Keepsake Ornaments

How our tree has grown since the kids have come into our lives.  Each year, as we put up our tree, we take time to look at the ornaments that we have collected over the years.  There is the one we got for a wedding gift, our first home, baby’s first Christmas times two – one pink and one blue.  We have received some ornaments as gifts over the years as well.  There are ballerinas and Legos, drum sticks and running shoes.  Our tree tells a story of us, our family.

Every time we visit a new or interesting place, we try to pick up a souvenir ornament in the gift shop. It is a great way to remember some of our adventures.  Some years, the kids have made beautiful keepsake ornaments at school.  I also like to make a few at home.  The salt dough handprints are my absolute favourite.  I try to do them every couple of years as the kids grow.   Last year we decorated shells from a trip to Mexico and this year we are making  time capsule ornaments for the year 2013!

Time Capsule Ornament

You will need:

A clear plastic ornament (available at craft stores)

You child’s school picture


Small piece of ribbon

Modge Podge

Sponge Brush

I started by helping the kids to write out their memories and milestones from this year – what grade they are in, their teacher’s name, their best friend, favourite book and tv show, trips we took and what they did for their birthday are all  good things to record. You could also print these out on the computer.

I gently took the top off the ornament by squeezing the metal prongs. Then I cut the lines of printed memories into strips and slipped them into the ornament and replaced the top.

MITK Tip:  Buy more than one ornament.  You never know!

I cut the school picture into a circle and painted modge podge on the back to stick it to the ornament.  Then I brushed another layer of modge podge on the edges of the picture and smoothed it out with my fingers.  Once the edges dried, I brushed another coat of modge over the entire photo.

I topped it off with a pretty ribbon hanger.

Salt Doug Hand Ornament

This is what you need:

4 cups of flour
1 cup salt

Food coloring
Large Mixing Bowl
Water to moisten
Cookie sheet
A little oil
Small rolling pin
A drinking straw
A plate for a guide
Paint to decorate

This recipe will make three ornaments.

In your mixing bowl ~ gradually blend in your flour & salt with water to make the dough.

MITK tip *Remember to add gradually, because you can always add more water but it is hard to take it away.

Divide dough mixture into three parts, lightly oil the cookie sheet, form and roll out dough. Be sure to make the dough thick enough to form the handprint.

Use the drinking straw to put a hole in the top for the ribbon.

The best part is letting the kids press their hands into the dough to make their prints.

Place in a 150* degree oven for an hour. Or you can air dry overnight  for 24 hours.

Once dry, paint or decorate as you like.

Shell Keepsake Ornaments

This is a simple way to keep memories of your family vacations.

While away on vacation last year, we collected shells on the beach.  I tried to find ones with holes in the top to make it easy to hang them on the tree.  When we returned from our trip, I tucked the shells into the Christmas box.

What you need:




Sparkly paints

All you need to do to make this holiday ornament is to write the name of the place where you collected the shells and the year.   With writing on the shell, I gave the kids some sparkly paint and had them decorate as they liked.  Last, I tied a pretty ribbon to the top to ready them for the tree.

I hope that you and your family will enjoy creating these ornaments for your tree and that you will continue to add stories as the years go buy.

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