Are you crafty?  Do you enjoy staying up late and creating pretty things?  I know I do – although they are not always as pretty as I saw in my mind’s eye.
Last year, I made two different types of ornaments – one that the students finished and one that I made as a surprise for students and coworkers.  I will focus on the latter in this post.

Supplies Needed:

A clear ornament for each student/coworker plus a few extras  


Really Cheap Hairspray with a screw-top
Lots of Glitter
Curling Ribbon
Baker’s Twine/String/Yarn
List of Favorite Colors
A cardboard box (smallish)
Styrofoam or plastic cups

How to Make the Ornaments

1.  Before Thanksgiving I took a student list and passed it around the class. I asked each student to write down his/her favorite colors.  I also went around asking coworkers the same question.

2.  I purchased my supplies.  You can get clear ornaments at most craft stores.  They come in glass or shatterproof plastic.  As I am sure you have guessed, I used plastic;)  WalMart usually carries plastic ornaments for just under $1 each.  They are very nice, and sometimes they even have different shapes, such as Christmas light bulbs.  (I tried the different shapes, and they were okay.  Overall, I prefer the round ones.)   These ornament go very fast in some areas, so if you want them get them early.


I used the cheapest bottle of hairspray I could find.  You need to pour it in the ornaments, so it just needs a screw top lid.
I bought Martha Stewart glitter in her massive pack.  (there are always 50% off coupons for some of the craft stores – don’t pay full price.)  Warning, her little bottles only cover a few ornaments, so if you need to do a lot of one color, you may just want a big bottle of glitter in that color.  Any brand of glitter is really fine.
I also bought a big lot of baker’s twine – I think I found it in the craft store.  Again, always use a 40-50% off coupon.
I had a lot of curling ribbon stashed away in my wrapping paper, so I didn’t buy that at all.
All in all, I spent about $1 an ornament, $10 on glitter, maybe $10 on twine, and maybe $2 on hair spray.  If you need the ribbon, it will cost more.  The good news is I have tons of everything left for this year (except the ornaments of course.)

3.  Get organized to craft!  I enlisted two children that liked dumping glitter and swirling it around.  (My youngest was 8 and I am not sure how much “help” a younger child would be,)  Always put down a lot of newspaper.  We are messing with glitter here.  The more newspaper the better.  I used Styrofoam cups in a box to hold each ornament as it dried.  Organize the box with cups, hairspray, and glitter on the table where you will craft.

4.  Pop the little tops off of all the ornaments and store them in a cup or bag until you are finished.

5.  Place one clear ornament in each cup in order to craft faster!

6.  Before you begin glittering, make sure you know how many ornaments of each color you want to make.  Check them off as you go in order to not make the wrong colors.

7.  Now, the trick to doing these ornaments is to be FAST.  You start by pouring the hairspray in the ornament.  (Don’t go crazy – you don’t need tons of it.)  Slowly twirl the ornament around until you are sure that you have coated all of the inside.  (It is not easy to add glitter if you miss a spot later!)  Be sure to coat the area at the top well.  If you do not get the hairspray everywhere, you will end up with “bald” spots.

8.  Pour excess hair spray back into bottle or into the next ornament.

9.  Quickly dump a lot of glitter into the ornament.  Tap and spin the ornament around until the entire inside is covered.

10.  Again, dump out the extra glitter back into your bottle of glitter.  (This is why it is important to get all of that excess hairspray out – you cannot reuse wet, sticky glitter.)

11.  Turn ornament upside down in its cup to dry.  (They dry fairly quickly.)

12.  Repeat for each ornament.

13.  Put the ornament tops back on.  Let the ornaments get good and dry before you try to put the ornament tops back in.  The tops scratch the sides, and they can easily take the glitter off in inside when you put them back in.

14.  If you use vinyl and have a Silhouette machine or a Cricut, you can cut each person’s initial with the machine.  If not, use Sharpies and write it on.  (They will love it either way!)  Be sure to let the sharpie dry – otherwise it can smear.

15.  I sued Sharpies to write the year and my name on the back of the Student ornaments.

16.  Add ribbon to your desire.

17.  Add in yarn for the “attachment.”  I used baker’s twine, but your could use string or yarn.


Were these quite a bit of work?  Yes.  Were they very expensive?  No, but if you are on a tight budget it may be more than you want to spend, especially if you have to buy everything new,  (I already had a lot of craft items – and then I bought stuff at clearance prices for this year after the holidays.  It will be even cheaper for me to make them this year!)
The look on each student’s face?  Priceless.