How to Make a Keepsake Ornament

If you’re like me, you hold onto Christmas cards from prior years, either because they have meaning to you, or because they are too cute or beautiful to toss into the recycling. Or both. Below is an excerpt from my craft book, 12 Days of Christmas Projects, showing you how to recycle those Christmas cards into keepsake ornaments.

In this example, I used a card that had a cutout along the top edge, so added glitter to the background behind the bears’ heads.


  • old Christmas cards   
  • white cardstock
  • glue stick
  • safety scissors
  • pencil
  • ribbon or yarn
  • glitter
  • hole punch
  • something round to trace around (about 3” to 3.5” across, such as a large glass or coffee mug),  or a large circle punch (usually cuts a circle about 3.5” across)
  • gold or silver glitter pen
  • Mod Podge or similar water-based sealer/decoupage glue (optional)


  1. Gather all your supplies. Cover the area where you are planning to work.  
  2. Look through your Christmas cards for the ones you would like to use. Place the glass upside down on the card(s) and position it until you find the area you think would look best on your ornament. Trace around the glass with a pencil. Repeat this on each card for as many ornaments as you plan to make.

Note:   If you would like to make a keepsake ornament for a particular card, also place the glass over the area containing the signature and/or sentiment written by the sender and cut that out as well. This will be used on the back of the ornament.

3. Cut out the circles you have traced. If you have a circle lever punch, use that instead. The card illustrations or photos will be the front of your ornament. The signature or sentiment, if you choose to use one, will be the back.

4. Next, trace the same size circles onto the white cardstock, twelve circles for each ornament you plan to make. Cut or punch them out. These will make up the interior layers of your ornament(s).

5. Take the circle made from the Christmas card, locate the top of the illustration and then take your small punch and punch a hole about a ½” from the edge. Line up your ten layer circles one at a time beneath the top circle and line up the punch in the existing hole, punching a hole in the layer beneath. Repeat with all layers. This is done to ensure the holes are all in the same place. Make sure you do the same to any signature/sentiment circle, if you are using one.

6. With your glue stick, place an even coat of glue on a circle, making certain not to miss the edges. Line up the next blank layer and press firmly into place. Repeat until you have all layers glued together. Place an even coat of glue on the last layer and line up your card/ornament front and press firmly into place. If you are making a keepsake ornament, place an even coat of glue on the back side of your ornament and line up the signature sentiment facing out and press firmly into place.

7. Once your ornaments have dried, sprinkle glitter onto a paper plate, a piece of foil, or the baking parchment. Run the glue stick around the outer edge of your ornament and roll the ornaments edgewise through the glitter. Lay the ornament(s) aside in a clean space to dry once again.

8. On the blank backs of the ornament(s), write a fun holiday sentiment or personalize with the name of someone you plan to give the ornament to as a gift for their own tree.

9. Cut your yarn or ribbon into lengths about twelve 15” long.  Cut as many lengths as you need so you have one for each ornament you’ve made. Slip the ribbon or yarn through the hole at the top of each ornament and tie a knot about 3” above the ornament, then tie the remaining length into a bow.

10. Your ornaments are ready to hang!

12 Days of Christmas Projects (How to Make Twelve Simple & Delightful Holiday Projects to Inspire, Enjoy & Give) is available at the following on-line retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, (as well as others) and can be ordered from your local bookstore.

Author: robinmaderich

I am a multi-published author, illustrator and crafter. The creating keeps me sane.

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