thumbprint Christmas ornaments

I absolutely ADORE the ornaments we made this year. I’ve been dying to post them ever since the kiddos and I made them last week. We put our tree and Christmas decorations up yesterday so I figured now’s a good time to share them. The kids and I make a different ornament for the tree every year. We’ve made handprint snowman ornaments and snowflake ornaments. These are defintely my favourite to date though. Not only are they freakin adorable, the characters are their sweet little thumbprints so they are keepsakes for years to come. I was very nostalgic when I took their handprint snowman ornaments and hung them on the tree yesterday. I can’t believe how much their sweet little hands have grown in just 2 short years. Bittersweet. Make sure you write their name and date on the bottom of the ornaments. I used a black sharpie. Here’s how we made these adorable ornaments. Trust me, you’ll want to make a set for your tree too!

What you’ll need:

clear glass ornaments
paper plates

I like to pour the paint on paper plates and have the kids dip their thumbs in the paint. I think it covers better because you get more paint on their thumbs this way. If you use a paintbrush and paint it on, you make not get enough paint coverage.

First, dip your child’s thumb in peach paint and stamp in the middle of the ornament. Then dip your child’s thumb in red paint and stamp on slightly overlapping the peach one for Santa’s hat. Then dip your child’s thumb in white paint and stamp it slightly overlapping the peach one for Santa’s beard. Allow the paint to dry completely. Then use sharpies to draw on Santa’s features. I dipped a pencil eraser in white paint to get a perfect circle for the pom on Santa’s hat and used white paint for the bottom strip of Santa’s hat. The sharpies work well if you are using them over the painted parts, otherwise the paint works better for the glass ornaments.

Dip your child’s thumb in white paint and stamp in the middle of the ornament. Allow to dry completely. Use a black sharpie to draw on the penguin’s eyes, and black body. Use an orange sharpie to draw on a beak. Then I used black paint for the wings and orange paint for the feet.

Dip your child’s thumb in peach paint and stamp in the middle of the ornament. Then dip your child’s thumb in green paint and stamp it slightly overlapping the peach print for the elf’s hat. Then dip your child’s thumb in white paint and stamp it just below the peach print for the elf’s shirt. Allow the paint to dry completely. Then I used a red sharpie to draw stripes on the shirt and for the smile, a black sharpie for the eyes and a pink sharpie for the cheeks. I used yellow paint for the elf’s hat and peach paint for the ears.

Dip your child’s thumb in brown paint and stamp in the middle of the ornament. Allow to dry completely. Then I used brown paint for the antlers, and black and red sharpie for Rudolph’s features.

Dip your child’s thumb in white paint and make 2 thumbprints on the ornament for your snowman. Allow the paint to dry completely. Then I used sharpies for the snowman’s eyes, carrot nose, mouth, scarf and buttons. I used black paint to paint on Frosty’s hat.

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31 thoughts on “thumbprint Christmas ornaments

  1. Mindy

    Hey – you changed your profile pic! It’s cute!

    I LOVE these. We were gonna do thumbprints for our cards this year, but I switched it up at the last minute just so I wouldn’t have to run to the store.

    I love all of these, but I think my two faves are the reindeer and the penguin. SO CUTE!

  2. PeaceFilledMommy

    I love this! I bought some clear ornaments at Hobby Lobby a while back with plans to paint them with my kids. I didn’t know exactly how we were going to decorate them, but now I do! :) Thank you for sharing this idea.

    1. Betsy

      I planned to do these with my students and I found plastic ornaments so I wouldn’t worry about breakage. BUT, the Kids’ tempera paint peels right off of them as soon as it dries!! What kind of paint will stick to plastic? Do you have any suggestions?

      1. Jill Post author

        Hi Betsy! Although I haven’t tried using these paints on plastic ornaments, I always love using Crayola kids washable paints. This paint stuck to the glass ornaments perfectly, so I can’t imagine why it also wouldn’t stick to the plastic ones. I hope that helps!

  3. Jill

    Thank-you so much ladies!

    Jen – I had a friend from work pick me up the clear ornaments at Hobby Lobby. I looked everywhere here an couldn’t find them

    Simply complex – I actually used crayola kids paint because my kids would be dipping their fingers in it. It worked really well.

  4. Jennie

    Jill, these are SO cute!!! I was stressing because we have some elderly relatives who need/want nothing but I want to give them gifts for Christmas. I’ve been working on so many things & hoping to have enough time to knit them scarves… but I’m quickly running out of time. I’m going to be making these in a few minutes with my son, 3, & my daughter, who will turn 2 right before Christmas. Thank you for this wonderful idea!

  5. Jennie

    …we just finished the thumbprint part & are waiting for them to dry to decorate them. I still can’t believe how CUTE (& easy… & personalizeable) they are! Ours will be much tinier than yours, since almost-2 year olds & 3 years olds have such tiny thumbs! But I really appreciate this wonderful idea & can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog! (We’re going to personalize ours with the date, our kids’ names, maybe who they’re for, that type of thing.)

  6. Bugged Designs

    How gorgeous are they! Love all the different ideas too and thanks for the tip of dipping their fingers in paint on a plate, I’ve tried painting my children’s hands and it didn’t come out too well!

  7. G

    The craft store was all out of clear, glass ornament balls so I searched and searched and ended up with big clear light bulbs for Christmas lights. Works just as well and is adorable!

  8. Kelsey

    I saw these and just loved the idea. We do a craft for the grandparents every year. The only thing I changed was; I took the tops off the ornaments and added white glitter to the balls just for an added something:) then I wrote the year and my son’s name on the bottom. Thank you for sharing, I’m going to have to remember this page for future projects!

  9. laurelk

    I made these ornaments with my boys but changed it a bit… On each ornament I made two of each object (one on each side) . One was with my 6 1/2 years old sons’ thumb and the other with my 1 1/2 years old thumb. I also put some super fine colored glitter in the inside of each ornament to give it a fun sparkly effect. They turned out really cute and it’s so fun to see the different sized Santa, elf, reindeer, etc!! Thanks Jill for another great idea!!!

  10. Jenni Ferguson

    Hi Jill,

    I found these and fell in LOVE! I am currently doing them for my tree and will be blogging them over at Paging Fun Mums.com with a link back to your beautiful site. I am obsessed with DIY Christmas Ornaments for the kids.
    Thank you so much for the inspiration and keep up the amazing work! Pop on over and say hi at any time!

    Paging Fun Mums


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