For that special touch during the holidays, give a personalized Christmas ornament. Personalized Christmas ornaments can tell the story of the growth of your family. They can also be a loving gift to a dear friend, and making them is a fun activity to do during your annual Christmas party or with children.
Make Your Own Personalized Christmas Ornament
Whether you have a knack for crafting or not, there are many ways to make your own ornaments. You can easily put a name or holiday message on almost any surface with items such as colored glue, glitter, metallic pens, lace, ribbon, beads, special papers, and other craft notions. One popular personalized ornament is to write someone's name or a greeting using a gold or silver pen on a colored glass ball. Then use the ornaments as place settings on the holiday dinner table; guests can either put them on the Christmas tree or take them home afterward.
Another type of personalized Christmas ornament is the photo ornament. These make great gifts, especially for grandparents. Some craft supply houses have existing forms that you simply slip a picture into: forms include mittens, Christmas trees, holiday globes, snowmen, and other holiday themes. There are also specialty stores that have more elaborate photo holders. You'll find a wide selection of these at Exposures.
Ceramic or Pottery
Many paint-it-yourself pottery studios have a great assortment of ornaments. You can paint your own as gifts, or surprise friends and family by hosting a painting party. This is also a clever and fun activity for out-of-town guests. As a gift, pre-pay for the appointment and ornament selection. Everyone gets together to paint his or her individual ornament, which the pottery store will then fire and ship to the painter in about two weeks. Many stores have stencils, stamps, and special glazes and paints that make personalizing Christmas ornaments a snap. This site offers a listing of some registered retail pottery studios in the United States and around the world. It isn't a complete list, but it's one step toward finding a studio near you. Also look under "pottery-retail" in your local yellow pages.
LoveToKnow Crafts is a treasure chest of Christmas craft ideas to help you make a variety of Christmas items, from ornaments and stockings to wreaths and candles.
If you really don't have the time to start completely from scratch, try one of the ornament craft kits found at the Oriental Trading Co. Each kit is equipped with all the materials and instructions necessary for quick assembly. Oriental Trading Co. has a lot of photo ornament options as well.
Finally, if there's just no time to make anything yourself but you still want that personal touch, your best bet is Ornament Shop.com. They boast more than 1,200 ornaments in a variety of categories, from teacher and boss to newlyweds and baby's first Christmas. You can purchase the ornaments alone, or make a personalized Christmas ornament by adding a name or special greeting.