There are so many projects to make! Thanks Bernina for all of the inspiring ideas.

  2. Very clever idea! Since their introduction in 2007, I have been using the OESD Holiday Collections to make personalized Christmas ornaments for my family.

  3. I would create handmade ornaments for my mom, who has introduced me to sewing as well as my son and husband. I am new to sewing so I am LOVING this blog and the site with all of the wonderful ideas. Thanks & keep ’em coming!!

  4. We made handmade ornaments in Craft club. They had to be an original and make thirteen of the same ornament. We then exchanged them at our Christmas Party. That was many years ago, but I cherish each one as I hang them each year.

  5. A Christmas tradition that I have shared with my daughter every year is giving her a Christmas angel ornament or decoration. This year I made her an embroidered Christmas angel using my Bernina sewing/embroidery machine. It was one of the first designs I attempted and it turned out beautiful. I can’t wait to give it to her. Now, I think I should expand this tradition to other family members. Mahalo and Mele Kalikimaka!

  6. I would make handmade ornaments for my family and friends but especially for my son. He will be graduating from boot camp in a few weeks and heading off for the Marine corp for five years. I am going to start with an ornament this Christmas, since this will be his last Christmas with the family before he ships off. I think this will make a wonderful tradition, to make him one every year and give them to him once he comes home, to put on his own christmas tree.

  7. Great idea. When I have given handmade ornaments, they have usually been to my mom. She decorates a special tree with ornaments made by family members, and I always look forward to it. Some of the ornaments are >40 years old now.

  8. Perfect for my kids. I have their school picture for each year that will be fun to make for them and a great trip down memory lane since they are now in high school and college.

  9. Oh I will see these for new parents and grandparents!! Such a great idea AND I really like the idea of how the chIldten will recognize themselves in the years ahead!!

  10. I’m making tree ornaments for a Boys’ Town. They’ll all have the year and name of the facility on them with a little note to hang the keepsake on their own tree each year to remember the year that was a transition in their lives from on the streets to going to college. The leaders at this facility do amazing things to turn these troubled boys around and get them through high school and on to college. Their first suit ever is purchased by Boys’ Town for their senior prom and graduation. Most of them never had a Christmas gift. There is a league of women that work hard to put together a package for each boy at Christmas time. I have tears every year time they get up and tell their stories of where they came from and where they’re now headed. It’s so inspiring. Imagine when they have a family and they lift their little one to hang that ornament on the tree and remember how their lives changed that year!

  11. I have made homemade ornaments most every year for the last few years for my family and co-workers. My co-workers tell me my gifts are the best because they are from the heart.

  12. What a great idea! I would make them for family and friends. Great way to keep memories, so I would include the year and some little description (skiing vacation 2015) on the back.

  13. My husband and I were married while we were still in college, 49 years ago, so home made ornaments were a necessity. I shiver when I think back to those first gifts. Now I make ornaments as a gift of love, thankfully they have evolved as the years have past.

  14. I would make them for my parents. They are very sentimental and appreciate handmade items. Photo frames ornaments with pictures of Christmas past would be wonderful for them. They have recently lost several friends, so it might be nice to include pictures with lost loved ones.

  15. I would make handmade ornaments for the ladies in my sewing/quilting group at church. Sometimes it is hard to get some of the ladies to think out of the box. By making small projects like ornaments they can see how easy and fun trying new techniques can be.

  16. I love making special ornaments for my grandkids and quilting buddies. They were all given a special christmas stocking when they were born – the designs chosen by their parents.

  17. I have made ornaments for grandparents, parents, siblings. This year I would like to help my kids made them for the grandparents and make a special one for the hubby! It is always so much fun to pull out the memories and place them on the tree.

  18. Handmade ornaments are memorable, valued and kept year after year in our family. Friends love it when I make give them one which I usually tuck in their Christmas card! Thanks for the creative idea of using photographs!

