Holiday Crafts filled ornaments tutorial (1 of 1)

Published on December 16th, 2013 | by Julie Finn

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Holiday Crafts: Filled Christmas Ornaments

filled ornaments tutorial (1 of 1)

Got some teeny-tiny treasures?

Some scrap craft supplies?

How about just some of the colored sand or rice or pony beads that your kids play with?

If you do (and you totally do!), then you’ve got almost all the makings for an easy, special, stash-busting Christmas ornament craft.

To make this craft, you will need clear glass ornaments. You can find these anywhere (especially on big sale after Christmas!), but you can also use test tubes or other small stoppered bottles (like the glass vials that I use to make pendants), if you happen to have those on hand, instead.

filled ornaments tutorial (1 of 3)

Pretty pebbles fill this ornament.

The real fun is in what you fill these simple clear ornaments with. If you’re into nature crafts, fill your ornaments with sand from your summer beach vacation. The incredibly small and delicate shells that you found there. Some of the seeds that you saved from this year’s garden. Dried flower petals.

filled ornaments tutorial (3 of 3)

This ornament has scrap mosaic pieces and a bit of white sand.

If stash busting is what you’re feeling right now, fill your ornaments with all the scraps from the secret sewing projects that are also going under the tree this year. Buttons. Beads. The teeny-tiny glass mosaic pieces that nobody ever chooses for their projects because they’re too tedious to grout.

And if you’ve got kids, then they are going to LOVE pulling out some of their favorite craft supplies and filling some of these clear ornaments, too. Colored sand (hint: DIY colored sand is totally do-able) looks just as pretty layered in these ornaments as it does when used in making more conventional sand art pieces. That dyed dried rice that everybody loves for sensory play. Pony beads. Glitter.

I love seeing that look of focus on a kid's face!Since our own clear glass ornaments are pretty small, I didn’t dig out the funnels for the kids to fill these, but instead let them dig around the kitchen drawers for our tiny measuring spoons; the bonus to that is that I get to hear a kid asking “One-eighth teaspoon… Is there such a thing as one-tenth teaspoon, Momma?”

Her fraction consciousness has just been raised–yay!

It’s also best, if you’re using colored sand or rice or glitter or anything else that your kiddo has carefully layered, to encourage her to fill the ornament right to the top. That way, even if she drops it (and she probably will), there’s less chance of her pretty design getting all messed up.

Once each ornament is filled, hot glue the top back onto it, because you don’t want colored sand or tiny glass mosaic pieces or buttons spilled all over your Christmas tree. Then, simply attach a suitable ornament hanger, hang your filled ornament up, and admire it every time you walk by.



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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



  • Tina

    This is such a fun and low key project to do with kids! This was our gift to family one year. Everyone loved them.

    I love the idea of tiny shells or little pebbles! Adding this to my holiday decorating board so the kiddo try it out (probably next year).

    • http://www.craftknife.blogspot.com Julie Finn

      Anything to get it off of the craft supplies shelf! I was pretty happy, because those little pebbles and shells ARE keepsakes, and they were just gathering dust before.

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