Homemade Photo Christmas Ornaments

by Tonya Staab
Published: Updated:

These photo ornaments make a wonderful Christmas gift for grandparents and family. They will also look beautiful hanging on your tree.

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to speak at a local MOPS meeting to give the ladies attending ideas for holiday crafts they can make with their preschoolers. I was also asked to go over the basics of starting a blog.

This is one of the projects I created for the meeting.

photo ornaments
DIY glitter photo ornaments for Christmas.

Photo ornaments

Make a series of these starting with your baby’s first Christmas. Add a new one each year and attach them to a rope to hang in your home during the holidays as a garland. 

Alternatively, take a family photo each year and start a collection of family photo ornaments to carry on throughout the coming years.


  • Clear ornament (available at craft stores)
  • Glitter
  • Photograph
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors


Print a favorite photograph and cut it out using patterned edge scissors (I cut mine into a circle). 

Craft tip: Make sure to measure the diameter of the ornament first and cut the photo a little bit smaller than that.

Sprinkle glitter inside the ornament, it will naturally stick a little to the sides but will move around if shaken. 

Roll up the photograph with the photo on the outside and carefully insert it through the top of the ornament. Use a brush or pencil to open up the photograph once inside the ornament. If you cut the photo to just a little smaller than the size of the ornament it will be less likely to move around, if you print a smaller photo brush a little glue to the inside of the back of the ornament and press the photo onto it until it sets.

If too much glitter appears on the inside of the ornament in front of the photograph take a dry paintbrush and gently brush it away.

Re-attach the top of the ornament and tie on a ribbon for hanging.

The other craft projects I suggested to the group are:

Each of the parents at the meeting went home with a bag of supplies to create the reindeer candy cane, pasta wreath, glitter glue, and photo ornaments.

More DIY Christmas ornaments

Are you looking for more homemade clear ornaments crafts to put on your tree this year? You need to take a look at these:

Please pin this post for later:

diy glitter photo ornaments

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Julie November 28, 2011 - 6:16 pm

Those are cute!

Theresa November 28, 2011 - 6:23 pm

can’t wait to get crafting for holidays. Cute idea.

Erin November 28, 2011 - 7:38 pm

love this tonya – its simple and beautiful, perfect for this time of year!

Tonya Staab December 2, 2011 - 10:28 am

Thank you Theresa.

Tonya Staab December 2, 2011 - 10:28 am

Thanks Julie 🙂

Jenn December 4, 2011 - 11:14 am

This is super cute, thanks for sharing this idea!

Tonya Staab December 4, 2011 - 4:16 pm

fantastic idea Jeannie

Jeannie December 4, 2011 - 3:42 pm

I have made these before using clear plastic and they turn out really cool too

Jeannie December 4, 2011 - 3:43 pm

printing the photo on clear plastic that is…

Birdrockfab December 11, 2011 - 4:25 pm

Will be making as gifts for Grandparents! Lovely design Tonya

Cat Davis - Food Family Finds December 14, 2011 - 11:59 pm

This is just wonderful! I was trying to think of an ornament the kids could make for our extended family and this is just perfect!

Cort December 16, 2011 - 11:48 am

this is a great idea. I think we’re going to make these and then frost sharpie on the year to the outside. Thank you for the great idea!

weight loss July 30, 2012 - 2:18 am

Hey Guys this is such a nice blog available, your blog style & font style very attractive.Keep in the excellent good article Thank you for sharing it.

Tonya Staab October 18, 2012 - 8:20 am

That's a great idea.

Angie October 18, 2012 - 7:25 am

I was thinking this wld be perfect for all those Santa pictures I have saved! Thanks!

Tonya Staab November 4, 2012 - 11:42 am

Hi Tina,

I printed the photo on regular photo paper, if the paper is too stiff, it won't roll or unroll easily to place it inside the ornament.

Tina November 4, 2012 - 11:30 am

Cute idea. Did you print the photo on regular paper or heavier photo quality paper?

Tonya Staab December 1, 2012 - 7:13 am


I'm not sure if you read a blog Enjoying The Small Things by Kelle Hampton, but I noticed she just recently did something similar to what you mentioned.  She took her kids drawings, glued them inside the ornament and then put in sand and trees to make a little scene inside the ornament.  They looked adorable.

Debbie Moore December 1, 2012 - 6:14 am

Was looking for something fun to do with the ornaments I picked up atthe craft store. thinking it would be cute with a picture from a trip and a few little souvenirs like shells and a touch of sand. thanks for the great idea!

rosa.kreattiva December 5, 2012 - 12:43 pm

si parla di te su https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kreattiva/144623015570424 spero non ti dispiaccia ciao rosa

Tonya Staab December 10, 2012 - 11:40 am

Thank you so much Marya.  Have a wonderful day.

Marya December 10, 2012 - 11:24 am

Thanks for sharing! I’ve linked up to your post in our “Clear Ornament Inspiration.” http://youpinspireme.blogspot.ca/2012/12/clear-ornament-inspiration.html

serena January 4, 2013 - 1:17 pm

that’s more than a picture .. simply lovely!

Tonya Staab January 5, 2013 - 11:16 am

thank you Serena.

Cheryl November 13, 2013 - 6:24 pm

I do this for my students and I print on velum paper found at chapbook store. You can see through the pic from both sides. It looks great!

Holly December 22, 2013 - 6:18 am

What size scallop circle punch did u use? Thx!

jasminka October 10, 2014 - 3:14 am

Thank you for this idea so adorable.

kim November 8, 2014 - 11:45 am

what size of photo did you us

Barb December 12, 2014 - 1:15 pm

question – getting ready to make photo ornaments since I have a new grandson. How did you figure out what size to cut picture? My glass ornaments are approximately 10 1/4″ in circumference.

Erika August 20, 2015 - 3:36 pm

Cute idea!!! Very lovely
Can you tell me the dimension of clear ornament please?
Thanks erika

T Smith December 12, 2015 - 1:21 pm

Your pic is being used in Walmart on a display shelf~so cool. I’m trying this idea tonight.

josephine July 19, 2016 - 4:46 am

very cute photo ornaments. Thanks for the process of making it at home.

Edwina December 14, 2016 - 9:57 am

II thought these would be a great idea to make and give to each of our Cub Scouts, an individual photo of each boy with a Santa hat on and a group photo on the back. Instead of glitter I used the fake snow you can find at craft stores though.
I don’t understand how to get the photos to unroll well once you get them inside the ornament and you don’t say what you did to get the photo to look like it’s flat instead of rolled.

Edwina December 14, 2016 - 10:00 am

Ran into a woman at the store when I bought the ornaments and she said it was easier to laminate the photo prior to putting it inside the ornament. I was wondering if you had an opinion about laminating or not?

Virginia Luther June 13, 2017 - 4:00 am


Marie jackson December 8, 2018 - 5:04 pm

Can you give instruction’s on how to size photo .

Homeia December 12, 2018 - 7:07 am

well! It looks impressive for home decoration. I will try to do the same thing on this Christmas. Thanks…


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