  19. I love making ornaments each year, it used to be my husband’s parents would make an ornament for all of the family members. Since both have passed away, I am keeping up the tradition, hopefully one of my grand daughters will continue after I am gone.

  20. I make homemade picture ornaments every year for my mother-in- law. She decorates her tree with all her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren every year.

  21. I would make a handcrafted ornament for my grandsons (I only have 4 grandsons at this time!) to remind them they have a loving Tutu (Grandma) in Hawaii!!!

  22. I’ve made personal ornaments for my 2 daughters for years, and it has now extended to my 3 grandchildren. I also put lace ornaments on all packages for my friends.

  23. I do a lot of substitute teaching and have several teachers that often call me personally to sub in their rooms. This would make a great gift for them with a class picture featured in the center! duchick at gmail dot com

  24. Christmas is my favorite holiday and do Christmas quilts and holiday pillowcases for all the kids. Thank you for posting this great idea for keepsake ornaments, my next project!

  25. I make handmade ornaments and candy cane holders to take to our local nursing homes. It brightens up their day for someone to bring them treats they would normally not get.

  26. I am no longer able to put up a tree but a simple Christmas garland is the perfect way to display all of the keepsake ornaments that I have accumulated through the years. Lovely to look at ?

  27. I will make handmade ornaments for my grandchildren. I give them ornaments for St Nicholas day each year. That way, they get their ornaments in time to enjoy them. St Nicholas day is Dec. 6th each year.

  28. I would make these for my 3 wonderful children. Now that they’re grown, they only get to see each other a few times each year. This would be a great way to remember their times together and to celebrate them.

  29. I have made hand made Christmas projects for years – everything from the stuffed Christmas trees that were so popular many years ago, various sized Christmas tree skirts, and original ornaments. They were given to family, special friends, my daughters and some of their special friends. Now that I also have an embroidery module for my new Bernina 560, I’m working on keepsake ornaments for my two adorable grandchildren. Depending on how well I do with these, I hope to have some time to make some for special people who seldom receive any Christmas gift, no matter how small. If this doesn’t work out as well as I hope it will, I will start early to have a collection for next year. Wish my luck, please! I have a whole stash of holiday material I’ve collected over the years!

  30. I make handmade ornaments to use as package decorations in any season. The ornaments can be used as desired by the recipients, usually friends and family. Rarely do the ornaments use photos. Instead, I create ornaments related to their current interests, activities, or the season.

  31. I picked up this tradition from my aunt, who has made a Christmas ball ornament for her husband every year they have been married. I started the first Christmas I was dating my husband. However, I have to admit that I relaxed the rules and don’t always make an ornament. For the last three years, I’ve also been making one for our daughter.

  32. I am away from home for the first time this Christmas, so I will begin making the photo ornaments of all my grandchildren to hang on the tree and I will feel like they are with me! Merry Christmas everyone! Jan

  33. We do handmade ornaments every year. We compile a list (shared on Pinterest) and then settle on what supplies we have, what we need and after we are done, we put a tag on the ornament with the year made and any other information that is important (kind of like a recipe) – we also make cards for all occasions. It helps us stay connected as a family!

  34. I have been making handmade ornaments for my family menbers since the days of plastic needlepoint canvas in the 80s. Today they are most often quilted.

  35. I’ve never made ornaments for my family but I think it is a wonderful idea! I hope I can begin this tradition this year. Thank you for the awesome idea!

  36. I didn’t get here in a timely manner, but I do love this idea. So very clever. Thank you for sharing. Now I must go make ornaments for my friends (the ones who are like family) and family…

  37. I made homemade Christmas hearts with a matching tree skirts. I’ve used them for over 25 years. I think it’s probably time to sew a new set. 😉

  38. I have made them for family and friends, to sell at the church craft sale and for myself.
    It is wonderful to find, hang, and remember the ones given to our parents who are no longer with us.

Leave a Reply