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Decorating your Christmas tree is one of the best parts of the holiday, and it’s even more fun if you have new and unique ornaments to hang. Here are some unique DIY ornaments you can try this year, as well as two unusual Christmas ornament traditions from other countries.
DIY string art ornaments
To make these ridiculously easy Christmas tree string art ornaments, start by buying a set of small wooden rectangles from your local hobby store and some small nails wherever you can find them. Sketch out the shape of a Christmas tree on each wooden rectangle, then drill a small hole at the top of the tree for hanging. Hammer in the nails all along the outline of the tree.
Tie a piece of string around one of the nails, then wrap it around each of the other nails in whichever pattern you like until you’re satisfied with how the tree looks. Tie the string to a final nail and cut off any loose ends, then glue mini pom-poms to the tree for ornaments. To hang the ornament, find a light on your real Christmas tree and push it through the hole in the ornament to look like the star on your miniature tree.
For a unique set of homemade ornaments that’ll look great on your indoor tree or even hung outside, try making these birdseed ornaments. Start by boiling half a cup of water and three tablespoons of corn syrup, then reduce the heat to low and add 2 ½ teaspoons of unflavored gelatin. Whisk the mixture together until the gelatin has fully dissolved. Mix in ¾ of a cup of flour until the mixture is fully combined.
Mix in four cups of your chosen birdseed, then press the mixture down into greased cookie cutters, filling them up completely. The mixture should dry quickly, and then you can poke hanging holes in each ornament with a skewer. Finally, hang your ornaments with string or twine.
German Christmas pickles
You may have heard of the “German” tradition of having an ornament shaped like a pickle in the Christmas tree, but where did this tradition come from and why? According to the tradition, the first person to find the pickle-shaped ornament on Christmas morning is said to have good fortune for the following year and is sometimes given an extra Christmas present for their good luck.
While the tradition is commonly said to have started in Germany, these theories have no real basis, and it has been suggested that the real origin of the tradition may have been a marketing scheme by retail company Woolworth’s in the 1890s to sell their fruit and vegetable shaped glass ornaments. Wherever the tradition came from, trying it for your Christmas morning this year is as simple as picking up a pickle-shaped ornament.
Ukrainian spider web ornaments
One Christmas tree ornament idea that actually comes from overseas is the Ukrainian tradition of hanging spider web-shaped ornaments on the tree. This tradition originates from an old Ukrainian legend, which tells the story of a poor widow and her children who couldn’t afford to decorate the Christmas tree in their garden. When the family woke up on Christmas morning, however, they saw that their tree was covered with a spider’s web shining in silver and gold.
To add this Ukrainian tradition to yours and make your own DIY spider web ornaments, try using the same technique as the Christmas tree string art above. Place pins in the shape of a spiderweb and connect them with a fine, light-colored yarn.