Since becoming a kindergarten teacher, I've searched for fun, easy DIY Christmas ornaments that I can make with my kids. Every year we love to make an ornament together to give to their parents as a keepsake. For my kids who don't celebrate Christmas and don't prefer an ornament, we will rework it into a magnet or a picture frame. Many times, I find out whatever easy kindergarten craft we've come up hasn't even made it to the tree – but to a prominent spot in their room!
Every year our school votes on a school-wide theme. Last year it was “Out of This World” and we had ALL the space things! I wanted to come up with an easy DIY ornament, and didn't find many cost-effective ideas. So, I got crafty and creative and came up with maybe one of the biggest hits yet. My kids LOVED these astronaut Christmas ornaments! I'm going to walk you through the steps, and even share what one 2nd grade teacher did – that had NOTHING to do with Christmas!
Astronaut Christmas Ornament
I love creating on Canva! I create new folder covers, table signs, nametags, class lists, and more for our kindergarten team each year. Whatever the school-wide theme is – is my inspiration for the year. I had fallen in love with these little astronauts already, and had a similar one holding a flag ala the MTV moon man logo on a lot of our things.
I started with the astronaut, and then added our mascot and our school name on the front patch. One of the reasons I chose this guy, is due to the circle on his helmet. That gave me a great idea – you'll see in a minute! I printed these little guys about two to a page on heavy white cardstock. Then, I cut them out, and had each child sign and date on the back.
DIY Christmas Ornaments with Photos
I absolutely love to include my kindergartener's picture in these keepsakes. I took a close-up of their little faces, and asked them, “What would your face look like if you were out in space seeing something amazing?” Their reactions were PRICELESS!
At first I printed them in 4×6 at Walgreens, but the size was way too big. So, have you ever seen one of the collage apps where you can put 4 pictures in a four frame collage? I did that and then printed them again in 4×4 – then cut out their faces. That size was perfect! Glue on with a tiny dot of hot glue if you're impatient like me – or use the slower drying stuff if you have the time – and desire! 😉
(Hint: use the Walgreens app. There's always a photo coupon you can apply! Get doubles if possible to avoid having to go back and reprint if you mess up – also…I used the doubles for another project!)
Ideas for DIY Christmas Ornaments
Here's the part where I got super crafty and innovative – at least for me! I found these 1.6″ fillable ornaments and thought that one of the halves would be so cute to give the helmet some dimension – it worked!! I cut a tiny slit into the top of the black circle on the astronaut, then worked the little top of the ornament through to the back.
You may have to work it a bit, or make the slit a bit wider. I'd start small first and then go bigger if you need to. Now, you take your ornament string through the loop of the ornament. I LOVE these snap strings I found on Amazon...they are probably my favorite accidental find in a LONG time!
As you can see in the picture below, a few of the ornaments would sort of flip up, not staying down. I'm sure there is a logical fix – but for those of you who are like me and just want it to work, NOW…put a tiny dab of hot glue on the bottom rim. VOILA! Problem solved!
DIY Easy ornaments
And THAT is how you get DIY Christmas ornaments with photos DONE my friends! You know how you come up with something and you LOVE it – then all of a sudden that moment of sheer panic washes over you and you doubt yourself and think, “I mean…I love it – but will THEY love it? Will their parents love it?”
I had that moment. It was fleeting. This year, the 1st graders keep stopping by to ask if I'm going to create scuba divers like their astronauts. Last week, I overheard one 1st grader tell a group of my kinders unpacking for the morning, “My astronaut ornament is my favorite. My mom's too. We both took a turn putting it on our tree!”
OTHER uses and ideas for diy christmas ornaments
So, what if you love these little astronaut Christmas ornaments and yet you don't want to use them as ornaments? Nooo problem! Kathleen Murphy, a 2nd grade teacher at Fall Hamilton Elementary in Nashville, TN used hers last year in 3rd grade on a space-themed focus wall during their space unit! I absolutely love this idea! This is from Kathleen:
“Hi! Thank you so much for helping me creating an engaging display for my 3rd graders! During our third grade English language arts unit, we were diving into the world of space. I knew I wanted to create an engaging classroom display where the students could really see themselves in the books we were reading! The astronaut idea that Kaci shared was an incredible way to merge content, creativity and their personalities. My students loved seeing their faces on the wall in a creative and fantastical way.
Some students saved these as a keepsake and others added them to their class writing binders. They thought it was SO cool that they were made into astronauts and it sparked many conversations about their future and their dreams . Everyone who came to visit our classroom noticed how fun it was to have such a personalized board in the room that connected our community and the content. I recommend giving this a try for a keepsake you may need for the holidays or using it to allow students to see themselves in your curriculum! “
Easy kindergarten craft
One of my very favorite things to do is connect and share with other teachers, and of course I have a special connection with kindergarten teachers in particular! Sophia Brodak teaches kindergarten at Sylvan Park Elementary in Nashville, TN, and is making these ornaments with her kindergarteners this year! I can't WAIT to see her pictures! She says:
“I share Kaci’s love of outer space and our classrooms were similarly decorated in a planet/astronaut theme. When I found out that she dreamed up the most unique and special ornament that highlighted my students, our classroom, and our school, I knew I HAD to have it. This is THE perfect holiday gift: the materials are inexpensive, the execution is straightforward, the creativity is through the roof, and the final product is something students and parents will treasure forever.
Kaci’s imagination and ability to create magic is unparalleled and I’m just so lucky that she’s willing to share a piece of her beautiful mind with my class. I cannot wait to see my students’ faces when they receive their one of a kind astronaut ornaments – it is going to be the most memorable part of this holiday season.“
So…what sort of Easy DIY Ornament is in the works for this year?
This year our school-wide theme is “LD-Under the Sea”. (We are Lockeland Design Center – and LD Under the C was…unclear. 😉 )
I did in fact think about using a scuba diver and recreating this awesome astronaut – but then had this grand idea that I wanted them to actually be swimming. Let's just say that Jenny and Jackie, my two kindergarten teammates and I got a GOOD LAUGH while we brainstormed about HOW to do this.
Not to mention, Jenny ended up with a mouthful of ocean-spray glitter. I don't know if she's recovered yet. And…if you want to know the story of HOW this happened – well, I'll share that when I share our new ornaments!
If you want to know more about how YOU can get this astronaut personalized for you and your school – drop a comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy to share!
You know how much fun it is to sit by the lights on your Christmas tree and just drink some coco while a Hallmark movie is on? Well…
Get your reindeer PJs on, grab your kiddo and their crayolas, and create a little Jingle Jangle magic with these FREE COLORING PAGES.
TEACHERS! I KNOW you are in the home stretch – and these are PERFECT for a little wind-down-calming activity while we all countdown to break!