Grab Your Little Elves, Let’s Make Some Christmas Crafts!


It’s the most wonderful time of the year….for Christmas crafts and homemade gifts! Join five-year-old Samantha and I as we craft our way through the holidays with ALL the glitter you can handle!

Popsicle Stick House Ornaments

How fun are these? I had seen something similar online, but Sam and I decided to put our own twist on these cute ornaments! Start by laying out how many Popsicle sticks you’re going to use, glue a few sticks across on the back to attach them all together (I used a glue gun). Then, paint and decorate with all the accessories you can find! Pro-tip – you definitely need the snow – but it does get everywhere! You’ve been warned! Glue on a ribbon, add a picture of your kiddo in the door and pop it on your tree!


Photo Drink Coasters

We made these for Mother’s Day this year; they were a huge hit with the grandmas! Making these homemade photo drink coasters is easy:

  • Grab square ceramic tile (yes, like bathroom/backsplash tile from Home Depot.) I got the cheap ones that are literally .16 cents each
  • Measure pictures to fit – print or use your kiddos drawings!
  • Before doing anything, flip them over and add four felt adhesive circles to the bottom (to prevent scratching your table)
  • Add a thin layer of Mod Podge & stick your photo down.
  • Let it dry, then add 1-2 layers on top (let each dry before repeating)
  • Let it dry, then finish with an acrylic spray – I use Mod Podge glossy-finish spray
  • Stack four coasters together, tie them with a bow and insta Christmas gift! 

Mitten Handprints

Call me crazy, but I am SO ready for a TON of snow. Bring it ALL on! We celebrated these chilly days with a cute mitten hand print craft. Light color hand print on black card stock or construction paper, cut out a mitten shape around the handprint, add a little strip of white paper at the bottom and cover with a cotton ball spread out a bit. 

mitten handprints

Salt Dough Ornaments

These are so easy, fun and make great little handmade gifts! 


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup warm water


  • Mix dry ingredients & slowly stir in water. Mix until dough forms (it’s easiest just to use your hands)
  • Roll out with a rolling pin – use cookie cutters, make hand prints, or anything you can think of! We even did our dog’s paw print. For the big circle ornaments, I actually used the top of a BBW candle to make the circle.
  • Don’t forget if you’re making ornaments to poke a hole with a straw before they go into the oven!
  • Bake at 175 for a couple of hours. I flipped mine every 30 mins or so. You can dry just room temp too, but baking speeds up the process significantly!
  • Once dry – decorate! We painted, added pictures, and sealed with a ton of Mod Podge!

DIY Ornaments

I always have clear plastic ornaments on hand during the holidays. There are a MILLION things you can do with these. (Seriously, I buy like the 30-pack at Michael’s) on Black Friday.

We stuff them with pipe cleaners, pom poms and glitter, we make handprints on them, put pictures in them, we paint and decorate and more! For example, over the summer, when we went to the beach, we collected mini seashells and put them in there as a little handmade souvenir (way better than anything we’d find in the store) and using my Cricut I cut out Sam’s name for it. 


Gnome Cards

Last year Samantha came home with 10,000 homemade treasures from preschool before Christmas break. They were all my favorite, of course, but really this one is my favorite – how cute and simple are these gnome cards!? I love ANYTHING hand print!

Gnome cards

Ugly Sweater Name Tags

These are seriously some of my favorite crafts we’ve done! These are so easy and can be used with literally anything around the house. For example, I found a 6×6 sweater shape pattern online and traced and cut out several of the same sizes on Christmas card stock. (No Christmas paper? No problem – any paper will do!) From there, we rounded up all sorts of treasures from the art cart to decorate – pipe cleaners, sequins, stickers, pom poms and obviously a ton of glitter!


Reindeer Food

Reindeer Food is the cutest and easiest thing to do – and you probably didn’t even know you needed it (but you do – in order to attract Santa’s reindeer to your house on Christmas Eve!) Mix oats with some Christmas sprinkles (and we added a ton of glitter, too of course) and divvy up in little baggies or in clear plastic ornaments. Then, on Christmas Eve, have the kiddos sprinkle the mixture on the front yard to help guide the reindeer to your home! And just in case the reindeer don’t finish it all, the birds will chow down on the oats. 

Reindeer food

Popsicle Stick Ornaments

Popsicle sticks are something I always have on hand in our art closet. They are cheap and versatile. We recently made ornament frames, ornaments and “Elsa wands.” We made the Elsa wand the same way as the snowflakes but just added in a skewer (and decorated that too).

All you need to make these fun ornaments and crafts are Popsicle sticks, glue (I use a glue gun), paint and glitter!


Handprint Sleigh & Handprint Cardinals

If my level of creativity is an 8, my mom’s is 800 – I mean, she is seriously next level and the most creative person I know. And not only am I lucky to have such a crafty Momma, it also means she does LOTS of crafts with Sam that turn into my favorite gifts of all time. The two of them made me this darling treasure four years ago for Christmas… and as if the front isn’t adorable enough, when you flip it over, she put this little poem on the back which is enough to make you melt. 

Speaking of handprints – how about these adorable cardinals? I have so many pictures of little Sam watching the cardinals out of our backdoor when she was little. So this craft my mom and Sam did together was very fitting! Here’s to tiny hands that make the BEST tiny treasures! 


HandPrint Snowmen

If we can’t have mounds of snow now, might as well make snowmen hand prints! These are super easy. We’ve made these on small wooden boards, frames and ornaments! So easy… would be a cute last-minute crafty gift!

handprint snowmen ornament

Applesauce Cinnamon Ornaments

Need a project that’s fun and also makes your house smell like Christmas? How about these super easy gingerbread ornaments! All you need for these are 2 bottles of cinnamon and 3/4 cup of applesauce. (No, that’s not a typo…. you really do need that much cinnamon)!

Mix applesauce and cinnamon until a crumbly dough-like consistency forms. We had to add more applesauce so just kind of eyeball it until it feels right. To make it easier to remove, roll out in between two pieces of plastic wrap. Move the top layer and use cookie cutters. (Make sure to poke the top with a straw to run a ribbon through once they are cooked!)

Bake at 200 degrees for 2.5 hours.

Once completely cooled, run a ribbon through the hole to make an ornament and decorate however you’d like! We actually liked them not decorated, so we left as is!

cinnamon ornament

Samantha Claus

Print some pictures of your kiddo’s face, stick on a piece of card stock in a beard-shape, then glue lots of cotton balls as the beard. Don’t forget the hat! Perfectly hilarious.

Santa picture craft

Here’s to the most wonderful time of the year and all the crafts, glitter and memories that come along with it! Find Samantha and I year-round over at @BusyInGroveCity. Happy Holidays!

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Amanda Decastro
Amanda DeCastro has called Columbus, Ohio home her entire life. She currently lives with her husband and four-year-old daughter Samantha in Grove City, where they love to share everything there is to do south of Columbus and beyond on their Instagram handle @BusyInGroveCity. In addition to sharing their favorite things to do around town, Amanda and Samantha stay busy making kids crafts - and they truly live by the motto “the messier the better!” When Amanda isn’t shuttling her daughter from activity to activity, she can be found working part-time at Spectrum News 1 OH where she heads up community relations. An elementary school principal’s wife, Amanda is also involved with the South-Western City Schools Educational Foundation board and serves on the advisory committee for the South-Western City Schools Career Academy Interactive Media Design program. A Capital University grad, she is also involved with her alma mater serving as a frequent guest speaker and mentor for current public relations and marketing students.