3 diy Christmas ornament ideas {light bulb, book page and beads}

I do believe I am a minimalist.  We don’t have a lot of stuff, we don’t feel we need many things, I tend to not craft just to make something crafty and I need to hear quite a convincing argument to spend money on decor type items.  So, when I started on the little Crafty Christmas Tree Challenge I wasn’t exactly sure what would come of it.

There is a budget of $20, but to me that just means “let’s see by how much I can come in below budget, shall we?”.

So, here are a few ornaments I tried, that cost a total of ZERO dollars, but didn’t make it past the One Hit Wonder category for various reasons.

One Hit Wonder #1 – Bead Snowflake

I actually really like how this ornament turned out.

We’ve had these beads for close to 10 years, they are left over from a pull chain project I made in Indy after we added a privacy fence around our back yard.  Of course, 10 year old random beads made the essentials list for the move here. 😉 Other items on said list were discussed here and here.
 I had pinned this inspiration picture from Christmas-Projects.com.

They give a basic tutorial on their site.  But, for some strange reason, I didn’t just happen to have a wire star or any soldering equipment on hand.  Weird, I know.  😉  But, I did have some basic craft wire and a whole big bunch o’ determination.

I cut the wire into 4 equal lengths, about 6 inches long.  I first thought I could use some needle nose pliers to just bend the wire around itself to form a solid center area.  I thought wrong.  It was quite gangley and had no structure integrity to speak of.  And, boy do I hate a bead snowflake without structure integrity, apparently.

But, some of the beads had holes big enough to put all 4 pieces of my wire through.  So, I eye balled the center of the wire pieces and glued them in each side of the bead. After I separated them to make the snowflake shape I had what looked like a spider.
While the glue set I laid out my beads in a design I liked and then I just started assembling.

I used the needle nose pliers to curl a bit of the wire at the end of each spoke.  The same way I did for the photo holders here.
I know the glue around the center bead looks mucky in this pic.  I actually had used a glue that didn’t exactly hold when I started to assemble the beads and it got all wonky (losing it’s structure integrity and all) so I just globbed on some hot glue and cleaned it all up when I was done.

I think it is a great ornament for something that didn’t cost me any money and reminds me of our backyard in Indianapolis which was one of the first major DIY projects we did. I just didn’t have enough beads to make anymore so she’ll go down as my Don’t Worry, Be Happy ornament.  :)

One Hit Wonder #2 – Book Page Star

So, you’ve all seen the book page deco all over blogville, no?  There are wreaths, rolled pages, big things, small things, crafts to hang on the wall things.  I just tried to get all Dr. Seussy there.  See that?

Well, I’ve been wanting to get into this book page project game so I drew a star shape on some cardboard and figured I’d just faux-co-page small, torn pages from a book.  I actually didn’t take any pictures along the way.  Picture a cardboard box with a star shape drawn with a black marker on one of the flaps.  Now picture it cut out, on a table next to about 30 little pieces of torn book pages around a half inch by one inch in size.  Got it? :)

First, I had a lot of moments of hesitation about actually ripping a book.  It just seems to go against what is right.  But, I rationalized it, apologized to the book and tore out page 65 of a book titled Snow Falling on Cedars.  Seemed appropriate for a winter project.  If I had an exacto knife I would have tried to make a snowflake.  Exacto knife = item #2 I want for Christmas.  Item #1 found here.

Then I mixed some glue with water and got to gluin’.  This may just not be my thing, or maybe I had the wrong proportion of glue to water, or maybe my star was too small.  But this was just a lot of work for a very little reward.  I just had a hard time with it all around.  So much so that I decided 1 of these guys was exactly the right number for our tree this year.  :)  I was able to cover the whole star, and I even fit in the book title to help make me feel better about ripping it up.  I went ahead and beglittered each of the points to cover any areas that were left exposed and give her a little bling.  And used a single hole punch to create a hole for the red ribbon hanger.

I actually think she came out really cute.  Good thing, because it was not my favorite project. I will consider her my Spirit in the Sky ornament.

One Hit Wonder #3 – Light Bulb Glitter Ribbon Ornament Thingy

This one I don’t love, but can’t really consider it a fail, because it is hanging on the tree.

On my five finger discount adventure at the shore I actually found a fully intact light bulb.  I find it so amazing that something so fragile can get tossed around at sea and come out unscathed.  She made it home with me and I tried to make an ornament out of her.  I painted her red, glued haphazard lines around it and let glitter set on it until the glue dried. Then I gave her a ribbon bow to cover the light bulby evidence and a little hanger to get her on the tree.

Ehhhh.  That’s pretty much how I feel about her.  She really doesn’t look bad, kind of cool for a light bulb actually, I’m just not attached.  I will think of her as 99 Red Balloons because a light bulb kind of resembles a balloon, right?  :/
Funny, the more I look at the pic, the more I like her.  :)

What have you made only one of for one reason or another?  Anything big or small?  Anything, anything at all?  :)


  1. says

    Oh so creative and inspirational! This is perfect:) I am seriously loving your post! It is so informative and I think my subscribers would really enjoy reading this. I would love for you to come share it at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on Frugally Sustainable (http://frugallysustainable.blogspot.com/2011/11/frugal-days-sustainable-ways-3.html). I really hope that you will put Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on your list of carnivals to visit and link to each Wednesday!

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  2. says

    How about something I’ve made 0 of; 0 at all. (Tried to think Seussy but failed.) Years ago I tore from a magazine a tut on making a snowflake with clear crystal beads and wire. Never lost it and if you knew me, you’d know that is a miracle. Check out my blog, early entires for the mess I have to clean up. I digress. Anyway, I went to buy more beads, wire of the right gauge, etc., got home, stuck the directions in a safe spot and haven’t seen them since!! It was a really pretty ornament with spokes off spokes. It’ll probably turn up in time for Easter.

  3. says

    beautiful ornaments! the book page start one is my favorite! love, love and now I want to make some! <3 Thanks for sharing at Between U & Me so we could all see.

  4. says

    Great topic- the 1 hit wonders. I’ve been struggling a bit with an ornament for the challenge that I’m not sure I like. It’s hard with a small budget to experiment… plus my brain doesn’t work as well as yours obviously does when it comes to seeing the possibilities of found/repurposed objects! Oh how I wish it did! I have to keep reminding myself that I wanted a challenge!
    : )

    I think my favorite is the beaded snowflake.

    P.S. Hope the cranberry sauce muffins came out ok and gave you a taste of Thanksgiving on your island.

  5. says

    I’m loving all your beachy creations!! This is a lovely idea as well. I’ve done some wire things too! Namely, wire starfish. Spray painted them gold and they’ll go on a Christmas wreath!! Sounds like you’re living the perfect life!!!

  6. Jessa (aHolidayHaven) says

    You came up with amazing things. I am so in love with that star. You really have amazing ideas. Following.

  7. says

    Pretty! I like the bead snowflake and the book page star the best. I do the same thing; I’ll make something really cool and then not feel like making any more because it was too much work or because I want to try something new and different. :) Thanks for sharing at Shine On Fridays!

  8. Laura of Our Virginia Home says

    Now I know what to do with all my light bulbs. We switched to energy efficient bulbs so we’ve collected a bunch of old bulbs. I have been looking for homemade ornament ideas so that I can use them to decorate the recipe jar gifts. Thanks for the ideas.

  9. says

    Such great ideas. I love crafting for free and do a lot of that. I have had such a stash of items that I have taught a few craft classes at out senior center and never had to buy a thing for it.



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