Frugal Holidays: DIY clay baked ornaments + 5 inexpensive Christmas crafts

I think I may be more excited for Christmas than my kids.

It’s one of those years when our kids are the perfect age for Santa–they all get it, & though Hyrum (our 8 year old) may have his doubts about Santa, he still plays along.

I’m giddy with anticipation for the magic of Christmas eve & the excitement of Christmas morning.

As part of our Christmas traditions, we’ve made some Christmas ornaments. In years past we painted ceramic ornaments (mostly just Joseph & I), but this year I wanted to include the kids more.

So we made these:


I got the idea of using oven bake clay from this post from A Beautiful Mess.

The kids wanted some colored clay as well as white, & we used Christmas cookie cutters to cut it into shapes.

I bought the clay on sale from Micheals–about $10, the baker’s twine was $3 (which I’ll use for other things because I only needed a little), & paint pens were also a few dollars (which I bought for this & for our washi tape Christmas cards).

We were able to make 20 ornaments, most of which we’ll send to our family far away as part of our Christmas care packages.


Simple to make,

You’ll need:

♦ oven baked clay (you can also make your own clay)
♦ cookie cutters (or just use a glass & cut all in a circle shape)
♦ paint pen, sharpie fine point markers, &/or paints
♦ toothpick or straw for making hole in top of ornament
♦ baker’s twine or other string for hanging, & scissors

1. Roll out clay (about 1/4 inch thick) with a rolling pin. Cut into desired shapes & make sure to make a small hole big enough at the top of the ornament for the string to go through.

2. Bake for 15 minutes at 275 F.

3. Allow clay to cool.

4. Paint, draw, decorate using paint pens &/or paint. In small letters on the back of each ornament, you might want to put the year & who made it.

5. String baker’s twine through top of hole. Now give away or hang on your tree!


♥♥ More easy, frugal Christmas crafts:

1. Make snowflakes using printer paper & hang from your ceiling (my kids love making snowflakes).

2. Make a Christmas paper chain using red & green construction paper. Easy, colorful, & pretty as a garland on tree.

3. String popcorn & hang on tree.

4. Use toilet paper rolls to make these adorable Santas or reindeer.

5. Make this easy paper plate wreath.


Frugal Holidays Part 1: Simple gifting
Frugal Holidays Part 2: 5 reasons why decluttering before the holidays is essential 
Frugal Holidays Part 3: DIY washi tape Christmas cards
Frugal Holidays Part 4: 5 Christmas traditions we love


Do you have any fave Christmas crafts as part of your holiday traditions?


P.S. Gena just came out with her Holiday Gift Guide–63 clothing, shoes, accessories, edible gifts, & more (all vegan!)–the most comprehensive & best gift guide I’ve seen. Check it out.

P.S.S. You may have seen on facebook that Flirty Aprons is having a major, super awesome sale on their adorable holiday aprons–50% off + FREE shipping. But it’s only good through tomorrow (12/11). Also, I have inside knowledge that they have a limited supply, so if you’re thinking of getting one or two, I’d do it TODAY, because I’m sure they’re going to sell out.


  1. Jeanine
    on December 23, 2013 at 12:46 pm said:

    I absolutely love these! I will use the color idea for our next batch! Thank You! Happy Holidays!

  2. Emma
    on December 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm said:

    These are so lovely Janae, and how nice to be able to get all the family involved.
    Reminds me of all the crafts I used to do when I was younger, especially the chunky salt dough beads I made for necklaces.

    • Janae Wise
      on December 10, 2013 at 7:05 pm said:

      Thank you!–crafts are the one of of the few things that calm my children down 🙂 (that & making them run laps outside).

  3. Spécialiste de l'éphémère
    on December 10, 2013 at 3:53 pm said:

    This is a marvelous souvenir for me…..
    All those “bricolages” with my 4 kids … all the baked ornaments, each year…
    I wish they were young again!
    Those are things you do not prepare with teenagers! 😉
    Except for the cookies! This is a must. Even with the boyfriends of my daughters! Yeah!

    • Janae Wise
      on December 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm said:

      “Except for the cookies! This is a must. Even with the boyfriends of my daughters! Yeah!”
      Yes, I would imagine cookies are a must with teenagers in the house! 🙂

  4. Emma (This Kind Choice)
    on December 10, 2013 at 2:05 pm said:

    Have you made gingerbread versions of these before? So cute and tasty, although they don’t always last 😛

    • Janae Wise
      on December 10, 2013 at 7:06 pm said:

      I haven’t done the gingerbread version. Although I know of one where it looks like gingerbread but you put glue in it, so it’s not actually edible…