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Christmas is the perfect time of year to look back and reflect on the year behind you. With 12 months of fun, there’s no shortage of memories that will make you smile. Sure, each year has highs and lows but I love to focus on the highs, especially around the holidays. In an attempt to make Christmas a time of smiling and gratitude, we came up with these cheap DIY photo ornaments for our tree! They are exactly what we needed to look back on the happy times from the year before!
A few years ago, we had a little wild man, who was into everything and destroyed all things in his path. After multiple ornaments were broken, we were basically left with a bare tree. In case you haven’t checked the price of Christmas decorations lately, they’re stupidly expensive! And, as always, I didn’t want to spend a fortune on decorating a tree that’s in a box in storage for 11 months out of the year. That’s when I had a great idea to make my own super cheap DIY photo ornaments!
Cheap DIY Photo Ornaments
I’m all about quick and easy and prefer to keep my holiday decorating as simple as possible. We don’t have a ton of wall space but I wanted a place to showcase some of the best moments of our lives. The Christmas tree was the perfect spot! All I needed was a few supplies, all of which I had on hand! After rounding up a few of our favorite photos and sending them to 1-Hour Photos, I was ready to get down to business.
- Wooden Discs (We grabbed a bag of 3.5 inch cutouts from WalMart for under $2 a bag!)
- Mod Podge
- Photos (Save a few bucks and take your own family photos!)
- Paint brush
- Drill with 1/8 inch bit or hot glue
- Baggie or other clear plastic
Take a deep breathe now, folks. These adorable ornaments are way easier than you think!
First things first, print your favorite photos. Here’s a tip that will save you a lot of headaches, time and money: when printing your photos, choose ones that are taken from a distance.
Up close photos will be too large to fit on the wooden discs.
Yes, I learned this the hard way because I just printed my favorite photos, most of which took up the whole 4×6 area.
See it through.
Trace the round discs onto the piece of clear plastic and cut it to size. I used a baggie. You just need something clear so you can see exactly where you need to cut your photos. You won’t use the piece of plastic for anything other than to make sure your photos are positioned exactly how you want them.
Get to work.
Arrange the clear plastic on top of your photo exactly where you want it to appear on your finished disc. Trace it with a pen or Sharpie then cut it out. I like to cut my photos a smidgen smaller than the disc so I can see a small amount of the wood underneath.
Note: we painted our discs white but if I were to do it again, I would skip that step, which is why I didn’t mention it before! I originally thought the white would reflect the lights on our tree but after doing so, it wasn’t worth the effort. 😉
Once all of your photos have been cut to size, use a paint brush to apply a small amount of Mod Podge on the back and attach them to the wooden discs.
Once they’re secure, coat the front of the disc with a coat of Mod Podge, making certain to cover the edges of the photos. Let them air dry for a few minutes, then add another layer of Mod Podge, if you wish.
If you can find pre-drilled discs, this step isn’t necessary but if you’re a cheapskate like me, stay tuned.
Using a 1/8 inch drill bit, drill through the top of each disc, one at a time. String your twine through the hole and tie in a simple knot.
Ta-da! Just like that, you’re done! Your tree will be a show-stopper with these cheap and easy ornaments.
We like to add a few new DIY photo ornaments to our tree each year, to help us remember our favorite moments from years past.