Handmade Holidays: Favourite Photo Ornaments

December 3, 2011

It’s Tree Trimming Day…
ime to make the Favourite Photo Ornaments

It has become a tradition in our house. Each year, we browse through our photos and find our absolute favourite photo of each of the kids. And we use these to make simple black and white photo ornaments for the tree.

To keep things consistent, we bought supplies in bulk. Several years ago, we picked up spools of silver ribbon and a heap of clear plastic frames at the dollar store. [For $30, I think we must have gotten enough product to make 2 ornaments a year for the next 18-20 years!]  We keep our supplies in a small ziploc bag which gets nestled in the holiday storage box with all of our other Christmas ornaments. Each year, we take a pair of frames and a bit of ribbon out of this box, and we add to the growing collection.

Favourite Photo Ornaments



Clear Plastic Frames (we use 6cm x 9cm)
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue Sticks

Photo Paper (plain will do in a pinch)
Computer & Printer



  1. Let ‘er rip!:  Our frames came packaged as “magnetic” photo frames, so our first step is to rip the magnet off of the back of each of the frames. It’s easier than removing a bandaid, and there’s no one screaming back.
  2. Cut and paste:  Next, we cut a 10in/25cm strip of ribbon, and hot glue both loose ends of the ribbon to the back of the frame so as to form a hanger or loop for the ornament.
  3. Workshop: After we browse our photo files for our favourite shots [btw, we tend to limit ourselves to portrait shots, as opposed to landscape], we use our favourite photo editing software to turn the pictures into black and white shots, to round the corners of each photo, and to add text [the year the photo was taken] below or towards the bottom of the photo.This year, using http://www.picnick.com, [Picknik is now defunct – try ipiccy or fotoflexer!] we added a little pizzazz by using a funky font for the year and by printing it in red rather than our traditional black…
  4. Size & Print: Using photo editing software or simply by inserting a photograph into a document in MSWord, we resize the photo with added text to fit into our 6cm x 9cm frame. And we print the photos on glossy photo paper. (One could just as easily print an all black and white photo on plain paper. It woud be hard to tell the difference.)
  5. Display:  Since we have so many of these ornaments now, we hang them at the end of our decorating party – (call them the photographic equivalent of tinsel?). I try to get the kids to hang the photos from the top to the bottom of the tree so that the baby photos are near the tippy top and the later photos are further down.

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