The $1.25 Keepsake Ornament


Looking for a cheap yet meaningful DIY keepsake ornament?  For less than a buck twenty five, you can whip up a fun, easy Christmas tree ornament for display or gifting.  Let's go!

SEWING SCOOBY SNACK RATING:   Non-applicable.  You can basically drink a bathtub full of vodka and still do this project.  But you probably shouldn't.  Unless you coat your stomach with some crackers first.



  • A papier mache circle.  I got a bunch at Michael's for under a dollar a piece
  • A picture to cut out and place on front of circle
  • Festive paper to cut out and place on back of circle
  • Mod Podge or some other glue/ gloss/ sealant
  • Foam applicator brush for Mod Podge
  • Glue gun and glue stick OR another trusted adhesive
  • 3/8" ribbon, cut to length around your circle (mine was about 13")
  • 8" length of your 3/8" ribbon (or a complimentary ribbon)
  • Pen (I used a fun silver metallic Sharpie)
  • A small piece of cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Clips to aid in making your awesome bow
  • Thread (all-purpose, upholstery, or elastic thread)
  • A lighter to heat seal ribbon ends

1.  Choose your picture to be featured on the front of your ornament.  Place your papier mache circle on the BACK of your picture, trace around it, then cut it out.

2.  Now do this with whatever super fun paper (or another picture!) you want on the back of your ornament.


3.  Using your foam applicator, use your Mod Podge (or another adhesive) to glue the picture to one side of your ornament.  Let dry, then glue the paper to the other side of your ornament.

  A little Mod Podge is all you need to create a good seal.

4.  Once dry, coat the entire front and back with Mod Podge;  this gives the picture/ paper a nice gloss and shine.  Shiny like one's eyes after drinking a couple of scooby snacks...

Don't you fret; it'll dry clear :)

5.  After your ornament is dry to the touch, measure out the length of your 3/8" ribbon you need to cover the circumference of your ornament.  I needed about 13" of ribbon.  Cut the right length.

6.  Heat seal one ribbon end only, since you may end up trimming the other side in a little while.  To do this, run a lighter close to, but not against, the ribbon end.  The end should seem a little hard and glossy but not go up in smoke.

7.  Get your glue gun or other adhesive ready.  Start at the top right next to the loop and run your adhesive around the ornament.  Attach your ribbon quicker than you can say "Christmas Bells Are Ringin'!"

8.  When you get back up to the loop and close to where you started your ribbon, trim off any excess ribbon and heat seal that end.  Glue that last bit of the ribbon into place.  NOTE:  I like to overlap the ribbons a little bit, completely going past the loop.

9.  For a finishing touch, you can make a little bow.  To make a quick, even bow, get your piece of scrap cardboard.  (Mine was 4" long by 2" wide).  Cut a little slit about halfway down and in the center of your cardboard.  In this case, the cut happened at the 1" mark because the cardboard is 2" wide.

10.  Take your short piece of 3/8" ribbon length.  Starting at your left side, have the ribbon tail go diagonally down the front of your cardboard with the tail drifting to right.  Clip in place, unless you have more than 2 hands, which would be surprising.

11.  Wrap the ribbon around the back of your cardboard and have the next ribbon tail go diagonally down the front of your cardboard and to the Left.  Clip in place.

12.  Now use your thread of choice (make sure you like the color, as it will show) and feed it through the slit below your X.  Bring the other end of your thread around the back and to the top of your X.  Now you should easily be able to tie a double knot, pinching the bow together.  If you'd like to leave nothing to chance, loop it around a few times before tying it off for good to ensure your bow stays tied.

Ever the worry wart, I used 2 pieces of thread to tie my bow, but frankly that's just plain crazy overkill.

13.  Slip your bow off the cardboard piece and fluff it up!  Cut the tails if you like and be sure to heat seal your ribbon ends or they'll look ghetto and frayed.

14.  Glue your bow to your ornament once you cut off the thready bits.

15.  Write a little somethin' somethin' on the back, if you like.

You Rock Star, You!  You did it, now go whip up more!