Nate’s 12 Days of Holiday DIYs {Day 6 Ornament Recap}

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

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Guess what we have for you today??  Another Video!!  Just kidding! Hehe…
We’re joint posting and will be sharing all about our Nate Show ornaments with you.
In the midst of our 48 hour challenge, my ornaments were pretty much one of my last concerns.  I was pretty focused on building a pallet wall (details coming soon), moving and rehanging Jess’ long wall shelves, and some other BIG projects.  I had the room 90% done and was like, “Hmm… I guess the tree needs ornaments??” So here are some insanely simple and quick ideas for you to try.
1.  Wooden Ornaments:  Jess loves bringing the outside in… (which is sort of funny because she hates outdoorsy stuff and camping and and every year on our annual friends and families camping trip, she brings her family for dinner and s’mores and then leaves! Hehe) Anyhow, enough secret insider info, onto the ornament. If you live in the suburbs (like us) or the country you can find wood I’m sure.  Nate reminded me that he can’t just grab some wood in NYC (ha! Totally didn’t occur to me), but he gets his at Michael’s.  You’ll need to use a chop saw or find a willing friend to help.  Slice them about 1/4 inch thick, drill a hole, add ribbon. It’s really that simple! I also used some of these as gift tags on the presents I wrapped and just wrote on them with a Sharpie.2. Bracelet Ornaments: Time to admit something here… these kind of happened as an accident! We were spray painting some of the bracelets to get rid of the gold color and some of them got tangled.  Wait… Could that look amazingly similar to a ball?? A few twists of the hand and we had ourselves bracelet ornaments! All we had to to was add ribbon!


3. Scrabble Ornaments: Crafty people all around the blogosphere have been using Scrabble tiles for all kinds of cool things! Jules shared some scrabble ornaments she had found at a boutique in one of her blog posts and it got me thinking that it was definitely something to DIY not BUY! All I did was take Scrabble letters and hot glue them onto popsicle sticks that were part of Nate’s Crate.

I just snapped off the extra wood (with my crazy-strong muscles) and then used a little sand paper on the edges to smooth it out.  Add your favorite ribbon and voila! I was wondering today, if I sanded the tiles down a bit, if I could whitewash them a fun color?? Hmm… Let us know if you try that!

4. Accent Decor Balls: You know those balls that people use in vases or bowls for filler decor?  Well, we had a bag of them sitting around and I thought, Hmm… I have like no time left and a whole tree staring me down. Let’s just use those bad boys as ornaments! All I had to do was jab some wire into them and they were done.  I only have a picture of one of them, but it yielded about 12 ornaments in 4 different styles.  So grab your filler balls and you have insta-ornaments!

5. Sweater Ball Ornaments: Okay Monica, behave.  Don’t write anything embarrassing. You’re a grown adult.  Please excuse my note-to-self.  So, these balls were created just using styrofoam balls from the crate and an old knit sweater.  I cut the sweater into strips, wrapped it around the ornament, and tied the top and bottom with twine.  I also think it could be fun with some really bold colored sweaters.  I might need to try that next year!

So there you have it, my easy-peasy ornaments! And just to set the record straight… I am not a neat person. The picture of my nice and neat supply table was a “Made for TV” display… Here’s what it turned into…


I had a lot of fun coming up with several different ideas for ornaments. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I was going for a natural and organic in my decor, and I’m so happy with the way each one complimented the other. You might remember (if you watched our crazy video) that I had never made an ornament before this show, but it was sooo much easier than I thought it would be! And even if they don’t turn out exactly as you had envisioned, once you put the tree up and turn the lights no, no one notices the imperfections! So here’s the breakdown:1. Jewelry Ornament: This one is a combination of a chunky, metallic bracelet and a pair of really funky earrings, both from H & M. The earring sort of reminded me of a Christmas tree, so it worked. I simply spray-painted the bracelet in our favorite Valspar primer in Red Oxide. (Mo used the same color on her reindeer artwork)
Then, I altered the earrings until nearly unrecognizable and hot-glued the whole thing together. Add some jute twine and that’s it!

2. Jute-Wrapped Ornament:  This one is my favorite ornament of all! Although it takes a lot of patience, it really isn’t difficult to do. You also need hands of steel, because trust me, they will get hot glue burns. I found that the easiest way to do this was to start wrapping at the middle of the ornament and wrap the jute around until you get to the top. Then start in the middle and work down the opposite way. Make sure to push the rows together as you go so you don’t see the styrofoam, and use hot glue to secure the jute along the way.

3. Pinecone Ornament: This one wins the reward for easiest DIY ornament. Right now you can get a pack of scented pinecones at Michael’s or Joann’s for around $3.00, which means loads of cute ornaments for almost nothing! I brushed Mod Podge on the “petals’ of the pinecone in a random pattern and then sprinkled epsom salt on top. Pretty and wintery (or is it wintry?)

4. Burlap Ornament: I love love love this ornament. It was inspired by the ornaments sold here on Esty. Cut the burlap in strips and hot glue around the styrofoam ball.. I totally didn’t measure the widths, but I figure the messier the better with burlap. And if you don’t want to make your own, go ahead and buy them. No shame in that. 🙂

5. Scrapbook Paper Ornament: I used the same method as we used on our decoupaged pumpkin, and it worked great! Cut your scrapbook paper into thin strips (about 1/4 ” thick) and slap a generous amount of modpodge on the back of the strips and wrap them around the ball.  Make sure your strips are long enough to go the entire way around the ornament. I also mentioned that I used glossy modpodge for these, and it gave it a really nice sheen- a little bit dresser, if you ask me. Side note: I had a few brown kraft-paper ornaments in my crate that worked a heck of a lot better for this than the styrofoam balls, so use those if you can!

6. Chalkboard Ornament: There aren’t many things better than something you can change and customize year after year, depending on your mood or preferences. I used chalkboard paint on a round, flat, kraft-paper ornament, painted the edges with modpodge (what is this? An advertisement for modpodge? I promise you, we’re not getting anything from them, I just use their stuff A LOT!), and rolled it in epsom salt. These are great ornaments, but you could also use them as gift tags for a super cute addition to your presents! Love that.
I’m sort of in love with the Christmas tree I decorated for Monica’s living room (and Monica’s isn’t half-bad either. Hehe.) I hope this inspired you to try something new, use what you have, and think outside the box!
Well, there you have it! 2 Full trees of ornaments and not one from the store.  DIY to the max! 
Now, it’s your turn- we’d love to see what you come up with!

The comments +

  1. all look great! I love the bracelet one and the pinecone one – so simple but they look great!

  2. Anne says:

    I absolutely love this post. I love home-made ornaments (it’s the only way to go) and these ideas are so wonderful and easy. I have a ton of leftover burlap from my daughter’s wedding and a whole bunch of wood in the backyard from the trees my husband almost killed himself cutting down. Can’t wait to try with the kids…Merry Christmas!!

  3. […] with decorations that are new and different each year. Last year, we tried our hand at creating ornaments out of slices of wood, and since we loved them so much, we decided to create a piece of holiday art with […]

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