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Christmas Ornament Rescue

When you open up your boxes of Christmas ornaments, do you find that many of them look ready for the trash? Looks like it’s time to renew worn out decorations with a Christmas ornament rescue.

We’ve all been there. Perhaps your Christmas ornaments have rubbed together and the surface has scratched, or the ornament is just too plain and needs an extra something. 

Maybe the surface paint has chipped or yikes! even cracked.  Perhaps they are just downright ugly and you wonder why you ever bought them.

Seven Christmas ornaments in a collage with a text overlay that reads "7 DIY ornament rescues".

Never fear. Try one of these ornament rescues and the ornaments you hate or the ones you were going to throw away will be given featured status on your tree this year.

All of your guests will be amazed by how great they look! You could also decorate a garland to hang on your mailbox to add curb appeal outside.

Note: Some of these ornaments use hot glue. Hot glue guns, and heated glue can burn. Please use extreme caution when using a hot glue gun. Learn to use your tool properly before you start any project.

A velvet ribbon hides scratches on this ornament beautifully.This ornament had a scratched finish and was not good enough to hang as it was. Velvet ribbon fixed the problem in no time. Just apply hot glue to the ornament where the scratches are.

Space evenly and wrap with velvet ribbon. Make a bow topper by folding the ribbon three times and then wrap it with a final loop and hold it in place with a dab of glue on the ball.

A green painted ornament with a ruffled top.This ornament was an awful shade of yellow.  Some lime green acrylic paint gave it a more pleasing color.  Just rub some off while it is still wet for a textured look.  

Then take some wire ribbed ribbon and pull out one side of the wire.  Hot glue the pulled out side to the top and left the remaining material fluff out.

DIY hand painted personalized ornament with the word "Anne" on it.This ornament was a clear ornament that was just plain and boring and was just crying out for a finishing touch. Remove the top and spray the inside with spray paint, swirling it as it sticks and starts to dry.

Then either hand paint or use stencils to personalize the outside and add a festive ribbon at the top. It’s no longer a plain Jane (or Anne!).

Cracked ornament covered with a olive green strips of fabric to resemble a skirt.This ornament was cracked and destined for the trash. To renew it, just cut 5/8″ ribbon into 1 1/2 and 2″ long strips (depends on the size of your ornament. This one is a normal size. Cut longer strips for bigger ornaments).

Glue the strips to the ornament, starting at the bottom with 3 rows of the shorter strips, and then finish the middle and top with the longer strips. What a flirty rescue!

DIY snow filled ornament with snowflake decal.Here is another plain see through ornament just asking for a face lift. To make this, open the top and fill the ornament about 1/2 to 2/3 full of artificial snow.

Replace the top and add a snowflake decals to the outside. Loop a bow of craft store beads to the top and your plain ornament is a snowy treasure.

If you want to add a pop of color, you can use beaded necklaces. If you have any Mardi Gras beads you are looking to repurpose, feel free to use them.

Plain red ornament gets a face lift with dried split peas glued on to make polka dots.This plain red ornament was nice but needed a little something extra and also had a couple of dents in it. A bag of dried split peas gave it the dotty look and it ended up cute as can be and also hid the places where it was dented. 

Add a piece of ribbon to the top the color of the peas and this fun polka dot is ready to go back on the tree with pride.

Swirled beaded chain glued onto a chipped ornament to hides chipped paint on this ornament rescue.This one was almost a hopeless case. The paint had really chipped off it and the surface was very blotchy. The only answer here was to embrace those blotches by making them the feature of the background.

Make the surface more pronounced by adding hot glue to the surface in swirls and then peeling some off after it dries.

Then hot glue a ball chain in a swirl pattern that does not match the paint swirls. This gives a mottled look to the ornament and it will sparkle beautifully on the tree.

These ideas came from a very old issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Have you ever refurbished ornaments that you thought were destined only for the trash? What did you do to revive them?

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Friday 15th of November 2013

Thanks for the wonderful hints for damaged ornaments - will be following this, for sure!!


Friday 15th of November 2013

My pleasure Barb. Glad you enjoyed the article. Carol

Shelley @ Sow and Dipity

Monday 11th of November 2013

Funny you should post this... all the balls form my Downton Abby tree ( oh yeah, a theme tree completely dedicated to this British hit show ) were sold the other day... now I need to come up with something else and I was thinking of painting some old balls and distressing them. I'm going to look through my acrylic paints and get started!


Thursday 14th of November 2013

Glad it gave you inspiration Shelley!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."