Classic Memories Framed Holiday Photo Ornaments {tutorial}

holiday ornament craft tutorial

One thing my family has always been pretty good about is taking photos. It seems that you never realize what a blessing photos upon photos in dozens of frames, boxes and albums are until you miss someone so much that you really want to see their face again. In those moments there is nothing in the world more important than those captured images. I’ve been digging through photos a lot lately and it only seemed right to bring them into my 2012 holiday decor.

Now it seems to me that I am often doing two things when working on a project for Mom Spark: 1- making a DIY because I was unhappy with the cost of what I wanted in the store. 2 – busting out my mitre box and saw. This tutorial is no exception.

holiday ornament craft tutorial

Similar ornaments were $12 each. Heck no. The cheapest (and unacceptably plainest) frames I could locate that were small were $2 each. No go. So instead I hoofed it to the hobby store and for about $15 made 6 framed ornaments. That is much better BUT if you go to the hardware store to purchase your decorative trim you’ll get way, way more bang for your buck.

holiday ornament craft tutorial

The best thing about this project is that you can use photos you adore. They don’t have to be awesomely taken or be a stuffy portrait  in uncomfortable clothes. It can be your dad trying to cheer you up by pretending to be the King of TV, your mom and uncle on their pony as kids, or your nephew surprising you with a mysteriously obtained orange wig on. Plus, you can use pictures that are color, black and white or have those fun/funky instagram style filters on them.

For this project you will need:

  • Decorative wood trim (cheapest at big hardware stores)
  • Quick setting glue (I love Aleene’s Fast Grab Tacky Glue)
  • Mitre box & saw
  • Pocket knife or utility knife
  • Ribbon
  • Paint or stain & brush
  • Photos (or photo paper and printer)
  • Cardboard (from a cereal box is fine)

holiday ornament craft tutorial

If you want to get technical in this first step, have at it. You can bust out your ruler and determine the sizes you want in advance or you can wing it.  … whatever floats your boat. I decided to wing it. I would cut my first piece and use it as a template to measure out my next piece. Cut two and then two more a bit longer for a rectangular frame or cut all four the same for squares. Oh, and cut the pieces using the angled guides in your mitre box.

holiday ornament craft tutorial

Take your knife and clean up any rough wood from your saw cuts. Make a healthy strip of glue.

holiday ornament craft tutorial

Push together your gluey piece with another piece to form a corner. Do this with the other two pieces. When set enough, connect the two angles to make one frame.

holiday ornament craft tutorial

Paint or stain the frames however will suit the theme of your Christmas tree. I haphazardly painted mine first with a coat of a dirty looking beige/gray color. Then I followed with crackle medium and a quick swipe of white paint on top.

holiday ornament craft tutorial

Take a strip of ribbon approximately 3 inches long and glue to the frame like placed in the picture above.

holiday ornament craft tutorial

Next measure your frames and mark the size on the back. With these dimensions, you can print out pics from your computer that are size appropriate – just be sure to add about a quarter of an inch so that you don’t have to worry about seeing the edges of the photo under the frame. For this one with a 1.75 inch opening (squared) I printed a pic that was 2×2 inches.

holiday ornament craft tutorial

Cut a piece of cardboard that is larger than the frame’s opening but smaller than the frame itself. Glue your picture to the center of the cardboard.Run a strip of glue around the pic on the cardboard. Press onto the backside of the frame and hold until the glue starts to set. Clean any stray glue from the photo before it begins to set.

holiday ornament craft tutorial

Attach a bow or other decorative item (I’m thinking old brooches could be way awesome) onto the front or leave as is. String your ribbon through an ornament hook and get to trimming that tree!

See you next week for a fun Santa inspired craft with Mod Podge. Hoping you have a fantastic week!


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A crafter since her earliest years, Allison spends a little time every day making something. She crafts, sews, paints, glues things onto other things, and is a firm believer that a life spent creating is a life worth living. Visit Allison's blog, Dream {a Little} BIGGER.

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3 Responses to “Classic Memories Framed Holiday Photo Ornaments {tutorial}”

  1. #
    phyllis collar — January 17, 2013 at 11:54 am

    i think it might be neat to put a photo of one of your child’s creative art pieces in one of these to make an ornament. a different spin?


    • Allison replied: — January 17th, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

      I think that is a great idea!



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