Come see how we decorated our Christmas tree with handmade Christmas tree ornaments. Filled with handmade ornaments, it’s my favorite Christmas tree!
I’ve been so busy sharing family favorite recipes, free printable Christmas gift tags and handmade gift ideas, that I’ve failed to share real life with you, like our handmade Christmas tree ornaments.
Although I do use the gift tags and Christmas prints I share with you in my own holiday gift wrapping and decorating, what I really love about Christmas is the way my family incorporates and embraces the concept of a handmade Christmas.
You see, I’ve always enjoyed sewing, crocheting and cooking for my family. But, somehow through the years life simply got in the way.
We I , like so many people, got caught up in living, working and providing financially for our family that we sort of forgot about the people in our lives.
And, quite honestly, Christmas became quite overwhelmingly frustrating and embarrassing. We bought our children gifts – sometimes extravagant – and our gift giving list just kept growing. One more person to buy for simply for the sake of buying or gifting. Does this sound at all familiar to you? I hope not, but I do know that some of you can relate.
Then, something incredible happened as a result of something horrible happening. My husband was disagnosed with Polycythemia Vera (PV) and although that and the subsequent health problems were life changing, we realized that what we wanted most with our children was time. Time to create memories.
And, thus, we began gifting time and experiences. We made opportunities to spend time with our children (all of whom are adults now), really be there for them and returned to making things. I didn’t even know what an amazing craftsman my husband was! His woodworking skills are incredible and his work impeccable.
We slowly transitioned our Christmas gift giving into handmade gift giving. We hope the things we make our children will someday be cherished pieces that they hand down to their children.
Last year, we made clocks for our children. Each one made out of wood and designed specifically with each of them in mind. We also made bowl cozies and mug rugs, among other handmade gifts.
I told you that my husband is an incredible craftsman. He can turn a piece of wood on a lathe into beautiful pens and ornaments. He’s even managed to teach our grandson how to use the lathe and our sailor girl.
Four Christmas Trees
We have four Christmas trees in our house. I’d like to have more! One for each room would be fantastic. Only, our house isn’t very big. But, thank goodness for pencil trees! Oh my goodness. I just love them! They take up less space. They come in a variety of sizes. They tuck nicely in corners.
There’s also a Christmas tree in our family room in the basement. This tree is decorated with all our store bought and childhood ornaments. You know, the Barbie and Disney ornaments. Mickey Mouse and handprints. It’s kind of a collage of our lives and holds a lot of memories of Christmases past.
And we also have a Christmas tree on our front porch. (It’s an enclosed porch.) Santa, complete with a motion sensor, stands proudly beside this white Christmas tree and greets everyone who visits our home.
Plus, there’s also a Christmas tree in our dining room. It’s a small 5’ tall pencil tree. It used to house picture ornaments and some of the hand turned ornaments my husband made. But, this year, our daughter Morgan has taken over the tree and decorated it with Nanny’s collection of 101 Dalmatians.
Then there’s my most favorite Christmas tree of all in our living room. It’s a 7’ tall pencil tree and is home to all our handmade ornaments. Well, there are some old rusty jingle bells and some candy ants scattered about, but everything else was lovingly made by hand.
Handmade Christmas Tree Ornaments
Here’s a look at some of our handmade Christmas tree ornaments.
My most favorite ornaments are the hand-turned wooden Christmas ornaments that my husband, daughter and grandson have made. Last year, I told him I’d like an acorn and he literally made me an acorn!
But, he didn’t just make me an acorn, he made me a beautiful large cedar box with a lid to house the acorn ornaments he made. Just stunning! Priceless! And items I will cherish forever.
Lenny has made probably 100 or so tear drop shaped wooden Christmas ornaments that he’s gifted to family, our children and close friends. Our tree is home to many of these handmade ornaments.
In fact, our daughter Kristen and our grandson Jordan have also made some of these ornaments. Last year, I took some washers and dye stamps and stamped out their names and year on the washer. Then I attached the little stamped washer to each ornament so I would know which ones were made by each of them and when.
I’m hoping for more of these ornaments this year, too!
Crocheted Glass Ornaments
I first made one of these crocheted glass ornaments probably 20 or more years ago. I even crocheted some purples ones for my oldest sister. These satin white glass ornaments crocheted with white cotton yarn are my favorite color combination.
Reclaimed Wood Ornaments
I love to use old picket fences to make trays, clocks, boxes and Christmas ornaments. These reclaimed wood ornaments literally used to be fend pickets that I cut to size, stained, sanded, stenciled and painted.
They just add a rustic touch and different texture and shape to our handmade Christmas ornament covered tree. There’s even one ornament that says, “There’s no place like home.” Even that ornament has meaning to my family because our daughter Stephanie used to be (still is) obsessed with all things Wizard of Oz.
I gathered up some pinecones a few years ago while hiking in some nearby woods. I like using pinecones as fire starters, but these were rescued. I tied some twine around them and hung them on the tree. Natural. Simple. And adds lots of texture.
Picture Wood Slices
The wood slices that I used to transfer family photos onto were cut from tree branches that washed up on the shore of the French River. The French River is special to my family because my husband’s family has been vacationing there for over 50 years.
A lot of the branches have little gnaw marks on the ends from beavers and were washed up along the shores of the French River in Ontario, Canada. Anyway, my husband cut the wood into nice thin slices and I printed out family photos using a laser printer and transferred them on to wood using Mod Podge.
Crocheted Twine Stars
There is so much you can do with jute twine. Did you know you can crochet with twine? All kinds of twine! I have to warn you though that it’s rough on the hands. I even crocheted a star tree topper for our smaller Christmas tree.
Rusty Jingle Bells
I’ll admit, the jingle bells aren’t “handmade”, but they are old and rusty. I tied some twine on them and use them as ornaments. Every tree needs at least one jingle bell, right?!
I really do love this Christmas tree and all its handmade ornaments. I look forward to adding more handmade ornaments to our tree this year. In fact, we have some new family members that we need to include in our picture wood slice ornaments.
Here’s wishing you and your family a Christmas filled with amazing memories and surrounded by the ones you love!
Til next time…