Skip to main content

Mansfield Magazine

Holiday Ornaments: family fun with decorative blocks!

Nov 19, 2012 05:37PM ● By Lisa Drake

Decorative Holiday Blocks strung as a garland for Lisa Drake's tree

The best gifts, the ones we really remember, seldom come from the store. They are the ones lovingly crafted just for the person who is going to receive them.  This year, try these easy handmade block ornaments as a family project to give to grandparents, friends, teachers or neighbors.  They cost less than a dollar to create, and are sure to be cherished forever.

A simple 2 x 2 block embellished with scrapbook paper, holiday tissue, or family photos printed on plain white paper can be made in just about any style to fit a variety of décor options by adding beads, glitter, sanding the edges, or painting a few sides with bold, solid colors.

Lisa Drake and I partnered up to see what we could put together for our trees this year.  Look at her amazing creations photographed here! 

You will need:

2 x 2 blocks.  We made ours by cutting strips of cedar 2 x 2 trim into blocks with a chop saw. 

Mod podge and a foam applicator brush

A selection of paper: tissue or scrapbook paper (this is a great way to recycle leftovers!)

Sand paper

Eye hooks for single block ornaments

A drill with a small bit and hemp to string a garland of blocks


Photos printed on plain white paper




Paint and a paint brush or sponge

Stencils or letter stickers


Cut your wood and give the edges a quick sanding to smooth any rough areas.

Cut out one square of paper for each side of each block.  You can have all the sides of a block match or you can mix them up. 

When all of your paper is cut out and you have decided which pieces are going on which block, get out your Mod Podge and brush.  Brush a thin layer of Mod Podge onto one face of a block

Top with one square of paper, and brush another layer of Mod Podge over it. 

Repeat on 4 sides going around the block, and set aside to dry for 20-30 minutes.   Repeat with remaining blocks.

 When these are dry, cover the remaining two sides of each block with more paper, pictures, or paint.

For a garland, drill a small hole from one surface of a block near the edge to the adjacent surface, sand the holes if they are rough, and string with hemp.

For a sophisticated look, try screwing an eye hook into the top surface of each block and string beads or ribbon through it.

Use letter stickers or stencils to add initials to your creations, or spell a special holiday greeting.

The possibilities for this wonderful craft are endless, and your family is sure to enjoy making a variety of styles for everyone on your list.  We wouldn't be surprised if you receive special requests for more next year, too!

For more Family Fun and Hand Made for the Holidays ideas, be sure to visit ! 

Share your favorite handmade ornament ideas here! Comment below.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Mansfield Magazine's free newsletter to get regular updates

Embed this content on your website