Easy Recycled Christmas Ornaments from Craft Scraps

I love recycled Christmas ornaments.  This project is one of my favorites because it uses up many of my craft scraps that I refuse to throw away.  It’s easy enough to make an afternoon activity with the kids.  And it’s thrifty because the only thing I had to buy were the clear ornaments.

Supplies for Craft Scraps Recycled Christmas Ornaments

  • Clear ornaments with an opening at the top (I chose plastic to make it a safe project for kids)
  • Scrap ribbon, tinsel, yarn, lace, or strings of beads


  1. Remove the top of the ornament.
  2. Insert the scrap material into the top.
  3. Replace the top.
  4. Add a coordinating ribbon hanger.

For the multiple ribbons ornament, I inserted the ribbons a little at a time.  Then I eased the whole group in incrementally.  This method allowed them to all go in different directions around the inside of the ball.  I had tried adding them all at the same time, but they clumped together.  Also, inserting them one at a time would create more of a layered look.  I wanted them to intermingle.  The ornament turned out just as I’d pictured it.

I found that I had to use a smaller size ornament for my lace, because it had been wound on a small spool.  Inside the big ball it all just wound up in the middle.  In the small ball it filled it beautifully.

I loved using wired ribbon because it laid very gracefully in the space without stacking.  It really took on a poetic shape and left plenty of empty space for light to pass through.

Another great filler would be ribbon with Christmas text printed on it.  The only thing to be careful of is that there is a good side and a bad side to the ribbon so around the very edges you’d have to make sure the good side with the printed message was actually showing.

One design that I’m interested in perfecting would be to add beads, ribbon, and lace in the same ornament.  This is tricky because each element behaves differently inside the ball.  I tried to combine the tinsel, wired ribbon and lace inside one ornament, but I couldn’t get them all to work together.  The collection of textures and colors were very pretty, but they just seemed to pool together with their own kind.  I think this might take a little more patience and design than I am willing to afford for recycled Christmas ornaments that are supposed to be “easy.”

While you’re in the holiday spirit, check out these ideas for salt dough keepsake ornaments or homemade beaded ornaments.  Top off your seasonal planning with these great tips for how to have a healthier holiday.

What do you think?  Do these designs appeal to you?  What kind of scraps do you have that you could throw together for some fun, recycled Christmas ornaments?  Please leave a comment below.

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