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4 Homemade Ornaments that Hearken Back to Simpler Times

People have really geared up for the holidays this year, and it comes at no surprise considering the year we’ve had. The ingenuity of the American spirit persists despite obvious limitations, and that sure is noble. To hearken back is an old-timey way of saying to remember, to recall, or to think back on. The following is a compilation of beautiful ornament tutorials that combine rustic nuance with old-world charm, and just the right amount of nostalgia. Enjoy!


DIY Mason Jar Ring Map Ornament

First up is a rather simple yet striking ornament that is perfect for anyone with a passion for travel or a bout of homesickness. Map cutouts are glued to the lids of mason jars and secured with twine wedged between the inner lid and outer ring. Once dry, use paint to create a small heart or dot near your favorite city to really represent.


Paper Candle Christmas Tree Ornament

“candle on the christmas tree” by christoph_w is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If we’re talking tradition, it really doesn’t get more traditional than heavenly floating candles affixed supernaturally to your tree. It is thought that the Protestant reformer Martin Luther was inspired to place candles on an evergreen after seeing the stars twinkle among a forest of pines. The tradition eventually caught on. This DIY is perfect for anyone who likes the look but not the fire hazard of real candles. They are quite simple to make, requiring some readily-available baking tins, cardstock, glitter, and clips. A dozen or so of these candles are sure to delight and awe children and adults alike.



Scrap Ribbon Christmas Tree Ornament

For those who prefer a more rustic and bare bones approach, try this interpretive Christmas tree design made of fabric scraps strung along a slender twig (preferably found on a wintertime walk). This quick and simple DIY is fun for the whole family and the results are one-of-a-kind. Consider using old scraps from family quilts or doll dresses. Don’t be afraid to get creative or sentimental. This project will really “spruce” up your space while you “pine” for the days of yesteryear.


DIY Vintage-Style Ornaments

This craft is for the experienced crafter and only the most dedicated beginners. This one is going to take a while, but the results speak for themselves — it genuinely looks like an elderly woman’s priceless Fabergé egg ornament. You’ll need to find some specialty items, like windowed bulb ornaments and fake plastic trees, but pairing these simple items with pastels lends an anachronistic feel, like something out of place from another time. They are truly quite wonderful.


Wherever you are celebrating the holidays this year, I hope it’s with good food and good company.


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Heather Hernandez

Heather is a freelance writer at She specializes in health and wellness, plant care, historical pieces, and more. What she doesn't know, she learns. Heather is committed to creating quality content for both businesses and individuals. In her free time, Heather enjoys yoga, photography, and bicycling.

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