One of the most creative ways to decorate for Christmas is to make your own handmade ornaments. Here’s an amazing tree full of them with simple DIY ornament projects just for you.

snow-globe-christmas handmade ornaments

Just when I thought I couldn’t adore you anymore.

You went and inspired me again.

If you are into a handmade Christmas or want a few ideas on handmade gifts or cry a little with joy over these amazing ornament stories.  You have to read the comments on this post and this post.

I love handmade. Simple projects are the best. Like this burlap vase project I made several years ago. And so I knew that I knew that I knew that I knew….

….I was totally going vintage and making handmade ornaments.

handmade ornaments

Here are just a few of the hand made ornaments from the tree.

My sister made the woodblock photo ornament for me years ago when the twins were little.  I clipped vintage bingo cards to the tree along with vintage numbers and letters from long ago Christmas projects.

I bought the chalkboard ornaments and scrapbook paper ornaments a while ago, but they are easy to make yourself.

Here’s the DIY for the spring snowflake and my sister just made the yarn and snowflake garland this year.

christmas-tree-2016 handmade ornaments

christmas-tree-branches handmade ornaments

Here’s the finished tree.

It found its home in the living room in front of the chalkboard.

The twins helped me decorate it and work on the chalkboard decorating.  There are wood snowflakes tucked into the days of the week and the occasional chalk snowflake drawn by an elf.

package-paper-trim handmade ornaments


This book paper garland is so easy to make.

You can find the DIY tutorial here.

The vintage Noel garland was purchased years ago and the DIY for the joyful birds that clip on the branches can be found here.

christmas-tree-neutral handmade ornaments


The star at the top of the tree?

It’s made from my father’s old maps and was a gift from my sister for Christmas last year.

You can read the story here.



The tree has a tree skirt, but I also added a vintage tool box in front of it for a little more texture.

It’s the perfect place to stack packages.

And handmade ornaments like this one that my other sister made this Christmas.



My cup is overflowing and I’m so grateful for so many things.

I’m grateful for a beautiful tree that sparkle and shines, brimming over with branches of evergreens that look so real you’d think you could smell Christmas in the air.

I’m grateful for this checklist that helped me destress this year.

I’m grateful for all of you for reading and inspiring and creating and believing and making this world a better place.

But most of all?

I’m grateful for healthy elves and hand-drawn snowflakes and handmade ornaments and sweet smiles and hot chocolate mustaches.

And wonderful, incredible, amazing Christmas miracles. 🙂

PS Here’s one of my favorite Christmas tours on the planet.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Jan Goff Jan Goff

    Your tree is an inspiration. For several years now I have wanted to do a tree with all hand made ornaments. Maybe this is the year I will get to it. Thank you for sharing your tree.

  2. Image for Ellen Ellen

    LOVE,LOVE, LOVE this gorgeous tree!! The handmade ornaments are spectacular and I couldn't choose just one as the best! The perfect crowning touch is your sister's handmade star from your Father's maps- that is a treasure!!! The vintage tool box is a splendid addition and the living room is beautiful. Thank-you for sharing. I'm jealous of all of your elf helpers, I could sure use them at my house.

  3. Image for Sherrie Pfeiffer Sherrie Pfeiffer

    Loose the tree, and it fits your woodsy, farmhouse style perfectly. Yes, handmade is the best. I would love to know how your sister made the photo block ornament. Can you pass along her tips? I've never heard of Puleo, but I will definitely do some research. Thanks so much!

  4. Image for Vicky Pryor Vicky Pryor

    Everything is so me!! I love it all! I would really love to know where you got that rug.... I'm looking for a new one and love this!

  5. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Love the tree but especially how you and your precious little elves decorated it! It's so beautiful put together and the ornaments are each full of beautiful stories of their own. It's no wonder they asked you to decorate their tree ;-)

  6. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    That is a beautiful tree and I love the star from your grandfathers map. Very cool. Have a Wonderful Holiday Season. I work in an Architecture library and old building drawings would be a fun to use for the star. Copies of course.

  7. Image for Christine Christine

    Your tree and decorating are beautiful. I follow a few blogs, and some just over decorate. Your touches are just right! Where did you get the two little white trees on the table?

  8. Image for Taste of France Taste of France

    Our handmade ornaments are the most precious to me. I remember making some with my mom, who was VERY into crafts and DIY, while the delicate snowflakes were crocheted by my grandma. You hold them in your hand, and it's an instant trip through time.

  9. Image for Nana Nana

    I love it and I know the love that went into each and every ornament - I wasn't feeling so Christmasy and this did it - thank you for sharing. Love you

  10. Image for Cindy Brown Cindy Brown

    I have that same "NEST JOY" paper garland! I just adore it! Your tree, as always, is gorgeous, as is everything you touch! Merry Christmas!

  11. Image for Carmen Skyles Carmen Skyles

    I love everything about this tree. You have very talented sisters also! Creativity must run in the family. I loved the star on top of the tree and the jingle bell and your name ornament. Very cool. This whole tree looks so much like you and something you would just "throw together" ~ Very awe inspiring!!!

  12. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Beautiful, as is everything you touch, KariAnne ... I love using handmade in my Christmas decor! Creating "one of a kind" treasures is also really fulfilling to me, personally. They are often very unique and inspiring, they possibly have stories behind them ~ whether gifted or made "yourself" ~ and they are yet another way for everyone to share their "talents" with others! Can't wait for more of your upcoming Christmas Holiday posts ... you are truly an inspiration ... !


    So beautiful, KariAnne! Love all the handmade ornaments! "Handmade" ornaments are the best! Our tree has only handmade ornaments and we treasure each and everyone of them. Such a pretty and unique star, wonderful history and a beautiful sister who made it for her dear and precious sister! You will enjoy this special gift for years! Bless you for being so special!

  14. Image for Marg Marg

    "We're not worthy!" The tree is STUNNING! The box platform-genius (that will go viral). The fact that your family had a part, priceless. This is one of the prettiest trees I've ever seen, Karianne!

  15. Image for Mary-the boondocks blog Mary-the boondocks blog

    This is such a beautifully decorated tree. The amount of detail in the ornaments is astounding. I am taking notes here Karianne! Now I'm off to figure out how your sister made that star. Btw, your family is a wealth of talent! Merry Christmas!

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