DIY Christmas Gifts | Vacation Collection Ornaments


Wherever we go–vacations, nature walks, shopping, breakfast–my daughter has to gather some mementos of the trip. She calls them her “collections.”

When she gathered bags of stuff during our summer beach vacation one year, I decided I was finally going to do something with them. (We bring back sand, shells, driftwood and more every year!) So, I bought some clear glass ornaments and we made homemade keepsake ornaments with the sand, shells, pebbles and driftwood — and they turned out really cool! They were so amazing that we even made some as gifts for our friends who were on the trip with us.

The great thing about this craft is that you don’t have to do it just at the holidays. Buy the clear glass ornaments when you see them clearanced after the holidays and make them throughout the year from different collections. Then, when you’re ready to decorate your tree, you have a whole new set of ornaments that really mean something to the family and you will have fun reminiscing.

diy christmas gifts ornaments

How to Make Christmas Ornaments

DIY Christmas Gifts | Homemade Keepsake Ornaments

You’ll Need:

Clear Ornaments with Removable Tops (AFFILIATE)
Clear Ornaments with Removable Tops

Paper (Color of Choice)–cut into 1/2-inch wide slips (if using your computer and printer, cut them into 1/2-inch slips after printing)

Ribbon (assorted colors of choice)

Pencil with Eraser


Super Glue


diy christmas gifts ornament vacation



1. Print (from your computer printer) or write the name of the event and year on a slip of paper. On a separate slip, write the location or any other information you want to include.

2. Curl only the ends of the paper. (I used the scissor edge to gently curl it the same way that you curl ribbon.)

3. Gently remove the top of the ornament. Place (or pour) sand, crushed leaves, pieces of wood, rocks or whatever else you gathered into the ornament.

4. Loosely roll the slips of paper and then place them, one at a time, into the ornament. Use the pencil (eraser side) to help unroll the paper and position the slip of paper inside the ornament.

5. Add the additional slips of paper and repeat #4 until they are all in and in place.

6. Glue top of ornament back on using super glue. If you have sand in your ornament, you may want to glue a small, round piece of paper on the opening before you glue the top of the ornament back on. This will prevent the sand from accidentally pouring out. (Yes, I’m telling you this from personal experience.)

7. Tie with ribbon and hang on tree, or wrap as a gift!

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About Author

Jacqueline Wilson is Ella's mom and a homeschooler. She loves cooking and creating with her daughter. She is the co-author of 50 Shades of Frayed: Three Moms Talk About What Happens When "I Do" Becomes "Not Tonight". You can follow her on her personal Twitter account, WritRams and on Facebook as WritRams and Little Cooks Reading Books.

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